The Catholic Church in Rabaul in Papua New Guinea says the sale of several large parcels of land to a Malaysian logging company at Putput in East New Britain is fraudulent.
The Rabaul Archbishop Franceso Panfilo says the land, some 17,000 hectares belongs to the church.
This claim of a sale came after the church obtained a restraining order when the logging company arrived unannounced on the site in November and set about establishing a camp.
The restraining order was issued just before Christmas but the loggers have since returned after reports that two local men had sold the land to the Malaysian company.
But Archbishop Panfilo told Don Wiseman the land has been church land for a long time.