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ROSA nightclub under Customs Seal – Tatiana Investments Warned

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 26 JULY 2023: The Tatiana Investments that operates the ROSA night club in Apia has been warned after a Government seal that prohibited the nightclub from operating was removed last week.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Customs, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio told Talamua that the Attorney General’s Office has kept track of the incidents and have issued a warning to the nightclub owners whose action could lead to police charges.

Tuala has however refrained from the Tatiana issue as he has a conflict of interest being the President of the Returned Services Association (RSA) who owns the building that is leased to Tatiana Investments.

The bar and nightclub that is located next to the Nelson Public Library is located on Government land and is leased to the RSA who sub-leased their building to Tatiana Investments.

According to Tuala, the process is that Tatiana Investments pays lease to RSA and they in turn pay lease to the Government.

Because of his conflict of interest, the matter has been handled by the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o. She endorsed the order to prohibit the nightclub’s operation after the Liquor Board meeting last week found the nightclub has operated without a liquor license for sometime.

RSA nightclub
RSA nightclub

The RSA building in downtown Apia.

“The process of cancelling a business license was signed by the Minister of Finance, but Tatiana Investments failed to obey the order, opened the nightclub and allowed the Ministry of Police to have their siva night there.” Tuala explained.

RSA’s lease arrears
For many years, the RSA had a lease agreement with the Government. However, that changed when the previous Government tried to remove RSA from the land.

The past RSA President and Board fought and negotiated with the Government to retain the lease but by then, RSA arrears had already piled up from unpaid rent.

Tuala said Tatiana Investments owed more than $200,000 rent to RSA hence the legal action they took against Tatiana. According to Tuala, the company’s response however was that the renovation they did on the building costs more than $200,000 and were not going to pay any rent.

To complicate matters, the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MNRE) stepped in and asked Tatiana Investments to produce a lease agreement and charged RSA with a $30,000 monthly rent for the land.

Tuala said this warranted more negotiations and RSA were happy when they were offered the ground floor of a 7 storey building the Government announced in 2004 that it was going to build at where the RSA building stands today.

The 7 storey building project never happened and RSA is back to where it started. It is now going through further negotiations with the current Government and Tatiana Investments on its unpaid lease.

Requests for a comment from Tatiana Investments were unsuccessful as we went to print.