26 Aug 2002

Copra marketer in PNG forced to cease operations indefinitely

7:04 pm on 26 August 2002

The interim management team of Papua New Guinea's Copra Industry Corporation, or KIK, is ceasing operations at its marketing depots around the country until further notice.

The team manager, Ted Sitapai, says the stop comes after the country's leading bank, the Bank of the South Pacific, announced it close all KIK accounts nationwide this Friday.

The BSP says the shutdown is because the KIK has been issuing cheques to copra producers despite having no money in its accounts and no overdraft facility.

Mr Sitapai says the KIK may be forced to open up accounts with banks which do not have branches right across the country.

He says the BSP's move is irresponsible and will have a devastating affect on the industry.

"This network covered all the provinces in Papua New Guinea and It's the only bank that has branches and sub branches in all the provincial network that we operate but the decision by the bank to actually foreclose all our accounts meant that basically this marketing outlet will no longer be there and it would make it very difficult for the cooperation to actually continue the trading business"

Ted Sitapai who says they hope to discuss the issue with the Bank of South Pacific tomorrow.