A CHIEF on Ontong Java says news that Dr Reginald Aipia shipped back two tonnes of controversial beche-de-mers back to the island may not be true.
Chief Hugo spoke to the Solomon Star via mobile phone from Ontong Java yesterday.
He said Ontong Java is a small place and if the beche-de-mers were shipped back there, everyone on the island should know or see it.
“But there’s no such thing as that.
“Dr Aipia may have been lying to the nation about the beche-de-mers,” chief Hugo said.
But Dr Aipia yesterday insisted the beche-de-mers were already on Ontong Java.
“Why should I tell anyone that I’ve shipped the beche-de-mers back home?” he asked.
“They are my property and this nation knows about it and why I have to take it out from the fisheries compound.
“And if I have to send them home, I don’t have to tell anybody. I know how to do it. Because if people know that I am sending them home, they will report it to police to confiscate it from the wharf or from Auki,” Dr Aipia said.
He said chief Hugo must understand he is not a stupid person to publicise the shipment of the beche-de-mers back home.
“All I can say now is that the beche-de-mers are now on Ontong Java.
“If the police and fisheries officials are serious and want to take them back, then they have to go and bring them back from Ontong Java.
“Let’s see if they are going to use the patrol boat again,” Dr Aipia said.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA