LOs want govt to probe land deal

By STANLEY NONDOL

The landowners of the controversial Manumanu land deal in Central Province outside Port Moresby want investigation into the K15.4million fast-tracked when a new government takes office.

The landowners expressed their concerns at the government failure in not getting the report done on time relating to the controversial land deal on how K15.4m was paid for the portion of land that valued by the Valuer General to be worth K9 million.

They told this paper that the land was valued at K9m but K15.4m was paid, a K6.4million extra was paid and benefitted by the some people involved in the deal.

They said this is high profile corruption and a new government when taking office must investigate this matter.

The government through the Department of Defence bought the land, portion 698, folio 2392 in August 2014 but the title was never issued.

This piece of land according to the Valuer General’s Report was worth K9 million but the department purchased it at a cost of K15.4 million six years ago and to date the titles have not been issued, making it very difficult for the department to develop the land.

The landowners said Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko earlier said the PNGDF land title was missing and the investigation will be done to get to the bottom of the issue but almost six years have gone and no progress yet on the matter.

The land was purchased to build the lLRRU so it would be used for the APEC Summit, however, this failed because of the land title transfer which was yet to be done. The officials involved could face fraud investigations and the full force of the law.

Office of the Valuer General in 2014 was tasked to value the land and assess the current market value of the subject property for sale purpose.

The valuation is based on the sales transactions within the vicinity of the subject property at 7/8 Mile and neighbouring 9 Mile and Bomana/Laloki areas.

The value of the leasehold interest was assessed at K9 million as at Oct 28, 2011.

Acting Defence secretary Trevor Meauri earlier said the department would step up the investigation and would get to the bottom of this, and if possible, get back the balance between the K15.4 million and K9 million.

However, he could not be reached for comments.

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