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Fiji Time: 12:59 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Illegal crown land sales

Maciu Malo
Friday, March 01, 2013

THE Lands Ministry is losing millions of dollars annually through the illegal sale of crown leases.

And the ministry has sent out a stern warning to tenants that those involved will be evicted.

Lands permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa said the ministry was aware of many illegal subdividing and selling of lease lands in the west.

The ministry has discovered that a Nadi farmer allegedly subdivided 18 acres of his expired State leased land and pocketed about $0.5million from the sale of more than 50 lots.

"We are aware that there are many other similar illegal dealings happening in the other parts of the Western Division," said Mr Boseiwaqa.

"The government is indirectly losing millions of dollars each year through this kind of illegal land dealing and we will make sure to put a stop to such activities.

"Such illegal operations are mainly occurring near urban centres, especially here in Nadi.

"Some of the occupants pay $3000 or $4000 depending on the sizes of their block and the government is losing money through a person's gain."

Mr Boseiwaqa said the ministry could not remove the occupants since they had paid huge sums of money. "We cannot remove those that illegally bought the land but we will formalise their stay on the land they have bought," he said.

"Instead we will take legal action to vacate our tenants who are involved in these illegal actions for breaching their lease conditions."