Police complaint over PSL cheque

Monday April 23, 2018 Written by Published in Local
The controversial Pacifi c Schooners Ltd ship Tiare Taporo. 18042313 The controversial Pacifi c Schooners Ltd ship Tiare Taporo. 18042313

Rarotonga businessman Brett Porter says he will lay a complaint with the police against Pacific Schooners Ltd (PSL) after a cheque for $10,000 given to him by company director Garth Broadhead was dishonoured.

Porter says the cheque was handed to him on Friday, April 6, two days before the PSL vessel Tiare Taporo sailed for Aitutaki and the northern islands on its first voyage in almost two years.

Porter says the cheque was dishonoured on the following Monday, and claims cheques given to other PSL creditors have also bounced.

The money was part-payment for debts owed to Apex Agencies, trading as Toa Petroleum and Porter Group Holdings Ltd, trading as Toa Gas. The company owed $55,472.02 for the supply of fuel. PSL is said to owe numerous creditors more than $2.4 million.

Porter said yesterday he had yet to decide whether to have charges laid against Broadhead, who gave him the cheque, or Pacific Schooners Ltd.

PSL last year told the court it planned to make repayments through a forecast 10-12 voyages a year. A creditors’ compromise was approved by Judge Hugh Williams, with Broadhead saying he expected the vessel to resume operations no later than the end of March 2018.

Under the agreement, money was to be given to immediate priority creditors including crew and staff, The agreement included the $10,000 partial settlement to Toa Petroleum and a $4,000 partial payment to the Ports Authority, said to be owed more than $36,000.

Once PSL resumed operations, payments were also to be made to Toa Gas, Raromart and Prime Foods, as well as BCI bank and CI Cruise (ANZ), both owed around $200,000.

Late last year the Ports Authority began legal proceedings which could have resulted in the Tiare Taporo being taken out to sea and scuttled. PSL was given an October 10, 2017 deadline to prove the vessel could sail out of the harbour under its own propulsion, which it did after making a brief foray out of Avatiu harbour on October 8.

However, when the harbour was threatened by heavy seas from Cyclone Gita in February, the Tiare Taporo failed to meet a 5pm deadline to leave the port.

The vessel’s current whereabouts is unknown, but according to its original schedule, it is due back in Rarotonga within the next week.       

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