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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Fiji Revenue and Customs CEO resigns

Viswanath Das, the embattled Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Revenue & Customs Service has resigned from his post more than 3 years after being appointed.

We have been told that this comes after he, Faiz Khan and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum were seen together at the premises of FICAC - the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Remember last week FICAC cleared Khaiyum's aunt Nur Bano Ali of benefiting from $500,000 of taxpayers funds after rejecting the Auditor General and Fiji Court of Appeal findings that no tenders were called for the restructure of Rewa Dairy some years ago.

So what was cooked that saw Das resign. Why was Khaiyum's blue-eyed boy there in his master's company? And why did Khaiyum as Minister responsible for FICAC go to its office knowing it is an independent office - or is supposed to be seen to be independent?

Das and Faiz Khan have been implicated in allegations that they unlawfully authorised payment of legal fees to Haniff Tuitoga lawyers, to defend former FRCS Director Shameem Khan who is facing corruption charges. And both are implicated in allegations authorising payment of salary to Shameem Khan after he was charged and hauled to Court.

Is Khaiyum trying to save his friends just like he saved his aunt Nur Bano Ali? And has Das has become the sacrificial lamb to escape any charges?

Sources say most at FRCS don't know of this move and will only know after an announcement by either Das himself or the new FRCS Board.

So who is salivating at Das's resignation and thinks he will become the new CEO?

Enter Fazrul Rahman.

For almost two years until August 2018, Rahman was Director Corporate Management. In August 2018 he was appointed Director Revenue Management. Sources say this is when Das and Rahman didn't see eye to eye.

Sources say both of them started building their own inner circle and the power struggle saw FRCS operating as two entities instead of a unified body.

Das reportedly also had in his inner circle like Fane Vave, the Director Corporate Services who had succeeded Rahman after he was appointed Director Revenue Management. Then he had senior personalities like Kapil Raj who as we revealed made the payments to Haniff Tuitoga to defend Shameem Khan.

We have been told Vave has also resigned eight months into her new role following Das's resignation.

Rahman did not sit quietly either. He also went about building an inner circle and tried to undermine Das with his eye firmly fixed on the ultimate prize of the next CEO. And in his corner is also Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum who last year made sure Rahman return to his job after his contract was not renewed by Das.

Rahman went to Khaiyum, opened his laptop and revealed how Dass was practicing nepotism in making appointments, while all the time hiding his own acts of nepotism and favouritism.

We are aware that last year FRCS staff signed a petition and individual staff provided details of how Rahman was ill-treating them and at the same time displaying arrogance because he knew he had the hand of Khaiyum on his shoulder.

Sources say it will be a mighty relief to see both Das and Rahman go as their terms had expired. Das was re-appointed for a term of 3 months until April but we had predicted he wasn't going to last till then.

Meanwhile Rahman's inner circle includes his Deputies Shavindra Nath and Shalini Kumar whose absenteeism is ignored by Rahman. Sources they are in cohorts with Rahman in sabotaging revenue collection to undermine Das.

Another of Rahman's puppets, Mohamed Rizwan Khan has escalated from being a mere Customs Officer to Manager and is now being eyed for a lucrative post for secondment to UNTACD – the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development. We are told before becoming Rahman's puppet, Rizwan was Shameem Khan's boy and his relative who received the first promotion under Shameem Khan.

Sources day FRCS staff will be glad to see the back of both Das and Rahman. Sources add that the staff want Revenue and Customs to be separated to what it was two decades ago so there is no clash of responsibilities and personalities.

As separate entities there was an Inland Revenue Commissioner and a Comptroller of Customs.

Sources say there are many examples in the world where consolidation of both revenue making bodies hasn't worked. They point out that both Canada and Papua New Guinea have reverted to the original system of separating both entities after merging them didn't work.

They point out if this happened, there won't be the kind of nepotism, undermining or organisation and clash of personalities like what is being seen now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Exclusive: National Registration Bill leaked

A draft of the National Registration Bill shows that all citizens of Fiji will need to be registered, giving the government access to all your personal and private data.

Once it becomes law, this Bill will officially allow the government to spy on you.

The Bill (read its full contents at the end of this news) is authored by someone called "A" and the Minister responsible it is the Minister for Communications who is none other than Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. 

Aiyaz while editing the document seems to refer to Singapore's laws on the same.

Briefly, in the Bill:

  • All citizens are compelled to register
  • There are jail terms of five and 10 years and fines of $5000, $10,000 and $100,000 for corporate companies
  • No public official or organisation is liable for any type of prosecution or legal action for their commissions and failures that cause losses or damage to citizens
  • A police officer or the Registration Officer can enter and search any property including forcing and kicking open doors and windows of homes at any time if he suspects citizens of breaching provisions of the Bill
  • No person can use a rank, title or award in his or her name which means if your current name contains Ratu or Adi - you cannot use it in your National Identity Card
  • A citizen will be required to promise finger prints or hand prints, facial identity, Eye (Iris) ID) for this purpose
  • All government statutory organisations will be linked and can spy on on your identity.
  • Ironically the Ministry of Health that requires a patient number is not included but organisations such as Elections Office are

In simple terms, the government will have all your personal and private data, including your bank accounts and other assets like your home. You will be required to submit returns at whatever time the government requires of your home and property.

This is the new economically depressed Fiji that we are living in - being hounded and making being spied on lawful.

It is also very similar to what they are doing in Communist Countries like China.

Now read the Bill for yourself below.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Khaiyum's blue-eyed boy, Faiz Khan, part of corrupt dealings

Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum was in Singapore last week and early this week receiving two stents to treat his stressed heart.

The overworked heart would’ve been under the pump when he heard that his blue-eyed boy Faiz Khan could very soon be under the microscope of Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for his dealings while a Board Member of Fiji Revenue & Customs Service (FRCS).

A clear-cut case of abuse of office.
Faiz Khan: Under microscope

We have confirmed through reliable sources that on Monday 27th January, FICAC raided the law firm of Haniff Tuitoga lawyers at Garden City on Grantham Road, Raiwaqa, Suva.

The reason? Haniff Tuitoga lawyers were paid an undisclosed sum by FRCS to act as the defence lawyers for FRCS's suspended Director Compliance Intelligence & Investigation and Chief Ethical Officer, Shameem Khan, who was last year charged on corruption-related offences.

Shameem faces one out of abuse of office and one count of general dishonesty causing a loss. His trial will be held later this year.

The charges relate to allegations of him falsifying a investigation report causing FRCS more than $4 million loss in revenue.

We have confirmed that Haniff Tuitoga lawyers, whose partners are Faizal Haniff and Tomasi Tuitoga, were chosen by FRCS Board, particularly Faiz Khan to defend Shameem Khan and the law firm to be paid by FRCS using taxpayers funds.

Faiz Khan developed close ties with Shameem and we have been told by sources their ties started when Faiz Khan became a Board member with years ago. Sources say Faiz Khan, amongst other things, runs a family a trucking business that we are told is also given log carting business by Tropik Woods whose Chairman is Faiz Khan. The business also does work for Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Faiz Khan was using Shameem Khan to investigate and harass rivals to tarnish their names in order to promote the family business.

We are told he recommended Haniff Tuitoga as the law firm to represent Shameem Khan at taxpayer’s expense because as Airports Limited Executive Chairman, he had engaged the law firm for AFL. Even now when AFL has become Fiji Airports Limited and Faiz Khan as its CEO, Haniff Tuitoga are its lawyers.

How did this corrupt deal surface?

Sources have confirmed that almost two weeks ago FICAC entered the office of FRCS CEO Vishwanath Das and seized his laptop.

We have confirmed this happened after new FRCS Chairperson Faye Yee filed a complaint with FICAC to investigate alleged corrupt dealings in respect of abuse of taxpayers funds through payments to Shameem Khan while he was suspended was charged and had appeared in Court.

The new Board did not include Faiz Khan and its former Chairman, Ajith Kodagoda, who had used FRCS has its executioner against those they didn't like or rivals in business.

It is also confirmed that Das will be a short-term CEO, possibly until April if he is lucky, as he had authorised FRCS to continue paying Shameem Khan his full salary and until recently half salary. This full salary was in access of $130,000 per annum making Das also guilty of abuse of office like Faiz Khan.

We are told that the payment to Haniff Tuitoga lawyers was discovered after FICAC went through Das's laptop.

That is where the connection to Faiz Khan was discovered.

However, it must be remembered that the Minister responsible for FICAC is Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. Whether or not anything will happen to Faiz Khan is is your guess as good as ours.

Because so far FICAC hasn't moved against Khaiyum's aunt Nur Bano Ali over her benefiting to the tune of over $500,000 in fees as part of carrying out the restructure of New Dairy without a tender called for the task.

This is a wait and see game to see whether Khaiyum's blue-eyed boy Faiz Khan is hauled in for abuse of office or if Das is made the sacrificial lamb.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

DPP says sufficient evidence but no charges against Bainimarama

The DPP has now closed the investigation into Frank Bainimarama assaulting Pio Tikoduadua saying nothing further can be done since Parliament has already dealt with the situation.

Christopher Pryde says there was sufficient evidence of the assault for the case to go to court but since Parliament has already ruled on it, the matter cannot be dealt with in court since Parliament has higher powers.

The Speaker of the House, Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum would already have known, as we did, that if Parliament ruled, that would be the end of the investigation.

Yet another huge miscarriage of justice with Frank Bainimarama getting away with his thug behaviour yet again.

Still believe Fiji is a democracy where there is fairness, transparency, accountability, freedom of the press for all?

Hopefully those who support the Fiji First Government are coming to their senses and realise that there are 2 rules of law in Fiji - one for the citizens and the other which sets Frank Bainimarama and his merry men free of any criminal activities, even though they may be guilty of it.

Welcome to Fiji - the way the world shouldn't be.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Qiliho defends arrest of 16-year-old by soldiers

The Commissioner of Police, Sitiveni Qiliho, has come out today saying there was nothing wrong with two off-duty soldiers arresting a 16-year-old for allegedly “writing vulgar language” about Frank Bainimarama.

Qiliho quotes Section 131 (2) of the 2013 Constitution saying it is the overall responsibility of the RFMF to “ensure at all times the security, defence and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians”.

He adds this is not the first time that the army has assisted police in arresting persons of interest in relation to criminal offences such as drug-related offences.

What purpose does the Fiji Police Force serve if the military is doing their jobs?

Don’t the military have better things to do than engage in the arrest of minor offences? Other than peacekeeping duties there is no other purpose for the existence of the RFMF — hence ‘helping’ the police justifies their existence.

And the REAL question is why this 16-year-old is being targeted for writing something vulgar about Bainimarama on Facebook?

What about the video showing Frank Bainimarama assaulting Pio Tikoduadua – when will that justice be served Mr Qiliho?
Social media is rife with anti-Bainimarama comments – will all these thousands of people be arrested as well?

Fiji is not a democracy then is it Shammi Lochan.

Lochan, a Programme Manager at FBC which is headed by Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s brother, Riyaz, has announced a new programme on all six FBC stations from 8am-9am to identify fake news on social media.

FBC says “Fiji is a democratic country and there is no space for fake news in the country”.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bainimarama gets away with a crime, Pio asked to apologise

The Privileges Committee has ruled that both Bainimarama and Pio Tikoduadua issue apologies in Parliament and if they fail to do so, they will be suspended for 6 months.

As predicted, the Committee's decision saves Bainimarama from facing criminal charges for assaulting Pio.

The Committee only viewed the official CCTV footage provided by Parliament and not the video evidence we released.

Pio Tikodudua provided the committee with the video evidence we released but they did not take that into account.

Why should Pio apologise when he did not commit a crime?

And will Pio apologise - we don't think he should and he won't - this is a matter of principle and the crime was not committed by him.

The sad thing is that the victim - Pio - will then be suspended from Parliament instead.

Fiji's thug Prime Minister gets away with a crime AGAIN while his victims get punished.

From the Committee Report:

"After hearing evidence from Hon. Pio Tikoduadua, the Committee reviewed the CCTV footage again and noted that the Hon. Pio Tikoduadua only took one step back as opposed to being thrown back.

"The Committee established that there was no evidence of a forceful shove/push/touch from the Hon. Prime Minister as alleged by Hon. Pio Tikoduadua.

"The Committee noted from the Hon. Prime Minister’s testimony that he pulled the collar to attract his attention about what he said about him.

"Furthermore, whilst responding to Hon. Mosese Bulitavu’s question, “Can you recall what words did you say?”, the Hon. Prime Minister responded and said “Well I abused him.

"The Hon. Prime Minister further stated in his testimony that he was distraught and depressed.

"The Hon. Prime Minister admitted that he was remorseful. He realised that he was wrong and immediately on the same day at around 3.30 p.m. he apologised to the Hon. Speaker. He also advised the Hon. Speaker that he was willing to apologise to Hon. Pio Tikoduadua.

"In that regard, the Hon. Speaker attempted to arrange a meeting with Hon. Pio Tikoduadua and the Hon. Prime Minister but this meeting did not eventuate. Hon Prime Minister made another attempt to apologise to Hon. Pio Tikoduadua
a week later but was again unsuccessful.

"During the examination of the Hon. Prime Minister, the Committee noted that he was remorseful of his actions and again offered to apologise.

"When Hon. Pio Tikoduadua was asked by the Committee whether he would accept Hon. Prime Minister’s apology, he responded “Why should I apologise?” and later he replied that he will require time to think about it.

"When asked whether he would apologise to Hon. Prime Minister, he replied that he has done nothing wrong and therefore has nothing to apologise for.

"The Committee after hearing all evidence and considering all relevant matters is satisfied that there is a breach of privilege on the part of the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Pio Tikoduadua."

Full Report:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Privileges Committee report delayed to tomorrow

The Speaker of Parliament says the Privileges Committee has asked for more time to decide whether Frank Bainimarama is guilty of assaulting Pio Tikoduadua.

The Committee was supposed to present its report this morning in Parliament but will now instead present it tomorrow morning.

It's been 2 weeks since we released video evidence of the assault and almost a month since the incident happened outside Parliament.

Yet still no update from police on how the investigation into the assault is going.

The Police investigation should be ongoing even with the Privileges Committee having their meetings because a complaint was filed.

Yesterday Pio Tikodudua and Frank Bainimarama both appeared separately in front of the Committee to give their version of events.

We won't be surprised if the Committee believed Bainimarama's version of events over Pio's - even with the video evidence.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Are they in military barracks or are they elected MPs?

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has done a u-turn on the Privileges Committee not because it was the right thing to do but because it was a command from a senior officer.

"We wrote to the Speaker ... he wrote back and at the end he hoped that we would continue.

"On that note I agreed to continue because he had answered our concerns and he was coming to us as a Speaker of the House, and I'm a member of the House...

"I'm a leader of the Opposition, and I also go back to an old 'ism' that we observe in the military - an invitation by a senior officer is a command. I took that and was willing to carry on with the meetings today."

Rabuka also said that as the former head of the Fiji Military Forces he had attempted reconciliation between Bainimarama and Tikoduadua because he wanted the military men to set an example.

All three - Rabuka, the Speaker and Bainimarama are former military personnel.

The Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is also a former military guy.

We remind them that they are no longer in the military running soldiers - they are elected officials accountable to their voters and the law. Frank Bainimarama assaulted Pio Tikoduadua and the law is that he needs to be arrested and charged for that crime. 

Fiji has had two elections: they've been elected as representatives of the people of Fiji but continue to act like soldiers and treat Parliament like a military camp.

Rabuka: Resorting to military protocol to resolve what is clearly a police case.

SODELPA won't boycott Parliament

Opposition Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka has confirmed that he and SODELPA MP, Adi Litia Qionibaravi did not attend the first meeting of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee called at 1pm today to discuss Frank Bainimarama’s assault on Pio Tikoduadua.

Rabuka told Fiji media they will not be attending any of the committee meetings because he doesn’t want to jeopradise the outcome of any police investigation.

While this move is commendable, it would have been more strategic for Rabuka and the rest of the SODELPA MPs to boycott Parliament with NFP. From there, both should’ve continued to put pressure on the Police to investigate.

Because whatever way you look at it, Bainimarama and Khaiyum have so far managed to weasel their way out of Bainimarama being criminally charged for assault.

The Privileges Committee will continue without Rabuka and co because there is a majority of Fiji First reps on it, so they have a quorum and can make and pass decisions.

If SODELPA joins NFP in the boycott, it will at least send a clear message of unity and keep the heat on Police to do its job.

The NFP boycott is an excellent idea but shortlived; if they boycott for longer no doubt some law from somewhere will suddenly appear and deem the boycott illegal and then the suspension of those boycotting follows.

How can justice be served if the lawmakers themselves are guilty of the injustice?

The police have obviously had orders to drop the investigation and leave the Privileges Committee to rule on it. This is in Bainimarama’s favour and that of Fiji First, not Pio Tikoduadua and the citizens of Fiji.

There is video evidence there was an assault so:
  • Where is the legal challenge to passing the matter to the Privileges Commitee?
  • Where is the unity to defeat this decision?
  • Where is the Police neutrality?
  • Where is FICAC on this - why is it not investigating?

Where is the fire in the belly that we are seeing in Hong Kong?

Monday, September 2, 2019

Speaker refers Bainimarama assault case to committee not Police

First acknowledgement by Fiji Parliament of Bainimarama’s assault of Pio Tikoduadua was brief this morning with the Speaker referring the matter to the Privileges Committee.

The Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said there has been a breach by both Bainimarama and Tikoduadua.

What breach is this? The assault took place outside Parliament and there is video evidence of this. This is a Police matter - there is evidence and witnesses of the assault so why hasn’t there been an arrest?

The police should be charging Bainimarama not a Committee filled with a majority of Fiji First puppets tabling a report of the assault.

This is Bainimarama’s way out of the assault and not getting charged.

The committee has to come to parliament with its report on a Thursday.

Committee members are Deputy speaker and Fiji first MP Veena Bhatnagar as Chair, AG, Inia Seruiratu ( leader of government business in parliament ) and Alvick Maharaj ( government whip ) . Opposition Members are Leader of the Opposition and Adi Litia Qionibaravi.

So that’s 4 government reps including the Deputy Speaker and only two reps from the Opposition.

There you go folks another miscarriage of injustice in coup coup land where the PM Bainimarama and his Fiji First followers get away yet AGAIN.  

NFP have boycotted Parliament this week, 3 empty seats as you can see in the picture.