AN iTaukei Land Trust Board estate officer has been suspended after landowners from Viseisei Village in Vuda claimed their land was leased to a private company without their consent.
TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki, confirming action had been taken, said: "I have directed the suspension of one of the estate officers from our Lautoka office for half pay pending further investigations.
"We are going to carry out an internal investigation through our internal audit department."
The suspension is in light of members of the tokatoka Nakelo of Viseisei in Lautoka saying a piece of their land was leased without permission.
Nakelo Limited secretary Epeli Tavai said they were only informed of the transaction after a TLTB receipt stated the land had been leased for $18,000.
Mr Tavai said the landowning unit was also upset over the consent letters used to offer the land to the lessee.
"We looked through the two consent letters and we saw that some of the signatures were from those who have passed away," he said. "Five of them passed away between 2010 and 2012 but this agreement was done last year."
Officials from TLTB and the Commissioner Western's office met the landowners earlier last week as part of efforts to resolve the issue.
Mr Qetaki said there would be more meetings.
"I intend to meet with the landowners next week. We are following a process, the first meeting was with the North West regional manager and a report has been given to me about the meeting.
"Now I will also meet with the trustees and the turaga ni mataqali to discuss the issue further," he said.