Kasabia's managing director Arvind Kasabia was fund-raiser for FijiFirst Party with civil engineer Sanjay Kaba of HL Jacob Ltd, the head of the party's donation collection committee
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; FijiFirst has it rent free!
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
Bhavesh Patel was the first fundraiser for FijiFirst in BA back in April 2014 when he reportedly raised $1m for the Bainimarama/Khaiyum Party;
RCM also donated $250,000 per vision group shareholders (Jacks, Automart); 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.
Suncourt Hardware's Bhikha is now out of prison and working as a consultant to Fiji Corrections Service for $3,000 per month:
“Those who want to be considered to be in the interim government will have to make an undertaking that they will not stand in the next election… One of the faults of the transition from 2000 to the next government was that the interim government then, formed a political party, that became the SDL and they used their positions in the interim government to gain political support..this contributed to what was now widely known as the agriculture scam."
Frank Bainimarama, Fiji Times, 19 December 2006
"Yet another motivation seems to be the agriculture-scam trial, now under way in the courtroom of Justice Shameem. PM Qarase and several Ministers from his previous government have been called as witnesses. The defendant is a former Agriculture CEO who allegedly facilitated pork-barrel transfers to ethnic-Fijian districts in the lead-up to Fiji's 2001 elections that confirmed Qarase's place as PM. So far, it is not clear at all that any Qarase Minister will be indicted, though there are plenty of rumors of malfeasance from that time. Several newspaper editorials have pointed out that Bainimarama's call for resignations appears very premature." US Ambassador Larry Dinger to Washington, on Bainimarama's motivating factors for a coup!
"It indeed does. And we are not satisfied that the complete picture has emerged. The audit report, we are still investigating that. As you know, we raised this issue way back in 2010 that at least two ministers, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General, have approved for themselves huge bank Visas, reportedly at that point in time each one of them was getting more than a million dollars and the salary was paid through a private accounting firm and not the finance ministry. And the private accounting firm had close connections with the Attorney General. These allegations of ours have not been denied or refuted and despite repeated demands that they table the audited accounts of the salaries have not been met. Of course this is what happens when you're not held accountable for a long period of time, and suddenly they release this report. And I don't think much will happen, because nothing has changed after the elections as far as we are concerned. It is the same mob backing, and they will do the same thing again." Mahendra Chaudhry to Radio NZ International, 24 October 2014
The Fiji Labour Party leader says the Auditor General's report into government spending over the last seven years details blatant financial mismanagement and breaches of law. It is the first time the government's spending has been made public since before the 2006 coup. Mahendra Chaudhry says there is a lot to be explained by the authorities and overspending by some government department's is just one of the issues. He told Mary Baines there have been instances where money has been transferred from a particular allocation to another area.
MAHENDRA CHAUDHRY: It is quite a voluminous document, looking through some eight years of accounts. It will take a little while before we are through with it. It is very important that we go through them thoroughly in order to see what actually occurred in those eight years.
MARY BAINES: Do you trust that they are genuine audits, they haven't been doctored in any way?
MC: Well, this can only be commented on by the Auditor General himself. One of the things that the committee that we have appointed will be doing is, we will be seeking an interview with the Auditor General to check these facts out.
MB: Some areas of the report have shown a cause for concern, including the audit of military spending in 2007, which shows it spent 23 million US dollars over its allocated budget. What areas are you concerned with in the report?
MC: The areas, particularly where overspending has occurred, areas where money has been transferred from a particular location to other locations for which it was not intended. There has been blatant breaches of the Finance Management Act and the management of government finances and these will need to be properly scheduled so that we can come up with something, which will be an informative document to tell the people exactly how serious these lapses were and whether there was any undue intent behind such spending.
MB: You were Finance Minister in 2007. Were you aware of that military spending?
MC: The military has always operated independently of the finance ministry. Attempts in the past to get the military to assimilate its accounting system with that of the finance ministry did not succeed. They have always operated independently of the finance ministry and this was one of the reasons why the overspending was not being properly monitored, could not be properly monitored.
MB: The pay of ministers and the Prime Minister, do you think the audit shows any cause for concern on that?
MC: It indeed does. And we are not satisfied that the complete picture has emerged. The audit report, we are still investigating that. As you know, we raised this issue way back in 2010 that at least two ministers, the Prime Minister and the Attorney General, have approved for themselves huge bank Visas, reportedly at that point in time each one of them was getting more than a million dollars and the salary was paid through a private accounting firm and not the finance ministry. And the private accounting firm had close connections with the Attorney General. These allegations of ours have not been denied or refuted and despite repeated demands that they table the audited accounts of the salaries have not been met. Of course this is what happens when you're not held accountable for a long period of time, and suddenly they release this report. And I don't think much will happen, because nothing has changed after the elections as far as we are concerned. It is the same mob backing, and they will do the same thing again.