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“Land Thiefing” is getting out of hand

The plan detailing the Crown land on St John’s Street that was sold in controversial fashion

A longstanding surveyor in Grenada has warned that criminal activities including possible murder will eventually take place in Grenada over squabbles due to problems with land title on the island.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, the Surveyor charged that some members of the Legal Profession are active participants in facilitating persons who are engaged in moving to the court to lay their hands on questionable plots of land through the Possessory Land Title act.

The so-called “Land Thiefing” issue has resurfaced following the alleged sale of lands vested by the State in the Grenada National Lottery Authority (GNLA) on St John’s Street in the city, by a female to an India businessman for a reported fee of EC$2.2 million.

The issue came to the fore after the businessman reportedly attempted to sell the property to another colleague and ran into problems over title deeds.

According to the Land Surveyor, Land Titling and Research at the Supreme Court Registry “is a very difficult thing in this country.”

“We have some serious issues – something has to be done about it. A surveyor neck and a lawyer neck (are) going to go on the ground just now,” he quipped.

“….This thing is very, very serious. People just going and survey people’s land and all kinds of things,” he said.

The surveyor charged that the Possessory Title act is now becoming “the main source” of earning for many lawyers on the island.

A senior lawyer told THE NEW TODAY that he is aware of a possessory title land transaction in rural Grenada covering 15 acres of land in which the fee for his colleague was 5 acres of the land.

The Surveyor also shed some light on a controversial plot of land on St John’s Street that was vested with Lotto and ended up in the hands of an Indian businessman.

He said the land was originally part of the District Board when Local Government was working on the island in the 1960’s.

“When the District Board was dissolved it (the land) automatically came under the Crown,” he added.

The Surveyor disclosed that the land was then leased to a family that was living on Upper Lucas Street in St George and then to a businessman who operated a shop on the Crown Land selling wholesale and retail goods.

He referred to the passage of a law known as Act No.22 of 2016, which prohibited anyone from laying a claim against Crown Land.

Prior to that, he said the person had to prove that they were on the land for 60 years undisturbed.

THE NEW TODAY also contacted a Surveyor who did some work in the disputed area in 2009.

The Surveyor said he did some work on a plot of land (for name of female withheld) at the back of the area set aside for Lotto.

He recalled that another Surveyor did the survey for the whole plot of land in the disputed area.

“I surveyed 1629 sq. ft of land in the front …. I am now seeing a plan for the whole thing –both the front and back – the whole thing,” he said.

“What I noticed is that the people (who sold the Lotto land) produced one plan to do the Statutory Declaration,” he added.

THE NEW TODAY has seen a Court Order in which the daughter of the female was able to get a high court judge to allow her to take charge of the land including the portion vested by the State to GNLA under the Possessory Title Act.

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