Rabuka pushes for Grace Road Group investigation

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka speaking during an earlier press conference in Suva. Mr Rabuka last night announced 42 candidates for the upcoming 2018 General Elections. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka is urgently calling for an investigation into the running of the Grace Road Group.

He issued a statement after the arrest of the Grace Road Church co-founder, the Rev Shin Ok-Joo.

She was arrested with three other “cult leaders” when they arrived at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport earlier this month.

The arrests were linked to the alleged assault and confinement of church followers in Fiji.

It is understood that the church has about 400 followers in the country. Mr Rabuka claimed that since 2014, the church had established a group of at least eight limited liability companies in Fiji.

He also claimed that the group’s construction arm was carrying out refurbishment of the official residences and executive office of two high Fijian Government officials.

“It is also interesting that in October 2017, after only three years in Fiji, the Grace Road Group was awarded the Prime Minister’s International Business Award supported by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The award was given on the premise that the company demonstrated innovative farming methods, passion and strong desire for quality leading to excellence.”

Police have confirmed they have started preliminary investigations into the founder of Grace Road Church and Group.

While speaking at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime recently, Defence Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola also revealed the Fiji Police Force was now investigating a possible case of modern day slavery involving a South Korean group acting as a religious and business organisation.

In a statement last week, the group denied allegations levelled against their founder and leader, saying they were enraged by all the lies.

The group also said that since its establishment in Fiji in 2014, they started with agriculture and expanded its operation to restaurants, food processing, construction and trading.

“We have farms, restaurants and projects throughout Fiji and actively carry out our operations in the open. Those, who wish to slander us, have created unspeakable lies about passport confiscation, forced labour, incarceration, and violence,” the group said.

The group also earlier reiterated that they stood by their leader and believed that Fiji was the promised land hidden in the Bible.

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