OPPOSITION Leader Hon Matthew Wale has responded to the Chairman of Caucus Hon Namson Tran following the West Honiara MPs reply to a statement issued by the Opposition recently.
This is in respect to the business deal between Hon Tran and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) regarding the property he acquired at Tandai in 2011.
Hon Wale said he did not lie and stood by his statement that on record, Mr Tran bought the prime Tandai land from the government for a meagre SBD $28,000.
The Opposition Office today released documents that showed that according to the Grant instrument an amount of $28, 020 was in fact entered under Clause 2, paid as premium for the tandai property.
Hon Wale said according to documents obtained by his office, the $28, 020 is the amount stated in clause 2 of the grant document, the rightful place for any consideration to be paid to the Government to appear.
The $200,000 that was claimed paid by Tran was in fact $211, 148.32.
“The $211, 148.32 amount appears in the schedules as a replacement for clause 6 which was deleted. Clause 6 sets out the time frame for construction. How can the consideration be put in the schedule? Why write over an existing condition of the document instead of including it in the body of the Grand document,” he questioned.
Hon Wale said the consideration is a fundamental element in the purported sales contract and so it is highly suspicious that it was relegated into the schedule.
Wale goes on to say, “Even the amount of $28, 020 according to records cited, also fell way short of the valued amount of $46,542.44 for the property.”
“So given all of the above, which amount is the correct consideration for the property in question and why the differences in amounts?” Hon Wale questioned.
The Opposition also gathered that there was also no offer on record for the property at Tandai.
The only offer on record was for another company.
Documents again showed that on the 18th of March 2011, Hon Tran wrote a letter expressing his interest to purchase the Tandai property to the then Minister of Lands, under the West Honiara Constituency letterhead as Chairman of Caucus.
“Clearly as Chairman of caucus, he has a conflict of interest pursuing the matter with the then PM who was implicated in the deal, using the constituency letterhead,” Hon Wale said.
Documents further showed on 3rd July 2017, the property was then transferred to Hon Tran and his wife.
The Opposition Office has documents that clearly show that there are discrepancies in the dealings since the land was purchased in 2011 even up to the lease agreement with AFP in December 2021.
Surprisingly, the parties involved did not take notice of.
“For example, while clause 5 of the transfer document requires disclosure of an amount in the event where no consideration exchanged hands, it was left unfilled. This may well be a breach of the condition of transfer. Or was this done intentionally so as not to attract stamp duty as is proven with the lease with AFP?” he questioned.
“Also, records show, while clause 4 of the original Grant document states that the property was intended for residential use only, it appears the lease had been purportedly registered and effected without the variation process being complied with. Again how can this be right,” he questioned.
He said it raises serious questions as the property is now being rented for a lucrative amount of money and so it does not add up that no stamp duty has been paid or charged on the lease.
“Mr Tran holds a public office hence he is expected to abide by the law in the manner in which he performs any functions he holds. Those discrepancies and dealings raise questions over his integrity as a public figure,” he said.
Hon Wale said it is clear that due process had not been followed which raises serious questions on why responsible authorities have allowed this to happen under their watch.