Solomon Islands opposition leader accuses AFP of renting real estate from government MP for too high a price

Australia’s Federal Police has been embroiled in political furor in the Solomon Islands after the country’s opposition leader accused it of renting a home from a key government MP and power broker for a huge price.

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Matthew Wale says the AFP has rented a “beachfront property” from a close ally of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare for just over $35,000 a month.

However, the claim has been vigorously rejected by the AFP and sources in the Solomon Islands government.

On Thursday, Democratic Party leader Matthew Wale released a press release claiming that the AFP had leased a “beachfront property” from Namson Tran, a close ally of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, for just over $35,000 each. Month.

“The AFP’s deal with this Solomon Islands politician raises many questions about their independence and is likely to undermine the public’s perception of their work in Honiara,” said Mr. Wales.

He also claimed it “was not ethically right for AFP, or any foreign police force, to make business deals with a politician from the Solomon Islands”.

“The AFP should clarify their business deals with [Mr] Tran in this area because it jeopardizes AFP’s mission here in the Solomon Islands. If AFP deals with government MPs, it jeopardizes their work here,” he said.

The ABC has asked Mr. Wale’s office to provide documentation to support the allegations, but they declined.

Meanwhile, the AFP confirmed to the ABC that it had leased a plot of land in Honiara “to support ongoing operational needs”, although it did not provide further details.

However, it denied any wrongdoing or paying too high a price for the rental property.

“Any suggestion that the AFP has not acted with integrity in this matter is false,” an AFP spokesman said in a statement.

That statement did not say how much it paid for the country but it was “limited in the further information it can provide due to commercial confidentiality issues”.

However, ABC understands that the $35,000 monthly fee quoted by Mr. Wale is much higher than the amount paid by the AFP.

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The unrest in Honiara started last year after the Solomon Islands government decided to recognize China over Taiwan. (Reuters: Georgina Kekea)

The ABC contacted Mr. Tran’s office in the Solomon Islands, but the MP declined to comment on Mr. Wale’s allegations or comment.

Although the Solomon Islands government said it would state the ABC in response, it has not yet done so.

The episode demonstrates how tense Australia’s ties are with major players on both sides of the political divide in the Solomon Islands.

Mr. Wale has been a fierce critic of Mr. Sogavare’s decision to sign a security pact with China, which has sparked major concern in Australia.

However, he has also accused the Australian government of ignoring warnings he issued last year about the prospect of China and the Solomon Islands strengthening security ties.

That provoked a strong response from the Department of State and Trade (DFAT), which took the rare step of issuing a statement directly rejecting Mr. Wale’s report and insisting the opposition leader never directly addressed the issue. Addressed to the ministry.

The security pact between China and the Solomon Islands will likely make headlines again next week, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expected to visit Honiara on the first leg of his Pacific journey.

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.
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