Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz Corruption under Spotlight

Posted on Coupfourpointfive - 20 February 2011

Aziz business dealings under the microscope

Leaks of conflict of interests and corruption in the business dealings of one of the illegal regime's key military figures, Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, keep surfacing and resurfacing.
It's been revealed that:
a) Aziz borrowed $2.5 million from Merchant Finance while he was chairman of the company and still on the Fiji Holdings Ltd board. The money was used to build his wife's medical centre in Rewa Street.

The work was done by 4R Electrical, a Ba based company owned by Rishi Kumar, the president of the Ba Football Association. 4R Electrical is the same company that is under scrutiny for the work they did for Fiji Pine.

b) Friend Sanjeev Pal's wife was given a $500,000 loan by Merchant Finance, which was used to buy a home. Pal was running Hunts Travel before it shut down a few years ago.

c) Like former FHL CEO Sereana Qoro, Aziz double dipped - he was paid by the illegal government and received a board fee as well.

Sereana Qoro was accused of using Basic Industries bungalow while claiming her house was being renovated. She also reportedly has a homestay on Ovalau Island.

d) It's claimed Aziz, former employee Aiyaz Muza (the worker who got the golden handshake and car) and acting FHL CEO, Nouzab Fareed, made multiple overseas junkets and reportedly ran up thousands of dollars of credit card bills in Singapore, Dubai and India.

e) It's also claimed that excesses included 10 Indian staff staying at a Holiday Inn for more than 8 months at a daily rate of $200 during the BP Oil deal. An extra room was apparently hired for the use of Fareed, Aziz and Muza.

f) A businessman has also told us he was offered a business loan but was told he'd have to pay 10 per cent in kickbacks. He says he was told the loan would guarantee access to FHL tenders, government and military tenders. Says he was told the tax breaks would be arranged with Bainimarama, Sayed Khaiyum and Aziz.

Coupfourpointfive revealed this week that Aziz was one of the military personnel fingered by the regime in a plot to overthrow the illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, last year.
Military sources revealed the plot came to light after con man Ben Padarath was interviewed over fraud dealings with lawyer, Renee Lal, involving a Ghanian businessman.
Evidence was found at Padarath's Suva house but the regime is in a dilemma about taking action because a trial would reveal the widespread scale of corruption and fallout in their midst. 

When Aziz resigned from the FHL board last month citing 'personal reasons', he used the same line Bainimarama later used when he said the investigation into FHL had wrapped up: 'Let's just leave it at that.'

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