Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Khaiyum’s crony and junta supporter lined up to bid for Fiji Times


31 August 2010

Maharaj: source Sun Insurance
Coupfourpointfive has been reliably informed that Suva businessman, Dewan Maharaj, of Quality Print Limited has been lined up to negotiate the purchase of the Fiji Times, which the illegal Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, says must be sold to a citizen of Fiji.

Maharaj, who owns Fiji's largest commercial printing operation, was a prominent member of the junta’s illegal Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress, and is the President of the Sanatan Dharm in Fiji.

In August 2008, Maharaj openly supported Khaiyum’s claim that there was some support from the international community for the Peoples Charter. Endorsing the claim, Maharaj said that even if Australia and New Zealand do not accept the charter, countries like India and China are willing to help Fiji.

Links to Sun Insurance
The same Dewan Maharaj is one of the directors of Sun Insurance Ltd, who holds 200,000 shares, along with Padam Raj Lala, who owns 50,000 shares in Sun Insurance, the former National MBF Finance (Fiji) Ltd.

Recent Sun Alliance activity includes purchase of the Ports Authority headquarters building for  $3.2 million when it  was actually valued at $17 million.

Hypocritical Khaiyum profits from his own policies
While Khaiyum has repeatedly said the Fiji Times must be locally owned, he has had no qualm in selling his Berry Road property to Bright Star Investments Ltd which is owned by Tappoos. Two of Tappoos' BSI directors are listed as holding Australian and New Zealand citizenship.

Last year, Coupfourpointfive obtained the land transfer document showing that Khaiyum sold his Berry Road property to Tappoos for an inflated $810,000. Tappoos bought Khaiyum’s property at the ballooned figure in return for a deal which was revealed later in the 2010 budget.

The deal was that tourists could claim back only from duty free shops owned by Tappoos, VAT on duty free items. Coupfourpointfive obtained a copy of the Land Transfer lodged by a Suva law firm and signed by Khaiyum. It also carries the common seal or stamp of Latifa Investments. The document clearly shows that two lots owned by Latifa Investments were sold to BSI for $810,000.

Our sources established that Khaiyum bought the property for $350,000 in 2005. If this was true then Khaiyum made a profit of $460,000 in three years.

Bright Star Investments was formed in August 2005, and Suresh Lal Tappoo gave his citizenship as Australian and Yogesh Tappoo gave his as New Zealander.

Nepotism goes unchecked
Khaiyum, with his mother Latifa Khaiyum, formed Latifa Investments Ltd in March 2005. They gave their address as 40 Lovoni Road, Suva. The property is now heavily guarded by the police at taxpayers expense after a break-in in 2008.

The property in Berry Road, Suva used to be the office of Fiji Women's Crisis Centre before they moved to new headquarters just before the December 5, 2006 coup.

Remember that in August 2005 Khaiyum also filed a case against his neighbours the Fongs, in the High Court, claiming that he had the right to buy the property because they had promised to sell it to him. Yet another ruse, to acquire and sell at an inflated price through Latifa Investments Ltd?

Latifa is 99 per cent owned by Khaiyum and one per cent by his mother. On 15 March 2005 he informed the Registrar of Companies: “I, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum (father’s name Sayed Abdul Khaiyum) of Suva in the republic of Fiji Islands, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am a barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji engaged in the formation of Latifa Investments Limited .... and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and according to the Statutory Declarations Act 1970.”

It was signed before Commissioner of Oaths Mohini D Prasad, Barrister and Solicitor, Fiji. On 14 March 2005, another signature of his was witnessed by Volisa Lydia Elaisa, the legal secretary, Colonial Bank.

Particulars of mortgage dated 31 May 2005: $284,000, Property Mortgaged Lot 1 on DP 1280, Certificate of Title No 66993, with ANZ Bank.
On 23 August 2006, four months before be suddenly popped up as the illegal Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Latifa Investments secured a new mortgage of $675,0000 on the same above land title with National Bank, trading as Colonial National, Fiji.

Interestingly, Latifa Investments gave its registered office as C/- BDO Zarin Ali, Level 8, Dominion House, GPO Box 555, Suva, Fiji. One of the Managing Partners of BDO Zarin Ali, a chartered accounting firm, is Nur Bano Ali. She is Khaiyum's maternal aunt, sister of Khaiyum's mother Latifa.

BDO has been paying out the salaries of Cabinet Ministers. Our inquiries revealed that tenders or expressions of interest for the work were not advertised. 

Now, the power-hungry illegal bully boy is forcing the Fiji Times to sell to a local buyer, cronies of his own at that. We ask: who is this illegal pig head of a lawyer to demand the Fiji Times be locally owned when his Latifa company sold his Berry Road property to two people who hold Australian and New Zealand citizenships?

We note, too, that Latifa Investments Ltd has NOT submitted annual returns to the ROC for years 2007 &2008. The question needs to be asked - WHY NOT?

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