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Probe on 'suspect' lease

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, May 31, 2014

POLICE have begun an enquiry into claims by the tokatoka o Nakelo of Viseisei, Vuda, that about 20 acres of their land was leased by the iTaukei Lands Trust Board without their consent.

And landowners suspect the lease documents contained forged signatures of deceased clan members.

Police media officer West Naina Ragigia said the Criminal Investigations Department was on the case after a formal complaint was lodged last month.

A representative from a company that manages monies received by the clan said they were disappointed the transaction had taken place without their knowledge.

Nakelo Limited secretary Epeli Tavai said they did not know anything about it until they received documents stating the land had been leased for $18,000.

"When we saw the name of the company, we were shocked because we were never informed," he said.

"I asked for a copy of the said consent form and to my surprise I saw the names of six deceased members.

"They died between 2010 and 2012 but the awarding of this lease was done last year."

In response to questions sent three days ago, TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki said he would make a comment after meeting the landowners.

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