THE Prime Minister’s Office has not engaged its research office in its dealing with scammers Skyline Investment Group of China.
That was according to a spokesman for the Caucus Office.
“No, we were not engaged in this arrangement,” a spokesman told the Solomon Star yesterday.
“The arrangement was single-handedly done by the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Rence Sore,” he added.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had appointed at least two research officers upon assuming power.
Their job is to carry out research into issues of national interests as well as do background checks on foreign investors wanting to invest in the country.
But according to the spokesman, they were never approached or engaged in the Skyline arrangement.
Skyline appeared on the scene earlier this year and promised to rehabilitate Honiara International Airport as well as upgrade the road from Henderson to the city.
It also offered to build 5,000 homes for public servants in Honiara.
But latest revelations have cast doubts over the credibility of the company.
A widely circulated email from China called for the arrest of one of the directors of Skyline Investment Group Jason Liu Tao.
It was alleged Mr Tao defrauded up to 50,000 Chinese investors before making his way into the Pacific.
In Honiara, he left an unpaid hotel bill of more than $87,000 with Heritage Park Hotel before disappearing.
His colleague Pan Yan Bing, who is now in Fiji, has also left an unpaid telephone bill of more than $10,000 with Our Telekom.
It was also revealed yesterday the company suddenly left a house they’ve engaged to rent in the Ngossi area of west Honiara without informing the landlord.
Their only advice to the landlord in a hand-written note on a piece of paper is to “keep the deposit”.
In an earlier statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said they were introduced to Skyline by the nation’s High Commissioner to Fiji, Patteson Oti.
The office also defended Skyline Investment, saying the allegations were aimed at tarnishing the name of the investor.
Skyline arrived in Fiji last year and made similar promises to invest in the tourism industry.
But they are yet to make any headway with their proposed investment in Fiji.
Meanwhile, Mr Tao is believed to have secretly left Honiara.
By AATAI JOHN