Home > Corruption, Logging, oil palm, Papua New Guinea > SABL Case Study No.6: Turubu and Sepik Oil Palm Plantations

SABL Case Study No.6: Turubu and Sepik Oil Palm Plantations

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

SABL Commission of Inquiry Report 2: Pages 822-865

“The Land Investigation Report was flawed because it failed to ascertain the majority consent of the whole landgroups [sic]…” [p864]

SOPPL is a foreign owned company… is not IPA compliant… does not have the managerial, nor the capacity to undertake large scale agriculture activity and is a logging company”. [p865]

“The soil is not suitable for oil palm estate” [p865]

“There was ominous signs of environmental damage..” [p831]

Processes were “highly irregular” there was “constructive fraud” a “false declaration” and “a false entry” the officer “was incompetent” his report “sloppy and unreliable [various]

“Revoke the SABL title” [p865]

This Case Study covers the Special Agriculture and Business Lease over Portion 144C in East Sepik Province

A Notice of Direct Grant to Limawo Holdings was published on 4th April 2008 for Portion 144C  Tring Land. The land is known as Turubu. The term of the lease was 99-years. An SABL was registered and issued on the same day to Sepik Oil Palm Plantation Limited (SOPPL).

The lease covers an area of 116,840 hectares.

A site visit confirmed the company was logging the whole forested area within the SABL and Kwila logs were seen ready for export [p830]

“The Oil Palm planting program is developing at a very slow rate without management expertise and accommodation for housing the staff” [p831]  “.. there was no existing infrastructure to satisfy the C.O.I. that work was progressing…” [p848]

The logging wharf is makeshift and built of logs and soil. “There was ominous signs of environmental damage to the sago and mangrove palms along the seashore, part of the mountain cut to extract stones and soil was subject to erosion and created very serious environmental concerns” [p831]

The Commissioner and his team on the site visit were harassed by Mr Malajiwi, the Chairman of Limawo Holdings and his supporters.

SOPPL has two shareholder companies – Limawo Holdings and Wewak Agriculture Development Ltd (WAG) – and three Directors – Hui Teck Lau (Malaysian), Nyi Then (Malaysian) and Aron Malajiwi. Lau and Then hold 8,000 shares (through their ownership with Ching Ming Ting of Wewak Agriculture Development) and Limawo 2,000.

There is no sublease of the SABL to a developer company, rather the developer owns 80% of the lease holder.

Neither SOPPL or WAG have certification from the IPA to carry on business as a foreign owned entity, as a result any contracts between them and any other enterprise “may be declared unlawful and void” [p835]

Limawo Holdings has 6 shareholders from Samowia village, each holding 1000 shares. There are 14 Directors. The company directorships do not represent the 56 ILGs and the company is not an umbrella landowners company.

There was no form sighted to suggest Limawo or SOPPL did apply for an SABL and no due diligence was carried to to determine existing leases within the project area (there is a cattle ranch, military training area, airstrip, district office and high school and ‘other leases).

The lands investigation “relied entirely on the ILG information provided .. by Mr Aron Malajiwi, Chairman of Limawo Holdings and his executives” [p836] “The 56 listed ILGs “does not in fact cover the majority of landowners within the SABL” [p836] The necessary social mapping was not done. No land survey was done. The officer “made a false declaration” about the social mapping. [p838]. He did not walk the boundary and made a false entry about that [p838]

“The LIR process was procured with constructive fraud… and does affect the certification for alienability at the Provincial Level” [p838].

Mr Peter Yapog, the land investigation officer “was incompetent” [p839] and “compiled a sloppy and unreliable LIR” and “failed to acquire majority consent”  [p841]

Mr Malajiwi “played an integral role in the acquisition and alienation of land in the name of the Lanco” [p841]

No reservation was made for customary rights. No Certificate of Alienability was issued.

There is no confirmation of the registration of the 56 ILGs

“We are critical of the manner by which Mr Kimas [Secretary for Lands] … proceeded to accept the instrument of consent/undertaking… It was highly irregular. [p846]

DAL found the project site to be only “moderately suitable” for oil palm growing with soil depth and drainage as major limiting factors [p847]

PNGFA failed to appear to give evidence about the extensive forest clearances.

An Environmental Permit was issued to commence in January 2009

Numerous landowner groups signified their objection to the blanket SABL and alleged fraud.

  1. Steven Horinduo
    June 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    That is true, one of them is Mathew Yehefi Nesengi from Suandogum village, Kubalia, East Sepik Province, he conned all my poor villagers especially the women to organize food, contribute money and buy share in that company and today I am sad to see them complaining about their hard effort. Just imagine the sum of money that was directly paid to Mathew and he has huge stomach and sitting behind and steering the wheels of the dark glass ten seater. Mathew have no qualification of oil and agriculture sector, not even an trade qualification. Any where my poor people have lost thousands of kina to a bustard backer and now his rich. May Heaven Father richly wipe my peoples tears. Thank you.

  1. January 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

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