#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Nashville visit puts new light on Bainimarama's deal with Mahogany company

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nashville visit puts new light on Bainimarama's deal with Mahogany company

Feds take inventory and remove items from the Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis, Tennessee. Last month's raid (August 26) was related to one in 2009 where Gibson was accused of importing rare and illegal ebony wood from endangered and protected forests in Madagascar. Gibson says its supplier is certified and from India.

Frank Bainimarama's flop visit to the Gibson Guitar company in Nashville has sparked another look at the unelected government's plans for Sustainable Mahogany Industries and Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited.

It's been suggested the objective of SMI is to bring about the closure of FHCL and create a monopoly of Fiji Mahogany of its own. 

Current events would appear to support the argument.

After the Government released an Expression of Interest last year, SMI was the only company that met with the illegal administration for private discussions, which resulted in the company being granted the only license to purchase logs and the exclusivity to buy the premium mahogany of Fiji. 

SMI and the Bainimarama government have been putting on a show to the people of FIji with smoke and mirrors over an allegedly huge business of value, adding in the production of guitar components. But just how much wood has been exported to manufacture guitars and how many guitar components have been exported in recent months?

Remember, SMI is the only company in Fiji currently allowed to buy and process the biggest and best mahogany logs; the rest of the companies in Fiji can only process leftovers. 

The regime granted exclusive rights to SMI on the premise they were going to add value to this Mahogany and export downstream products (guitar components), but so far SMI hasn’t added any more value than any other sawmill in Fiji. They have only exported sawn timber, and they will keep on doing so, yet they keep enjoying exclusivity, nonetheless.

SMI received directly from the regime the rights to secure a 30 days account for the logs they buy from FHLC. Every other customer has to pay in advance. With the recent fire at SMI sawmill and the very little export they are making compared to the huge amount of Mahogany they are buying on the illegal government's credit, the question is:  How will they pay the Government for the logs they have purchased?

Acting on SMI’s complaints, the regime completely replaced the board of FHCL and appointed a board that has complied with every directive from the stop of supply to most of the sawmills FHCL was employing to the exclusivity of supply of premium logs to SMI. If this is not monoply behaviour, what is? 

Is it possible the SMI company received 'government money' for the initial purchase of the Logs and then went on to make this whole charade of presenting the cheque? It's believed that this was a loan that was paid.

It's also believed the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, has a vested interest in SMI, and is getting favors from the illegal government to operate and keep SMI operating as a monopoly. 

It was flagged weeks before the regime formally announced the Mahogany decree in June that Khaiyum intended to reform the industry so that landowners do not have a say in the selling of the mahogany and tender awards in an industry that can earn an estimated one billion dollars a year. 

The so-called audit of the industry was carried out by his accountant aunt, Nur Bano, after the board was dismissed and an interim one appointed. All of this done quietly while the nation was preoccupied with the sedition and mutiny charges against Roko Ului Mara and Pita Driti.

Smart bloggers suggested at the time that the regime was underpricing mahogany and questioned whether it was a sellout to investors.

This from one blogger: "Fiji Hardwood Corporation has set a very low selling price of log at FJD400/m3. This is after taking into account the $305 for log, $70 and $25 respectively for licensing fee making up the total. In US dollars @ the exchange rate of 0.56c, this F$400 comes to around US$224/m3 for A grade mahogany logs.

"However, the companies marketing this commodity as Fiji mahogany have advertised the f.o.b. selling prices in their web pages as between US$1200 and US$3000 per m3. Landworth’s Investment Ltd has advertised at US$2500/m3 and above while Tabs Investment at US$1200 to $1400/m3.

"Now what sort of mark up are investors allowed to make? Or to be given a very low selling price by Aiyaz and Hardwood Corporation of a total of US$224 equivalent is to donate the blood money to the exporters with undervalued pricing structure?

"If this is the price for A grade, then I only wonder what is the price for B and C grades. Come on Mr Prime Minister, is this the best you could do with Aiaz and your Hardwood Corporation board put together?

"If this is the pricing structure, then I would say there should be a gate price of FJD400 per m3 opened to everyone who wants to become an exporter without having to take a license out to export, as this is inclusive in the pricing at F$400.

"Open the door to the locals if this is really the right price for this high grade well-matured commodity, while you can keep the price for overseas investors equal to locals. If you really think this pricing was the right valuation, then open a local exporter’s license with F$400 gate price from any of the Hardwood Corporation depots. If not then we can only think that there is someone making millions in corruption with this diminutive deal signing to overseas investors."    

Readers might also recall the email from Bainimarama to his former land force commander, Jone Baledrokadroka, around the time the regime was announcing the Mahogany decree. (Coupfourpointfive June 9 2011) http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2011/06/rattled-bainimarama-contacts.html

Bainimarama emailed a copy of his speech about the Mahogany deal to Baledrokadroka with the message: "Put this in your blog site so u fools can learn," signing it off from franciscopancho168@gmail.com


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Are they really so innocent? Or is there another deal under the table??

What a pitiful return for years of silviculture and foresight. My sympathies to the forest managers and investors. I'm sure you hoped for far better returns.

fiji heart said...

So Franky was using the Mahogany Speech to do the fingers to us. Looks to me that's the tukutuku behind his email "Put this in your blog site so u fools can learn".

mark manning said...

Fiji is not burning , it's smoldering !
Dying a slow and agonising death.
I don't know who I like the most, Goldie Horn or Tiny Tim :-
Frank Bainimarama's Mahogany empire !

Australian Mahogany buyer said...

Those prices by the two companies mentioned in the article are about 3 years old.

The FHCL prices are now around 1,500.00 dollars and these companies and the rest of us are still buying Fiji mahogany from FHCL at these prices.

It just shows that SMI are not supplying who they say they are, otherwise they'd still be able to pay the same price as the rest of us, but they dont have that sort of market like Landworths and Tabs.

These guys obviously do have high end user markets which is why they can afford to pay higher prices to FHCL. They should be allowed to get the good logs for their markets.

Anonymous said...

The Mahogany forests are national resource paid for by the people of Fiji.
They are loosing value because they are supposed to be harvested at 40 years.....now 50 years plus
because our leaders are all trying to find a way to benefit from this resource for themslves.

This is a standing treasure for our people, but no doubt like everything in our country it will turn to sand in our mouths.....

We are not a Godless race, that would be good, we are more a satanic race of cowards, and hypocrits.....i will spit you out of my mouth....

these trees belong to all of us , our hospitals and our schools.

God why have you done this to us......the shame of it is to hard to bear.....we have an army of thousands, strong healthy men that eat and sleep and drink grog that cannabilize our country.
the year is 2011 not 1811 ...cost over a hundred million dollars a year ...this means a new born baby that cant walk has to pay $100 a year to feed this big usless coward of an army man who was given healthy legs and arms to do honest work for living and is now a parasite on society
God the shame of it..., the shame of it.

some elders discussing the rape of a women in the village ..."qito ni tagane", hahahahah.

rape of our country .."qito ni tagane" hahahaha

Satan in paradise. Lovely climate full of worthless souls to make his own.hahahahah

Anonymous said...

i though Mara was working on isolating Frank . how come he's allowed in America. Why doesnt he lobby all first world countries that have democratically elected leaders to banned him from entering their country! Mara if you want to be in the spot light , be active ! dont give people false hope if you're not prepared to put your life on the line for them. This goes for the rest of the so called freedom fighters slinging mud from overseas. i wonder if any of you overseas FF have tried reaching out to the VRF! probably nil, because you all want to play the dirty game of politics. no one ones to put their life on the line but you all one ordinary people to put theirs on the line. i would like to hear former poloticians / soldiers(JB & Daunitutu) all go back and lead from the front. All they do at the moment is sit around a "tanoa" and swap sad tales!! The people await a leader who amongst you will go back???????

Anonymous said...

Thank you C4.5 for extraction of my previous comment and calling my work as smart blogger!

I will shout myself a glass of black label for that!

Sa Sucu Sa Lutu....

Anonymous said...

Thank you C4.5. I only hope that the plantation owners get to read this information and see how Bainimarama is ripping them off.

-Valataka na Dina.

Anonymous said...

Bai can now shove this deal where the sun doesnt shine...who has the last laugh now...Bai you can now have a good read you bloody fool.

Anonymous said...

can we get more about the fire?

Vanua. said...

"Bainimarama - Flop Visit - Nashville?"

Under the impression the US enforced a strict travel ban on regime perpertrators & supporters?

Anonymous said...

Expression of Interest is not public tender.

No tender was called.

This is massive billion dollar scam.

The fijian owners have been ripped off by under-cut price sold by puppet master and dictator.

millions kickbacks paid to overseas account.

This is massive scam and fijians must wake up now.

Dictator taken free quitars so will he not take millions in bribes.

this the plot for 2006 coup-clean up the nation to fill corrupt pockets- thugs.

mark manning said...

Fijians will never wake up !

Anonymous said...

The puppet master operates by advertising a small advtisement called EOI to be sent to him.

Then the scams happen-like casino is next one.

who pays millions in bribes get the contract like this timber billion dollar scam.

Anonymous said...

fiji , the men with no balls who cannot remove baini , arsey. where's mara , taukei movememnt , methodist church , only active against Indian back in 87, 2000. what happened now , fiji deserve baini, aryse , shameem sisters,etc. don't compalin , full stop!!!

Fark Fanning said...

Reminds me of George Speight and his American masters who were paying him consultancy fees !!

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning...they only one asleep is the fijian lady you're sleeping with..yes dead as a door nail alseep....keep your nose out of our business and keep your useless white comments to yourself...open your mouth when you have something constructive to say.

Taukei. said...

@ Fark Fanning.

Shyters come in all colours nationalities & faiths - take the Pakistani's in Viti who believe they have an unbreakable monopoly on this vital indigenous resource.
Lets hope they do better than their Indian counterparts in sugar?

Anonymous said...

landowners should coup bai/ask.

Anonymous said...

Darmmmmm Go fiji GO all the way Good game

Rovadrau Tiger said...

Something fishy if SMI CEO christopher donlon is involved in Fiji Mahogany.

Check on christopher Donlon and his fraud in Australia- NSW Hansard reports- 1992, ABC transcripts on Fiji Mahogany-2004 ( Canwind PTY Ltd, Red Anchor Resources).

Well known fraud in Pac harbour.

Chris donlon was hanged by his balls by one former land force commander at tiki bar in Pacific Harbour cultural center some years back for his big ideas on Fiji mahogany.

Anonymous said...

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

George Orwell

Anonymous said...

@ Manning: "Slow and agonising" is right.


We really don't know what to do with ourselves.

Greenpeace Smartwood rep said...

Interesting Topic!!

I was doing research on Gibson and found your blog site. I visited Fiji once for a family holiday while I was boy during the late 70's.

Recent International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) reports show that native mahogany prices from Peru are around USD$1,600.00 per m3. Peru is one of the last native sources allowed to export genuine mahogany to the US and North America.

Plantation mahogany is usually deemed inferior for most high end users in these parts, so most of the buyers would pay less against genuine mahogany from native sources.

It would seem that in order to break into the US and Canadian market, Fiji exporters would have to compete with competitive prices that gradually introduce Fiji's mahogany to manufacturers and users. This of cause would mean selling at slightly lower than USD$1,600.00 etc etc....for rough sawn timber.

Increases in your prices will depend on how your trade relationship eventuates, and the demand for this commodity.

Anything above USD$2000 per m3 would be considered over priced for 1 inch and 2 inch thick lumber. This is unless of cause, the thickness is greater at around 4 inch and above.

I hope Fiji can resolve its domestic issues, as I feel the real battle is obtaining a genuine market and keeping your relationship with them.

These relationships can take years to establish. Believe me when I say, its all worth while when you do get to that point!

I wish you all the best for Fiji's mahogany future!! Remember, it is important to keep it SUSTAINABLE without just using the term.

Lance Bedford

Anonymous said...

Look at the dictator UN video.

There is only one word to describe him.

He is incompetent.

Fiji is run by kaiyum, nur bano, nazet, hafiz khan-muslim coup.

Fiji is finished with this dumb-no school embarrsement.

Who paying most bribe for casino-mahony gets the contract.

mark manning said...

@ Anon 730 a.m.

smug jack said...

What a jerk Bainimarama was with that email. The smug bastard was laughing at bloggers cos he thought he had pulled a fast one with the mahogany deal. Hey Frank, the world can see you for what you are: a thief and an incompetent politician.