Response from Vanuatu Registry Services Ltd to the PM’s statement on CIIP in ParliamentPosted: June 23, 2016
It is a sad day when Vanuatu’s Prime Minister resorts to the privilege afforded to statements made in Parliament to repeat a defamatory statement made by “others”.
The allegation that “… the monies have been retained by the agent, presently seeking judgement against the government through court hearings, have been moved to Caribbean tax havens, others reveal” is wholly and utterly untrue and scandalous. Neither VRS nor any of its associated companies has moved any money at all to any Caribbean jurisdiction.
The facts of the matter are completely at odds with the statement made by the PM: As recently as 17th May, the Hon Minister of Finance, heading a 6-man delegation that included the Attorney-General, came to Hong Kong, at his own initiative but clearly funded by our competitors PRG, to negotiate a settlement that would result in VRS withdrawing its Supreme Court claim against the government. During those discussions, the Hon Minister and his delegation were personally witness to a live log-in to the HSBC bank account in Hong Kong, where the funds referred to by the Hon Prime Minister were clearly showing in the account.
Both the Hon Finance Minister and the Attorney General were fully satisfied with the existence and location of the funds and everything appeared to be moving to an amicable conclusion. So much so that the Hon Minister of Finance requested that our Chief Legal Officer draft a new agreement that would reflect the new understanding (which he promptly did and delivered). “As a gesture of goodwill to go home with” the Hon Minister also requested that VRS return to VG certain funds the return of which would have been a breach of yet another binding agreement entered into by the government.
Sadly, it only took the Hon Minister 7 days to make a 180 degrees turn-around, to renege on these understandings and to demand the “return” of all of the funds that VRS had already placed for investment with third parties for the benefit of the government under another binding agreement with the government; funds which have passed out of the control of VRS. In an attempt to achieve by duress the breach of that second agreement the Hon Minister once again, on 24th May, illegally suspended CIIP and the government is refusing to process the citizenship applications that we have already submitted and continue to submit, thereby depriving Vanuatu of the revenue that the country sorely needs.
Government has been paid exactly what was agreed and due and what they are asking us to do with the funds they are now claiming is in breach of binding agreements entered into by the government. Our claim against the government, PRG and others in Supreme Court Action 1089/2015 is both for breach of contract and conspiracy to induce breach of contract. The conspiracy appears to be continuing. It is time for the government to act in good faith by performing its contractual commitments. The people of Vanuatu and the world at large need to know that Vanuatu’s new government must, at last, honour its promises, if it is to maintain its credibility and reputation.
Anyone who repeats the Prime Minister’s statement outside Parliament will be committing defamation and liable to compensate VRS in damages.