|Khaiyum: Likes to be in the driving seat|
Coupfourpointfive contacts say Khaiyum supporters in the police force, ie Naivalurura, is currently meeting with "other senior military officers who have served in intelligence and now holding ministers postions, to plot against PM decison to pressure him not to lift PER because he knows that when the emergency regulations are lifted - Khaiyum will be sidelined."
Whether anything emerges as a result of the expected jostling behind the scenes remains to be seen. Obviously, Khaiyum has a lot to lose if any changes are made ... changes that could see him wielding less power or see him completely bumped from his position of authority.
Khaiyum’s uncle and aunty accountants behind Magic Mountain bottled water facility in Rakiraki with late Ratu Ovini Bokini family and Tavua businessman Rajen Kant Patel
|Sought after: Fiji Water|
|Roth and Nur Bano at top|
The treasonist dictator issued the deportation order from China against Fiji Water’s executive director David Roth saying it was based on reliable information verified and confirmed by relevant authorities. “It is unfortunate that David Roth saw it fit to engage in activities outside of his work permit conditions,” Bainimarama said in a statement at the time, without giving details. The dictator failed to declare that he himself had executed the coup outside of his duties as a servant of the SDL-FLP government.
The dictator read a statement prepared by Khaiyum that the company had paid minimal corporate taxes since it was set up. Fiji Water, the dictator claimed, had had a corporate tax holiday till two years ago (2008) and had paid just $500,000 in corporate taxes since. In turn, it received $2-2.6 million dollars in VAT (value added tax) refunds because it is an export business.
Fiji Water president John Cochran retorted that his company paid millions of dollars in duties, and income tax, as well as substantial royalties and trust fund payments to Fijian villages near the company's facility. The Khaiyum-Bainimarama government had imposed a new tax rate of 15 cents per liter on companies extracting more than 3.5 million liters (920,000 gallons) of water a month – up from the current one-third of one percent rate. Fiji Water was the only company extracting that much water.
What lay behind the imposition of the new water tax and the persecution of Fiji Water executives in late 2010? Well, it was a well-thought out and corrupt strategy of the Khaiyum clan who had long hoped to take control of the extraction and bottling of water near Rakiraki. Khaiyum’s aunty Nur Bano Ali became the illegal pay mistress to the regime after the 2006 coup while her husband Zarin Ali worked behind the scenes to fulfil his water company’s dream to not only compete but takeover from Fiji Water the rights to bottle Fiji’s world famous water. And the company to break Fiji Water’s monopoly was to be Magic Mountain Springs (Fiji) Ltd. We will look at its directors later on in the narrative.
Magic Mountain Springs Seeking Investors
Meanwhile, before the 2006 treasonous coup, Pacific Investment Programme had put out an advertisement seeking potential investors: “A Fiji company is looking for an investor to develop one of the world’s largest spring water source bases, located in Matalevu Ra on Fiji’s largest Island Viti Levu. The project comprises the extraction and bottling of water for sale to the international market, targeting the United States and Asian markets, where spring water from Fiji has already built a strong reputation. The robust water flow from Magic Mountain Springs (flowing at 5,000 litres/minute) is capable of supporting a water bottling plant with a production capacity of over 2.6 billion bottles a year. The water emanates from rainfall on the northern environs of the Ra region where the water accumulates through underground formations, 15 Kilometres from a Vatukoula volcanic crater filled with fragmented basalt rock. This creates a perfect natural filter. The volcanic sediments filter the water in the same way as a sand filter filters water in a water treatment plant. The actual spring has been left in its natural state. The land on which it is based is protected from use by its remote location as well as legal agreements between the government and the land owners.”
The investors were told of native lease arrangement and other perks: “It is located on approximately 38.89 hectares, which the company has acquired and has a title on a 99-year leasehold arrangement. To ensure the protection of the invaluable spring source the company has negotiated the acquisition of an additional 21.6 hectares of land adjacent to the water source. To capitalise on the business potential of the spring, various types of concessions and investment incentives in the form of tax and duty have been secured from the Government of Fiji. These include: exemption from corporate tax profits for a period of 13 years;
exemption from duty on the importation of plant and raw materials; exemption from withholding tax on interest, dividends and royalty payment; waiver on restrictions on repatriation of capital and profits; and an accelerated depreciation allowance claim. The level of investment required from a potential partner to bring the project into operation is US$17 million over a ten-year period. This investment would be in the form of a mix of debt and equity and would be allocated to: building equipment and installations; preliminary and establishment working capital and marketing; contingency and consultancy; and funding costs.”
It seems there were no takers. However, the 2006 treasonous coup and Aiyaz Khaiyum’s appointment as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Anti-Corruption, Public Enterprises, Communications, Civil Aviation, Tourism, Industry and Trade gave the family clan a second chance to make a go for the control of Fiji’s bottled water.
In November 2011 the people of Fiji were told that an American company was expected to open a bottled water facility in Rakiraki soon. According to the illegal Bainimarama-Khaiyum regime, Fiji 480 Holdings Limited along with Magic Mountain has been granted a lease to set up the facility at Vunitogoloa - just kilometres away from the Fiji Water bottling plant.
Magic Mountain, we were told, is a locally owned company with various businesses having invested into the venture. The source of water is at Nananu village. It is anticipated that the new facility will be bigger than the Fiji Water plant and will provide competition. The new plant - to be established within the next 12 months - is expected to provide employment to surrounding villages. So the reports ran in Fiji.