FIJI DEVELOPMENT BANK SEIZES VANUA AIR PLANE

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 29, 1999 – Fiji Broadcasting Corporation)---The Fiji Development Bank has seized an aircraft from Vanua Air in its bid to recover costs.

The aircraft is reportedly being leased to Air Fiji by Vanua Air, which is non-operational at the moment.

President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and prominent Labasa businessman Charan Jeath Singh at one time were significant shareholders in Vanua Air Charter, Limited.

The company's license ceased being valid in 1997, when the airline stopped operating, and the license has not been renewed since.

In a commercial agreement, Vanua Air sold two of its aircraft to Air Fiji.

In addition, Air Fiji leased another plane from Vanua Air to help the company in its repayment of debts to the Fiji Development Bank.

Vanua Air, however, has not kept up with its payments, prompting the bank's legal department to seize the aircraft with the intention of selling it to recover costs.

FDB's Manager Director, Isoa Kaloumara, has confirmed that the bank is selling the aircraft. He said the bank hopes to attract good offers for the plane.

The bank has not indicated how much it is owed.

The company is reportedly being investigated by the Registrar of Companies, which could imply that it has gone into receivership.

The Aircraft, a 10-seater twin engine Britten Norman Islander, is parked in a Nausori airport hanger.

Businessman Charan Jeath Singh said he now has nothing to do with the company and has refused to comment on the matter.

FIJI BROADCASTING CORPORATION

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