Governor queries land deals secured by TJ Homes

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The National, Wednesday 27th March, 2013

A GOVERNOR has alleged that a company operating in the country has been acquiring substantial amounts of land in the country and selling them for a profit.
Citing a report, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi claimed the company was selling land it had acquired to foreigners and businesses.
Powi said during question time in parliament that a company, calling itself TJ Homes, had acquired land in small towns such as Popondetta, Kerema and Mendi.
It had also acquired land in Lae and Port Moresby, he claimed.
He said the report contained serious allegations and asked what the lands department was doing about it and to also tell the people how many land titles it had acquired and if processes were followed.
Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Benny Allan said his department was aware of the report and admitted that the allegations were serious in nature.
A team will investigate how TJ Homes had been acquiring so much land.
He admitted that officers from the lands department were generally colluding with companies to fraudulently acquire and transfer land titles throughout the country.
Allan said the investigation would reveal everyone involved, including officers from the department.
He said if the investigation found that companies/people were fraudulently acquired land, they would face the full force of the law.