MERIT TEST FOR (SELECTIVE) FIJIFIRST PARTY CANDIDATES BUT BLIND EYE TO DONORS DESPITE HAVING AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORT ON HIM; CASH DONATIONS TO PARTY WERE USED AS SLUSH FUNDS TO ENTERTAIN PUBLIC AND TO BANKROLL CANDIDATES CAMPAIGNS AND TO MASSAGE PARTY FINANCIAL BOOKS
The FijiFirst Party headquarters building is owned by Bhavesh Patel, director of R C Manubhai. According to RCM employees, all maintenance and painting was done by RCM, Suva. This building used to be owned by Ajax Fasteners which was bought by RCM:
Bhavesh Patel was the first fundraiser for FijiFirst in BA back in April 2014 when he reportedly raised $1m for the Bainimarama/Khaiyum Party; in 2010 Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy, now FFP Education Minister, had ordered raid, after obtaining court order, of
R C Manubhai office re hardware supplies market
The Auditor General’s report on the Provincial Development ministry’s accounts reveal their records are a complete black hole. The Auditor General could not confirm how much money was received and how much was spent. Included in the list of failures is this: “Kasabia’s Ltd and R.C Manubhai were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for supply of building materials which were not fully delivered to recipients.” Doesn’t this sound just like the Agscam that Bainimarama went on and on about?
The audit also couldn’t ascertain that all receipts and payments have been accurately accounted and disclosed in the main trust – while the ministry’s general ledger shows $5m cash at bank, the bank statement only accounts for $1.9m. The Provincial Development Ministry also did not reconcile the Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation trust fund because no expense ledger was maintained.
Projects for individual communities that have given their one third deposits have been delayed for as much as ten years. 70 projects under the Rural Housing Assistance Scheme with more than $200,000 in contributions haven’t been implemented. It’s the same for 9 projects under the Prime Minister’s Relief and Rehabilitation Project and 5 self help projects.
An inspection of stores at Top-Yard Walu Bay, revealed unaccounted building materials and other items stacked outside the yard, deteriorating due to wear and tear. Tropical Cyclone Rehabilitation materials received in 2011 were still not delivered to those affected in the Northern Division. The audit report says the Provincial Development Ministry has poor control over the administration of Tropical Cyclone Evans Housing Rehabilitation operation in the West – blanket approvals were issued to suppliers without purchase orders – without any ceiling amount for costs.
Kasabia’s Ltd and R.C Manubhai were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for supply of building materials which were not fully delivered to recipients. Source: FBC News.
Fiji Sun shareholder one of the targets of Commerce Commission’s price fixing investigation raid
Coupfourpointfive investigation into one of the three shareholders in the Fiji SUN reveals that it was one of four hardware giants which the Commerce Commission officers had raided after it had refused to co-operate with the Commission. The company has been accused of price fixing and reaping of Fijian provinces by selling merchandize at exorbitant and inflated prices.
We may recall that on 29 July 2010 we ran a special investigation titled “Hard questions asked about the Fiji Sun: Who are behind the dictator Frank Bainimarama and his egoist poodle Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's coup propagandist outlet, The Fiji Sun?” At that stage, we were not able to locate the file on one of the shareholders – Sunbury Ltd.
The Fiji SUN: Behind the Scene Movers and Shakers
On 30 March 1999, at a duly constituted meeting of Linkage (Fiji) Ltd, the company resolved to change its name to SUN (Fiji) News Ltd. On 7 May 1999, the following were registered as directors of Linkage (Fiji) Ltd: Manoj Kumar f/n Chandar Kumar, general manager, resigned 30/3/99; Karan Prasad f/n Shiu Prasad, manager, resigned 30/3/99; Sundip Patel f/n Jayantilal Patel, company director and Jayantilal Patel f/n Chotabhai Patel, company director.
On 1 June, at an extraordinary general meeting of SUN (Fiji) News Ltd, it was resolved as follows: ‘That the share capital of the company be increased to the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) by the creation of additional share capital to the amount of Nine Hundred Ninety Seven Thousand Dollars ($99,000) divided into 997,000 ordinary shares of $1 each and ranking Pari Passu (one series of equity will have the same rights and privileges as another series of equity) to the existing ordinary capital in all other respects.'
The share capital of the company “shall be $1,000,000 (One Million) Dollars divided into One Million (1,000,000) ordinary shares of $1each”. The allottee was named as Sunbury Ltd, P. O. Box 165, Suva, with 349,998 ordinary shares. On 11 June 2009, SUN (Fiji) News had a mortgage with the Westpac Banking Corporation of Twenty Million and Sixty Nine Thousand Dollars ($20,069,000.00).
The Directors were listed as follows: Sundip Patel, Sitiveni Weleilakeba (represting Fijian Holdings Ltd) and Pravin Patel. The Secretaries were the Sri Lankan and present chairman of the FNPF, Ajith Kodagoda and Sanjaya Peiris.
The Annual Return of the SUN (Fiji) News Ltd for 2008 reveals the following past and present members: Jayanti Patel, Sundip Patel, Ba Provincial Holding Ltd (5,000 Preference shares), Fijian Holdings Ltd, 500,000 Preference Shares, C J Patel and Co Ltd 2,340,88 (Preference) and 200,775 (Ordinary Shares); Vinod Patel & Co Ltd 159,110 (Preference Shares) and Sunbury Ltd. Total: 3,004,998 (Preference) and 200,777 Ordinary shares.
Sunbury Ltd: Behind the Headlines
Now, a further investigation into Sunbury reveals that while Kodagoda is his secretary, the company directors are Sundip Patel and Pravin Patel. While Sundip Patel is listed as owning one ordinary share, C J Patel and Company holds 179,999 shares in Sunbury, Tony Singh 20,000 and Vinod Patel and Company holds 150,000 shares.
Basically, these companies have cleverly held shares in the Fiji SUN through subsidiary companies – in other words, cross ownership – the much reviled practise, which the illegal Justice Minister has turned a blind eye to, while trying to close down the Fiji Times.
Raid on Vinod Patel and Company Offices
Interestingly, one of the shareholders in Sunbury is Vinod Patel and Co, one of the four companies which were raided by officers of the Commerce Commission in June after it had failed to co-operate with the Commission’s investigation of the hardware supplies market.
Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy had said the companies, Carpenters Hardware, Vinod Patel, R C Manubhai and Suncourt Hardware had failed to provide information pertinent to the investigation.
“They were normal procedures where the companies failed to comply with our requests so we sought court orders and conducted the raids to get the information," Dr Reddy said.
He said the companies had been given ample time to respond to the commission's request. Two weeks ago the deadline for our requests expired and they still had not responded," Dr Reddy said. Edited version.