CHINESE BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED IN SOLOMONS

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Corporation accused of illegally occupying building

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 17, 2012) – The Managing Director of China United (SI) Corporation Ltd has been arrested yesterday.

Honiara City Council law enforcement officers arrested Shiyao Guo for failing to comply with HCC warning notices.

The HCC had issued several notices for occupants of the Sol Plaza building at Town Ground to vacate the property as there was no occupancy permit issued.

The HCC in December last year, issued notices to business operators in the building to close their doors.

In a letter dated 21 February 2012, the HCC Mayor Israel Maeoli warned China United to vacate the building premises before 4.30pm of March 5, or face a fine of $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment according to the council laws if convicted.

And following reports of complaints by the public about the occupation of the building by tenants and China United employees, the HCC said they do not see any reason why those occupants should reside in the building.

However China United failed to comply resulting in Mr Guo’s arrest yesterday.

He was charged for occupying a building without an occupancy permit.

Head of the council law enforcement confirmed Mr Guo’s arrest at 2pm yesterday afternoon.

"He was given the opportunity to go see his lawyer before he was taken to the Central Police station late yesterday afternoon to be charged."

Mr Guo was charged and released on principal bail awaiting court appearance on Monday next week.

Asked yesterday for his view on the action taken against him, Mr Guo said it was funny.

"Funny in the sense that it was very quick."

He said the council should see what he has been trying to do as work is slowly progressing.

"The government and people should support because such action will not be good for investors who have tried to invest here.

"And plans to complete the stadium before the festival will be jeopardized," Mr Guo said.

The office of the council law enforcement said that they are carrying out their duty to ensure all council laws are strictly followed.

The office warned the public that they will be taking a tougher stance to prosecute those who fail to comply with the council by-laws and ordinances.

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