By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier
C-Inc boss Chris Cheung has completely rejected media reports linking the family of corrupt former Labor MP Eddie Obeid with his pub group’s acquisition and ownership of the Cruise Bar at Circular Quay.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating claims into disgraced former minister Eddie Obeid’s alleged efforts to influence the ownership of lucrative leases around Circular Quay, which include the three-storey venue now known as Cruise Bar, in the Overseas Passenger Terminal complex.
The venue leasehold was acquired by Cheung in 2001 for $1.5 million and opened as Cruise Bar in December that year after a renovation costing more than $5 million.
Media reports today claimed a close associate of Eddie Obeid’s son Moses previously disclosed that Cheung was “installed” at Cruise Bar in 2002 at the behest of Moses Obeid, who was alleged to have a financial interest in the venue.
Cheung admits to having known Moses Obeid for 25 years, but has adamantly maintained to TheShout that the Obeids have “absolutely no involvement in any of [our] businesses”.
C-Inc reportedly experienced problems with the famously bureaucratic Ports Authority prior to the purchase and Cheung does not deny visiting “Eddie and other ministers” in his attempts to seek a resolution.