By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae
A team from the Lands Department in Port Moresby is investigating the issuing of several land titles believed to be fake. The officer in charge of the land fraud investigation team, Peter Kila Pat, said the owner of the companies produced a photocopied title to Lae City Council last year, which was found to be suspicious.
The investigation will continue until they get hold of the people involved in transferring and obtaining the title.
A copy of the land title that EMTV obtained from the Lae City Council, according to the Land Fraud Investigation team from Port Moresby, says the title was fake.
According to the photocopied title, the land title belongs to A couple from China who are currently operating their business here at Admin Compound in Lae, an area designated for residential purpose only.
The officer in charge of the newly formed land fraud investigation unit, Peter Kila Pat, told EMTV News that they will continue the investigation and interview the owners to find out how they got the title transferred and how they obtained it.
This land title was obtained on the 14th of December in 2012. It was photocopied and was attached with other documents that were also photocopied. The documents were then given to various approving authorities that included Building Board, Lands and Physical Planning and later Lae City Council who issued the license last year to operate.
EMTV News found that all these approving authorities went ahead and approved the operation of the business without properly analysing all the documents including this fake land title. Morobe’s Provincial Planner, Dobenu Loggy, says the deficiencies in the process should have been questioned.
The Provincial Planner says the provincial administration issued several stop work notices to this business since 2016, but they continued to work. In 2017, the owner appealed against the notice. When the matter was before the tribunal for review, the owner went ahead and obtained a trading license from Lae City Council to operate.