By WILSON SAENI
FUNDS of around $600,000 allegedly went missing during the reign of the previous Malaita Provincial Government under the leadership of former Premier Peter Ramohia last year.
Information reaching the paper claimed the money ($600k) went missing from $1.6 million being deposited into the provincial account, the Ramohia led MART government gained from the controversial sale of the Auki Plaza before they left office in 2019.
It was revealed the money went missing when the MART government was in caretaker mode in December 2019.
The Auki Plaza was sold to National Provident Fund (NPF) at a cost of around $3.5 million.
However, it was claimed the fund was not properly invested as promised by the former premier.
At that time Mr Ramohia said the money would be put to good use which will benefit the whole province.
Most Malaitans even came forward and cautioned the MART government not to sell the plaza for fear the money would be mishandled.
MART government refused to listen and eventually sold the plaza during its last two months in office.
Of the total amount, Malaita Province has invested $1.7 million into the CITREC program and deposited $1.6 million into the provincial account.
When the Solomon Star contacted the current MARA government under the leadership of Premier Daniel Suidani his response was; "the current executive is aware of the missing $600k."
Suidani said while information of the missing money is not yet a public information, he said his executive is already aware of the missing fund.
He pointed out it is impossible for the province to spend such amount of money without the approval of the executive especially when the executive has already been dissolved.
Mr Suidani said the province is in the process of investigating how the $600k was withdrawn from the provincial account.
He added they will press on to find out who were the people behind the move.
Not only that but Premier Suidani said they are also investigating how the $1.7 million was invested into the CITRIC program which has proven to be non-beneficial to the province to this day.
It was revealed that of the $3.5 million received from the Auki Plaza payment, only $1 million remained in the provincial account.
“The $1.7m was lost to poor investment into the CITREC program and the $600k was withdrawn without any trace to this day,” he said.
The province is likely to refer the matter to police for further investigation.