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Samoa noni supplier ensnarled in Hong Kong case

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 24, 2011) – A Samoa company supplying noni juice to a Chinese company associated with a man accused of money laundering and corruption says it’s business as usual.

Pure Pacifika exported 72 thousand liters last week, and another consignment of the same size is due early next month under a deal with Natural Dairies New Zealand.

Natural Dairies also has an involvement in a milk processor in New Zealand and had sought unsuccessfully to buy a number of dairy farms in this country.

In a deal with the New Zealand-based Reef Group it agreed to buy noni sourced from both Samoa and Niue for export to China.

Jack Chen, who was a director of Natural Dairies until a year ago, has been charged by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption. He owns the factories in China that are bottling the noni.

Pure Pacifika says, in a statement, that company officials will travel to Hong Kong this week to meet with senior executives at Natural Dairy’s parent company to allay any concerns.

[PIR editor’s note: Chen, who was given the chiefly title Tupa'ilelei in Sasina village earlier this year, and another Chinese businessperson are charged with "conspiring to bribe officials with two New Zealand properties and money," according to the Samoa Observer. He has rejected corruption and laundering charges.]

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