By HELEN TARAWA
NCD police are investigating a fraud case involving the process in which a K62 million hotel and casino project at Boroko was stalled four years ago.
NCD-Central commander ACP Sylvester Kalaut told The National that the investigation, which had started last month, was being kept low-key due to the sensitive nature of the case.
According to information from the Investment Promotion Authority, the initial owner and director of the company CMSS PNG Limited was Korean businessman Choi Chang Su who had registered to build the first casino in the country.
It is understood the land and licence were under two PNG landowner companies which had a five per cent share each while CMSS Limited owned 90 per cent.
Police information revealed that Chang Su was deported from PNG in May 2012 and the company was fraudulently taken over by new owners. Construction was put on hold as the landowners assumed ownership of the premises.
Chief building surveyor Lou Pipi said the demolition order for the abandoned building was still valid but the implementation of that order had legal implications.
He said the courts had confirmed that the NCDC building board had powers under the Building Act and Regulations to deal with the abandoned project. “There was a long break between the courts however we are picking up again from where we left,” Pipi said.
“As I respond now, we still have not established who owns this property. We have approached MRDC (Mineral Resource Development Company) who say they have no right so as the landowners on site own the property.
“The landowners or people on this site have locked the gates and would not allow any outsiders into the property.
“The next thing we are considering doing is getting the police to break into this site and question the people on site.
The NCDC building board wants to urgently gain access into this site to review the illegally constructed building and carry out some relevant tests to substantiate our claims for these unsafe building.” It is understood that Chang Su has returned to PNG and had filed the case to police who were now investigating.
According to sources close to Chang Su, he was interested in gaining back the ownership of the company (CMSS PNG Limited) so he could proceed with building the hotel and casino in preparation for the Apec (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in 2018.
The source said Korea would be sending a big delegation for the Apec meeting and the hotel would accommodate them.
By HELEN TARAWA