A multimillion project known as Lupepauâu Village Investment Project has not been approved, Labour and Commerce CEO Edgar Cocker told Kaniva News.
Cocker said the project, which was owned by Hon Lupepau’u Tuita Taione would benefit the kingdomâs economy and local people, but he had not approved it.
Asked about a copy of a Cabinet decision on June 7, 2018Â seen by Kaniva News which showed the authority had approved the project, Cocker said he was unaware of it.
He said if Cabinet had approved anything regarding the project it was part of an effort by Princess Pilolevuâs daughter to fulfill the requirements needed before they applied for a license for the business.
We sent the Cabinet decision to the Prime Ministerâs office and asked the Acting Chief Secretary to confirm the information, Â but have not received a response.
The Cabinet decision, which appears to feature the Acting Chief Secretary to Cabinet âOlita Ha’ina Mo’uta Tupouâs signature, showed the Cabinet ministers had approved the project.
The document appears to show the Cabinet Ministers had noted that the project would involve TP$181 millionÂ which was broken down as follows:
$11 million of foreign investment to ‘Lupepauâu Villageâ working account BSB Bank.
$20 million to building a seawall of reclaimed material.
$150 million to reclaim 3000 acres at the Greater Hihifo area.
A 99 year lease of the reclaimed land of 3000 acres at the Greater Hihifo area in the name of Lupepauâu Tuita Taione.
When asked about the credibility of the project Cocker said as far as he knew investors from Hong Kong involved.
As Kaniva News reported last year, the Tongan government denied that an American group, the Red Warrior Group LLC, had been granted an exclusive gaming licence to build a casino facility in Tonga.
It was later revealed the Casino project was under a Tongan company known as Tavake Tamafua Tourism Investment Project.
The chief shareholders and directors were Havea Luigi Gatti and âEpeli Taione, who is married to the kingâs eldest niece, Hon Lupepauâu Tuita Taione.