FijiFirst Party leader Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Khaiyum protected their Finance Minister Chaudhry to the last wire - denying that he had $2million dollars in his Sydney bank account
Reserve Bank of Fiji had failed to act upon Victor Lal’s 2007 submission. In an e-mail dated 10 August 2007 Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter had advised Victor Lal to provide Chaudhry’s tax documents to the Reserve Bank of Fiji's Financial Unit (RBF). Victor Lal duly obliged and submitted his own legal opinion to the RBF that Chaudhry might have breached various provisions of the Exchange Control Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act. Like FICAC, the Prime Minister’s Office, and Chaudhry himself, the RBF neither replied nor acknowledged Victor Lal’s letter or the tax documents.
VICTOR LAL to Interim Prime Minister FRANK BAINIMARAMA re Tax Scams inside FIRCA and Mahendra Chaudhry, 4 February 2008:
“Further to my previous communication in which I insisted that an analysis of the tax records of Mr Mahendra Chaudhry clearly establishes tax evasion, I want to re-iterate that I have no political agenda against anyone, as FIRCA continues to assert, regarding my stories in the Fiji SUN of tax evaders, and whom FIRCA is protecting.
Mahendra Chaudhry: As I stated previously, I still stand by my claims, and I have obtained further details from the Australian authorities that he has monies in Australian banks and had failed to declare the interests he received there to FIRCA. He is yet to account for the thousands of dollars he collected worldwide for the Cyclone Ami funds. I wrote to him in 2006, asking him to open up the books in relation to the funds held in the Bank of Baroda - to date he has not responded.
Fiji Water: Regarding Fiji Water, those involved in the case include the former director of Fiji Water, Mr Kubs, Mr Lyne (who was Mr Kub's expert witness in the case that Mr Kubs lost and FIRCA lawyer Michael Scott (who had given advice to Mr Kubs).
Now, FIRCA is threatening to take legal action against me. Well, I look forward to the opportunity, for perhaps what they are trying to prevent me from exposing, I will be able to expose in a court of law. On law, FIRCA’s own legal consultant, who is most likely to frame charges against me, has been found to have failed to declare $630,000 in consulting fees from FIRCA and RBF over the period June 2004 and October 2007.
According to FIRCA sources, who are disgusted with the double standard, corruption, and nepotism in their organisation claim that Mr Scott’s assessed bill still stood, with additional penalties for late payments now totalling $154,000.
The Debt Collection Department is too frightened to approach him. While admitting tax liability to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Mr Scott instead launched a vicious attack on the officer who audited him during the recent audit of FIRCA staff, calling him, according to evidence I have on me, incompetent, ignorant and someone who was full of malice against Mr Scott.
Many FIRCA officers are horrified because according to them this was the very officer who was tasked by their CEO Mr Jitoko Tikolevu and Mr Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum to investigate Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki’s tax records and had concluded that he (Justice Fatiaki) evaded taxes, and should therefore be charged with 26 counts of tax evasion - the matter is now a subject of a public enquiry.
Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki and Income Tax Act: Well, if Mr Tikolevu, Mr Filipe Bole previously, and now Mr Chaudhry claim that a taxpayer’s records are private and cannot be obtained without the permission of the taxpayer, then why Mr Fatiaki's tax records, to the minute details, was released by Mr Khaiyum for public consumption?
Did FIRCA or the A-G or Michael Scott seek Justice Fatiaki’s permission before making it public? The truth is that there is a general apprehension that I am inching closer to the big sharks in FIRCA, including Mr Chaudhry, so the best defence is to attack the messenger, discredit me by accusing me of having a political agenda, and then to hide behind the cloth of legalism.
Tax Scam inside FIRCA: The FIRCA Board member is none other than Mr Chaudhry’s relative and appointee Mr Arvind Datt who was the subject of my front page story in the Sunday SUN. I had nothing to do with the FIRCA tender story - for that is not my area of investigation. Mr Datt has been threatening staff, I am told, and only got caught for falsely claiming rental loss on his property because he was harrying the staff to speed up his returns. I have incontrovertible evidence to support my claims that he evaded tax but was caught out.
I am told that there never was any investigation into Chaudhry’s tax matter and that Mr Bole, as chairman of FIRCA, blatantly lied to you that Mr Chaudhry was in the clear. I call upon you to ask Mr Chaudhry, Mr Datt, Mr Scott and Mr Tikolevu to step down so that a thorough investigation by an independent investigator of our choice can look into their tax records.
I still do not understand what is it that is making you so protective of Mr Chaudhry, who is simply abusing his position, and so are his supporters inside FIRCA, while identifying and pursuing his political opponents, according to those inside FIRCA.
The scale of the scandal and tax fraud committed by FIRCA top brass in fact calls for a Commission of Inquiry, which could even bring down your government if I decide to go public on the Doctrine of Public Interest like you invoked the Doctrine of Necessity to execute your December 5 2006 coup.
Let me put it the other way. It took your illegal coup to finally catch the highest judicial officer in the land, Justice Fatiaki, who now admits to irregularities in his tax returns. A report into his tax files concluded that he could be charged with criminal tax offence because “The offence was wilful as Mr Fatiaki prepared his own tax returns and was not misled into the omission by a tax agent or other person. Mr Fatiaki signed the tax returns personally including the declaration that the returns were “true and complete”. The declaration will be tendered as evidence before the court by the very FIRCA officer, who also audited Mr Scott and Datt and found that they had not honestly declared their tax returns.
So the nation is entitled to ask you why should Mr Fatiaki be hauled before a public inquiry and those around Mr Chaudhry inside FIRCA, the likes of Mr Datt and Mr Scott should be untouchables, including Mr Chaudhry.
Independent Commission of Inquiry: I am sorry to have been too long but the gravity of the scandal inside FIRCA is so deep that it needs to be highlighted. It’s time you acted against these people, and it is in their own interests to clear their names, for evidence on me, in the form of their tax files, tell a very different story.
We cannot invoke Section 4 of the Tax Act and allow them to hide, for do you really believe that they will grant me permission to analyse their tax records, if it was so, Justice Fatiaki would have been caught out long ago.
I am willing to fully co-operate with any independent investigator provided all those mentioned are suspended from their positions, including Mr Chaudhry, and failing to do so I relish meeting FIRCA in a court of law where I will be able to produce irrefutable evidence of, what appears from their tax files, systematic tax evasion by these individuals!"
Bainimarama attacks Victor Lal at press conference on 24 February 2008 and defends his Finance Minister Chaudhry. The same night his military thugs kidnap Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter, take him into military custody and next day deport him out of Fiji:
THIS MORALLY CORRUPT LAWYER, FORMER ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND FLP CANDIDATE DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE SITTING IN
MORALLY UNSCRUPULOUS OPPORTUNIST:
Meanwhile, BLACK OUT - WHAT BLACK OUT
FijiFirst Party & other political parties still breaching Election Decree:
September 15, 2014
Fijian Electoral Commission
Fijian Elections Office
ATTN: MR CHEN BUNN YOUNG
BREACH OF SECTION 63 OF ELECTORAL DECREE
The National Federation Party urges you to direct your immediate attention to breaches of Section 63 of the Electoral Decree 2014 during the campaign blackout period that came into force at 7.30am today.
Fiji First, SODELPA, Fiji Labour Party and People’s Democratic Party are breaching the Decree in the manner namely:-
1. There are taxis still carrying Fiji First windscreen stickers. They have been sighted in Suva and in Nadi.
2. Banners of Fiji First have been sighted in Nausori, Wainibuku and Sigatoka at 1pm today
3. District Offices of Fiji First including the head office in Brown Street are prominently displaying Fiji First colours and their signboards Fiji First colours have not been removed or covered at 1.30pm today.
4. Fiji First Facebook page and website are still online and not disabled or de-activated at 1.35pm today.
5. Fiji Labour Party website and Facebook page are still online and not disabled or de-activated at 1.36pm today.
6. SODELA website and Facebook pages are still online and not disabled or de-activated at 1.37pm today.
7. People’s Democratic Party website and Facebook pages are still online and not disabled or de-activated at 1.38pm today.
These are sufficient breaches for the Commission to take action. We are sure that candidates of the above parties have also not de-activated their social media sites. But the above are breaches committed by the individual Parties.
Section 63(2) of the Electoral Decree clearly prohibits this. This was also highlighted in the Electoral Commission’s press release dated 12th September. The press release also pointed that it was an offence for failure to comply with this provision.
We now urge you to enforce Section 63 of the Decree and penalties for the breaches.
c.c. 1. Supervisor of Elections
2. Commissioner of Police
4. Multinational Observer Group