Grace Road brushes allegations aside

Grace Road Group president Daniel Kim (left) and Grace Road Group Business Development Manager Ahrum Song at Navua on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Picture: JESSICA SAVIKE

GRACE Road (GR) Group has brushed aside allegations about its operations in the country and its founder, the Rev Shin Ok-Joo, who was arrested in South Korea recently and faces charges of assault and unlawful confinement.

Grace Road Group president Daniel Kim said the alleged confinement of 400 people in Fiji was impossible and someone needed to explain this to the public.

“Our operations from Yasawa, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Nausori, Nadi and Lautoka have our teams doing construction to restaurant operations, farm development, food processing and trading business; all diverse projects. How can we capture these people and force them into slavery?” Mr Kim said during a press conference yesterday at the group’s head office in Navua.

He said the Grace Road farm in Navua was an open space and employees were free to move around and work whenever they wanted without restrictions.

Mr Kim said their founder had faced opposition in South Korea from some churches in the past 10 years and they knew who were behind these.

“This is not the first time. They are trying to shame us and make up stories. But somehow, the story has become big here and many people are suspicious. They don’t know about our group and our people here. They want to hear about everything in Korea,” he said.

Mr Kim said he did not know whether the investigations into the group were continuing.

“I don’t know, but they did have a full investigation into this from the South Korean side. Korean police, Ministry of (Foreign) Affairs, Ministry of Health, everyone came and did the full investigation,” he said.

“They found the truth that all of our people came to Fiji to live here voluntary with their families and do various projects for the mission to make Fiji shine because this is our motto.”

Mr Kim said Grace Road Group had been operating in the country for the past four years.

He asked if allegations of criminality were true, why hadn’t the Fiji police acted on them.

“If these allegations were true, then why have none of our members returned to Korea? This allegations are baseless and untrue,” he said.

Mr Kim said despite the allegations and efforts to tarnish their reputation, Grace Road Group would continue to expand its services and products in the country.

He said there were more than 230 Fiji citizens, nine Vietnamese employees and about 200 Koreans associated as equal shareholders of the group.

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