Former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry says organised gambling is known to bring with it many forms of criminal activity, such as corruption, drug peddling, extortion, human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering and Fiji does not have the resources or the competence to handle such complex issues.
In light of a recent announcement by Chinese investor, David Group about its proposal to set up a $2 billion development project which will include the setting up of a casino, Chaudhry said the country does not have mechanisms in place to keep its people safe from harmful effects of such set-ups.
“We already have a serious drugs’ problem, with many of our young people ending up in trouble with the law. We certainly do not want to exacerbate the situation,” he said in a statement.
The Fiji Labour Party Leader suspects this proposed $2 billion development could be like the four pie-in- the-sky type projects proposed by Chinese foreign investors during the Bainimarama government, but none of which ever saw the light of day.
He said the last of these was the so called $600m Nasese Foreshore development by Tian Lun Investment.
“The company obtained a five-year development lease over a large area of the foreshore, but did virtually no work on it for over five years.”
“It was attempting to secure a long term lease, but their application was rejected by the Government earlier this year.
“It seems that the top priority of the David Group of Macao is obtaining the Casino licence.”
Chaudhry said there is no guarantee that the other aspects of the proposed development will eventuate if the licence is granted and warns that we have to be extremely careful of such foreign investment proposals.