#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Third Infantry army chief, Uluilakeba Mara, sent on leave by Military Council

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Third Infantry army chief, Uluilakeba Mara, sent on leave by Military Council

By Victor Lal

The all powerful Military Council has sent one of its very own on military leave pending an investigation into various allegations against him.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, the youngest son of the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and chairman of the Lau Provincial Council, and Commanding Officer of the Third Infantry Regiment, has been sent on leave according to highly placed military sources.

Uluilakeba Mara had a key position in the Fijian military, as he controlled the infantry division and its 500-strong gun-carrying soldiers.

In recent weeks, Coupfourpointfive has revealed how Uluilakeba Mara, while acting as chairman of the Lau Provincial Council, has also been involved in different business companies. He is one of the directors of Lomaloma Resort Limited, which owed the collapsed National Bank of Fiji $187,000.

Uluilakena Mara also holds 9,000 Class A Shares in the Lauans only Yatu Lau company, whose chairman is his sister, Adi Koila Mara, the wife of the President of Fiji.

Uluilakeba Mara, on 21 September 2007, also formed with his sister Ateca Ganilau, the wife of the illegal Minister of Defence and former army commander Epeli Ganilau, the Ika Vuka shipping company, and along with other Mara siblings holds 16% shares in the company.

In 2009, Uluilakeba Mara’s Lau Provincial Council and Ika Vuka were behind the purchase of the MV Lau Trader, a million dollar vessel with a capacity for 300 passengers. We were told the vessel was bought through a newly-formed Lau Shipping Company through its three stakeholders, two already mentioned above, and the district of Lakeba. To date, no records have been found on the Lau Shipping Company in the Registrar of Companies.

RFMF Act and Military Officers Engaged in Business Dealings
We may also recall that the former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has been charged with eight offences, including allegations he abused his position as Director of Fijian Holdings Ltd, and as member of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs.

We wonder whether Uluilakeba Mara, by engaging in business dealings while simultaneously leading the Third Infant Regiment, can be charged for any offence. Has he violated the Fiji Military Forces Act? Has he violated the Public Servant Act? Or does not Uluilakeba Mara come within the definition of Public Servants? If not, can he, however, be charged under S(106) of the Penal Code and related Decrees, over his business activities?

Unlike the Public Service Act, the penal code definition of persons’ employed in the Public Service includes all personnel belonging to the Military Forces of Fiji. S (106) says the charge of official corruption can be laid against a public servant who corruptly asks for, solicits, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any person on account of anything already done or omitted to be done or afterwards done by the discharge of the duties of his office.

Ratu Epeli Ganilau and RFMF Act
The same questions can be raised about Uluilakeba’s brother-in-law and present Defence Minister Epeli Ganilau who, while serving as Commander of the RFMF, had established the Cakaudrove Provincial Holdings Ltd. According to company records, CPHL was formed on 5 October 1995. The two directors named were as follows: Ratu Epeli Ganilau, FMF Commander, Director of Cakaudrove Provincial Holdings Ltd, and Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Cabinet Minister, Director of CPHL. Sitiveni Weleilakeba was listed as secretary to the company.

Epeli Ganilau had formed CPHL while simultaneously holding down the position commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces. He resigned his army post effective from 28 February 1999. Again, why is Epeli Ganilau not in Court along with Weleilakeba, whose charges have been consolidated with former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase?

The prosecution claimed in its grounds for consolidation that
Qarase and Weleilakeba used their positions in Fijian Holdings Limited to cause unlawful allotment of FHL shares to their companies, namely, Q-Ten Investments Limited owned by Qarase and Stiks Holdings Limited owned by Weleilakeba, and to companies held by other individuals who were ineligible at the time to purchase FHL shares. 

Weleilakeba, while acting as secretary of Ganilau’s CPHL, was also CEO of Fijian Holdings Ltd, with no voting right on FHL. Why, one may ask, is the DPP only focusing on Qarase and Weleilakeba? Moreover, what about the shares that Qarase bought in the Mara-Ganilau controlled Yatu Lau Company, of which he was the original founders.

For the charge sheet reads that between 1992-1995 Qarase as director of FHL, member of the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the GCC, bought 200,000 Class A shares from FHL for his family company Q-Ten Investments Limited.

Count two: As director of FHL, member of FAB and advisor to the GCC, Qarase in 1992, applied for shares from FHL for Q-Ten Investments and, in his capacity as director approved the allotment of shares without declaring his interest to FHL, FAB and the GCC.

Count three: As director FHL, FAB member and GCC advisor, Qarase between November 1991 and June 1992, applied through Cicia Plantation Co-Op Society Limited for Class A shares in FHL and approved the allotment of shares to the company in his capacity as a director FHL. He carried this out without declaring his interest in CPCS to FAB, FHL and GCC.

Count four: Qarase as director FHL, advisor to the GCC and FAB member applied for Class A shares at FHL through Mavana Holdings Limited. He approved the allotment and at the same time failed to disclose his interest in Mavana Investments Limited to FHL, FAB and GCC.

Coupfourpointfive's special investigation (still more to come) on Yatu Lau Class A shareholders had yielded surprising results. Among others, it has been revealed that the very years Qarase is being accused of abuse of office, he had bought two shares in Yatu Lau; his Q-Ten Investments had bought 7,000 shares; Mavana Investment Limited 15,000 shares, and Cikia Plantation Coop Society owned 48,867 Class A shares in Yatu Lau. Why, then, is their selectivity in the framing of charges on the part of the DPP?

What about Uluilakeba Mara and Epeli Ganilau and the RFMF Act and their business activities?
Coupfourpointfive could not obtain comments from Uluilakeba Mara and the Ministry of Defence regarding Uluilakeba being sent on leave by the Military Council. It's believed, however, that Mara has been sent on leave for three months effective from September 8.


mark manning said...

Well, it finally looks like the Military Council is beginning to see this coup for what it really is, a greedy grab for wealth title and power.
Now the process of returning Fiji to normalcy can begin.

Anonymous said...

Bout time MC displayed some balls -
bacause where this gangs currently leading has only one ending.

TheMaxi said...

Thats the way dictators operate, don't leave someone too long in such a position of power. Before he becomes entrenched to be able to challenge the Vore. The next one will be some green joker who will serve Vore for the promotin in rank and status. All for stability, development democracy, Fiji stylle

Anonymous said...

As they say,"qori, sa tu na da!!".Ului is the dumbest MTF I have seen because he joined his stupid wannabe high chiefs tavales in Ganilau and Nailatikau in this equally stupid coup.

These two losers were responsible for committing treason against his father Ratu Mara on May 29, 2000 along with that other dumbass Bainimarama.

Ului should remember that the time is near when he will hear the words."Mara,rai ki Beqa"

Joe said...

This is double standards. When Chaudhary was implicated, there was this swift action by the AG of engaging a lawyer and an accountant from OZ to clear him within 3 days, only to face the music later, as we all know. Something is definitely brewing. The only conclusion I can make for now is that the 3IFR is full of dumb arses who cant stand up for their master. Simply put, if Ratu Ului is to be taken to task, why are the likes of Aiarse, Kubuabola and Ganilau etc. exempted?

mark manning said...

@ joe
my guess is, Sayed has some dirt on Frank and Co. that's why Sayed is having his ugly arse covered by the RFMF.
The stupid soldiers of the RFMF, don't even realise that they are cattle fodder for Frank and Sayed.

Anonymous said...

May be Frank is worried that Ului will take over from him....back to square one again, Maras and Ganilaus dynasty, Part II! Have anybody thought of Koila Nailatikau becoming Fiji's first female pressie!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes Frank is worried....last week Frank also sent SSP Rt Tevita Uluilakeba (Mara's cousin brother) Commanding Officer of the Police Nasinu based Ready Action Unit (RAU) on leave too. The two cousins were planning to overthrow Vore in the near future.

Unknown said...

OK Guys, what happen now-that boci Ului has flew the coup,if he had balls he'd have stuck it out!But like the dumb ass he is, put his tail between his ass and get the hell out of the way.Sure, Ului you can make as much noise as you want but we're not buying it?You're just too frieken dumb for anyone to listen too let alone follows?