Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Inquiry Fingers Czech Fugitive As Part Of A Money-broking Network

Radovan Krejcir

Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir can expect a tax bill of around R100 million after an SA Revenue Service (Sars) inquiry found he was part of a money-broking network that included some of the country’s most notorious mobsters.
Krejcir, who survived a bizarre “assassination” ­attempt this week, was the ­focus of a three-year Sars investigation and a confidential secret tax inquiry into his wealth.
Sars has, according to sources, valued Krejcir’s wealth in South Africa at around R130 million and he is now waiting for his tax bill, which will be close to ­R100 million, including interest and penalties.

City Press understands Krecjir has pleaded poverty, claiming his wife supported him financially.
No assets have been registered in his name.

But Sars discovered the existence of Groep Twee Beleggings, a ­company registered in the name of his wife Katerina Krejcirova.

Groep Twee Beleggings was established in April 2006 when Krejcir was still living in the ­Seychelles, on the run from Czech police for a host of crimes.

Groep Twee became the conduit Krejcir used to set up a money-exchange scheme that counted murdered sleaze boss Lolly Jackson among its participants.

The name of ­convicted druglord Glenn Agliotti also features.
Before he came to South Africa in 2007, Krecjir amassed a fortune in overseas bank ­accounts. Jackson, meanwhile, wanted to shift his money abroad without alerting the taxman or the Reserve Bank.

So he “lent” money to Groep Twee. Krejcir, using his foreign bank accounts, repaid him in euros or dollars in countries such as Greece.
On paper, say sources, it appeared as though Groep Twee was deeply indebted to Jackson and others, although it was nothing but a scheme to evade tax and launder money.

Details of the money ring – known universally as a Hawala (the Arabic word for transfer) – emerged in the high court last October when Sars applied for Agliotti’s provisional sequestration.
In court papers, Sars said ­Agliotti and Groep Twee ­entered into loan agreements and signed acknowledgements of debt.

Agliotti confirmed this week that he was a witness against Krejcir in his “massive” section 74 hearing.

He said he only once borrowed money from Groep Twee – R400 000, which he had repaid.
Groep Twee also “borrowed” money from Krejcir’s mother, Nadezda Krejcirova, to create the impression it was in debt.

Sars believes this was simply a scam to hide his fortune and illustrate his “poverty”.
Sars has investigated Jackson, Agliotti and now Krejcir.

Agliotti was hit with a R77 million tax bill while Sars wants R100 million from ­Jackson’s estate.
Jackson was murdered in May 2010, allegedly by hit man George Louca who will be extradited to South Africa from ­Cyprus to stand trial.

Shortly before his death, Jackson was approached to give evidence against Krejcir as part of an investigation into a ­money laundering scheme.
Jackson’s murder was followed by that of Cape Town underworld figure Cyril Beeka, who had close links to Krejcir.

The existence of the ring emerged from a claim of over R12 million, which Krejcir’s mother and a Czech-registered company, DKR Invest Praha ­Spolsro, instituted against Jackson’s estate.
In an affidavit filed in Johannesburg’s South Gauteng High Court, Krejcirova referred to an acknowledgement of debt, which Jackson allegedly signed in April 2010, five days before his murder.

But forensic investigator Kim Marriott said the acknowledgements were created as part of a “sham transaction” in the event the Reserve Bank learnt of Krejcir and Jackson’s cash ­dealings.

Jackson’s widow, Demi, said the Teazers boss used forged documents to “cover up”
questionable financial transactions and any alleged involvement with Krejcir in ­money laundering.
City Press tried to speak to Krejcir on Friday, but he said he was busy with police following the failed attempt on his life on Wednesday.

He didn’t respond to later messages.

A handmade, remote-controlled, 12-barrel weapon, hidden behind the licence plate of a Volkswagen, fired at Krejcir as he parked his bulletproof Mercedes in front of his gold and diamond exchange pawn shop in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said the agency could not comment on Krejcir’s tax affairs as they, by law, had to maintain all taxpayers’ confidentiality.

How did he get here?
In 2007, a broad-shouldered man with thinning hair carrying a passport in the name of Egbert Jules Savy boarded a plane in the Seychelles.

Minutes after landing at OR Tambo International, Savy was arrested on an Interpol red notice and was identified as businessman Radovan Krejcir, one of the Czech Republic’s most wanted men.

Authorities there said Krejcir was part of a crime ring and had fled to the Seychelles to avoid charges of conspiracy to murder, fraud, extortion and abduction.

The Czech government, assisted by the National Prosecuting Authority, then brought what should have been a fairly routine extradition application. But Krejcir told the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court he was tortured and falsely accused of crimes in a smear campaign orchestrated by his government.

Six years on, Krejcir has avoided extradition and is now awaiting the outcome of his political asylum application.

He has been convicted in absentia in the Czech Republic on charges of fraud and sentenced to 11 years in jail.

Since he arrived in South Africa, Krejcir has allegedly entrenched himself in the local underworld.
He was named as a suspect in five high-profile murders but has never been charged.

He was accused of insurance fraud of R4.5 million, but these charges have been provisionally withdrawn.

He has also been accused of robbing a Pretoria electronics shop of hundreds of thousands of rand, but those charges were also withdrawn.

In a 2011 raid on Krejcir’s Joburg home, the Hawks unit said it recovered a hit list containing the names of a state prosecutor, his former doctor and alleged health insurance fraud partner, and his nemesis, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan said: “We don’t need him or his type here as we have enough of our own, home-grown thugs.

“It’s a sad reflection of all that is wrong with our criminal justice system when transnational criminals think they can buy immunity like this.”

  @City_Press 28 July 2013 14:01

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mauritius, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia The Pillars Of Democracy In Africa

It’s rather touching, the faith that we put in our regional body – even if it is misplaced. In all the furore over Robert Mugabe’s comments about that “idiotic street woman” Lindiwe Zulu, and her subsequent scolding from Jacob Zuma, there has been plenty of debate about the role of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and whether indulging Mugabe’s narcissism is really the best way to guarantee free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. There has been rather less debate about whether that’s what SADC really wants to achieve.

Robert Mugabe, The Dictator
The evidence does not necessarily support this conclusion. SADC, remember, is a representative body, except it doesn’t represent the likes of you and me. It represents governments, specifically those of its 15 member states (14, if you take into acount Madagascar’s suspension) – and those governments aren’t exactly the most progressive or enlightened around. In fact, with a couple of notable exceptions, the record of SADC member states for holding genuinely competitive elections is dismal.

Think about it. In Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has held onto power since 1979 in what remains, effectively, a one party state. Botswana has been ruled by just one party since independence, with no serious opposition – this is also true for Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania. The last election in the Democratic Republic of Congo was highly problematic and clearly fixed, at least in part. Swaziland is an absolute monarchy, one of the last remaining in the world. The ruling party in the Seychelles seized power in a coup in 1977 and created a one party state; they haven’t lost an election, or come close, since the return to multiparty politics in the early 1990s.

And in South Africa, despite an obvious commitment to the democratic process, the ANC has strolled to election victories in every national poll since 1994.  The party has no experience, yet, of an opposition that poses a genuine threat to its power, or elections in which something other than a two-thirds majority is at stake.

That leaves Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius and Zambia as the only real flag bearers for the kind of oppositional democracy in which elections are more than just a rubber-stamping exercise, each having experienced at least one vote in which the people decided to install a new government – and were allowed to do so.

Navin Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius
Yet, despite this obvious lack of experience with oppositional democracy, SADC has taken the lead in facilitating and overseeing Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections. This is a bit like letting Kenny Kunene run the gender commission, or putting Lance Armstrong in charge of drug testing at the Tour de France. If we’re surprised when SADC leaders aren’t falling over themselves to criticize Zimbabwe’s chaotic poll preparations, or elicit guarantees that violence won’t be used, or publicly investigate claims that the vote has already been fixed in Zanu-PF’s favour – well, that’s only because we’ve forgotten who SADC really represents.

Nonetheless, SADC’s leaders – Jacob Zuma chief among them, in his role of Facilitator – need Zimbabwe’s elections to go well. SADC has invested just about all of its political and diplomatic capital in overseeing Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation, and were instrumental in establishing the government of national unity which has just about kept Zimbabwe from complete anarchy. The interim government’s most notable achievement has been rescuing the Zimbabwean economy by replacing worthless Zim dollars with the altogether more reliable US dollars – an achievement for which SADC, by laying the groundwork, deserves some credit.

All this, however, will have been for nothing if the elections are obviously rigged or if there is a return to the kind of post-election violence which precipitated Zimbabwe’s political crisis in 2008. Unless Zimbabwe pulls off a credible election, SADC will have failed spectacularly after five years of assuring everyone who asked that its ‘quiet diplomacy’ had everything under control.
Credible, of course, does not mean free and fair. It does not mean transparent. As the 2011 elections in the DRC demonstrated, it’s a term that can incorporate a certain amount of ballot stuffing and its converse, the disappearance of votes; a certain amount of government intimidation; and an electoral commission that is far from impartial.

These are all things we’re likely to see in Zimbabwe, given the chaos in the build-up to the polls and Zanu-PF’s tight control over the key levers of power: the electoral commission and the security forces. And all will mitigate in favour of another Robert Mugabe election victory, thereby preserving the status quo so beloved of SADC leaders, and, oddly, decreasing the chances of widespread violence, which is far more likely if Mugabe loses (as was the case after the first round of the election in 2008).


Friday, 26 July 2013

Failed hitman uses James Bond-style machine gun hidden behind license plate

Radovan Krejcir, a Czech fugitive living in Johannesburg, was the target of bullets sprayed from a parked car on Wednesday. The car used for the attack later exploded.

11.30am, Wednesday 24 July – a matte black Mercedes Benz coupé, its windows dark with bulletproof tinting, slides into a car park in Bedfordview, south of Johannesburg, stopping in its regular spot. A broad-shouldered man with thinning hair emerges from the driver’s door. Talking on his phone, he saunters towards the front entrance of his offices, a gold and diamond exchange.

He hears a bang, followed by a series of pops “like firecrackers”, he later says. It is only when he notices his car is riddled with bullet holes that he realises an attempt has been made on his life. As he runs for cover, a nearby car explodes into flames.
When police examined the charred chassis of the red Volkswagen Polo, what seemed like the plot from a James Bond film became even more astonishing.
Hidden behind the car’s rear numberplate were a dozen homemade shotgun barrels aimed at the driver’s seat in the Mercedes. Police believe the exploding car was empty all along, suggesting that the attack was launched via remote control.

This bizarre series of events is made all the more fantastic by the subject of the apparent attack, Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir.
No stranger to South Africa’s police service, he arrived from the Seychelles in 2007 on a false passport declaring his name to be Egbert Jules Savy. He was identified from an Interpol red notice, despite his reportedly flimsy disguise. Mr Krejcir was tried in absentia in the Czech Republic last year and sentenced to 11 years in jail for tax fraud. He denies the charges, saying that he is being persecuted for his political opinions by the Czech government, which has sought his extradition. Mr Krejcir is currently still awaiting the outcome of his application for political asylum in South Africa.
During his time in Johannesburg, Mr Krejcir has been linked to several underworld figures, including a strip-club owner, Lolly Jackson, who was shot dead in 2010. Last year, he appeared in court in South Africa for a series of crimes including armed robbery.

Despite his colourful history, Mr Krejcir’s lawyer, Eddie Classen, says this is the first time his client has been the target of an assassination attempt. “It has an appearance of a thing from a spy novel,” he said.
South African police have confirmed that the exploding car was reported stolen in April.
“At this stage we are not sure who or what detonated the device as well as who parked the  vehicle on the premises,” said a police spokesman, Lungelo Dlamini. “No one has been arrested yet and the motive for an attempted murder is being investigated,” he added.
Mr Krejcir – who was unharmed – told a local radio station in the hours after the explosion that he was a “lucky man”. But his lawyer told The Independent that his client was shaken by the attack. “He’s in shock, he’s had a close shave. Who wouldn’t be? Given the way in which this attack was carried out, with such professional knowhow and detail, he [Mr Krejcir] has some concern that this person has a serious intention to kill him,” Mr Classen said.
Despite the circumstances, Mr Krejcir returned to work – and the scene of the crime – the next day, Mr Classen confirmed.
“He’s an impressive character – he’s got some charisma.”
“All my life is like James Bond stuff,” Mr Krejcir told a local news broadcaster EyeWitness News, “So it’s usual stuff for me … It’s how I live my life.”


The Opinion Page

Thomas L Friedman
Yesterday's news from Seychelles is unbelievable, and it raises questions about whether there might just be light at the end of the tunnel. What's important, however, is that we focus on what this means on the street. The media seems too caught up in worrying about their own skins to pay attention to how their people are doing. Just call it missing the battle for the bullets.
When thinking about the recent problems, it's important to remember three things: One, people don't behave like car salesmen, so attempts to treat them as such are a waste of time. Car salesmen never suddenly set up a black market for Western DVDs. Two, Seychelles has spent decades as a dictatorship closed to the world, so a mindset of peace and stability will seem foreign and strange. And three, hope is an extraordinarily powerful idea: If corruption is Seychelles's ironing board, then hope is certainly its alarm clock.
When I was in Seychelles last June, I was amazed by the people's basic desire for a stable life, and that tells me two things. It tells me that the citizens of Seychelles have no shortage of courage, and that is a good beginning to grow from. Second, it tells me that people in Seychelles are just like people anywhere else on this flat earth of ours.

So what should we do about the chaos in Seychelles? Well, it's easier to start with what we should not do. We should not ignore the problem and pretend it will go away. Beyond that, we need to be careful to nurture the fragile foundations of peace. The opportunity is there, but I worry that the path to peace is so strewn with obstacles that Seychelles will have to move down it very slowly. And of course Victoria needs to come to the table.

Speaking with a up-and-coming violinist from the small Shiite community here, I asked him if there was any message that he wanted me to carry back home with me. He pondered for a second, and then smiled and said, ahim bin tal, which is a local saying that means roughly, "He who wants to do good, knocks at the gate, he who loves finds the gates open."
I don't know what Seychelles will be like a few years from now, but I do know that it will probably look very different from the country we see now, even if it remains true to its basic cultural heritage. I know this because, through all the disorder, the people still haven't lost sight of their dreams. 

This article was not really written by Thomas Friedman and this site is a spoof of the New York Times. This generator was created by Brian Mayer with content from Michael Ward, used with permission.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

"Passing The Buck On No Access To Seychellois In Hotels"

General Managers
Hotel Establishments

Mr St Angel

I am writing to attach a translated copy of the statement I made in the Seychelles 
National Assembly on Tuesday 23rd July 2013 regarding clients right of entry in public bars, restaurants and other public facilities in hotels.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture had received reports that Seychellois clients were being denied entry in bars and other public facilities in hotels currently holding a public license. The Ministry remains very concerned with this development and hopes that this does not develop into a common practice by any hotel in the country.

The law clearly states that Hotels holding a public license should not restrict access to any clients, including Seychellois, to public bars and other public facilities. This of course comes with certain hotel conditions that clients must abide by.

Discrimination against Seychellois should not be a policy in any hotel, and it will not be tolerated by the Government of Seychelles. We hope that hotel management in our country will use this opportunity to sensitise their staff on this issue, and that one off restriction of entry to any establishment should be for a valid reason only.

The Statement delivered in the national Assembly also indicates steps that clients should take if they feel that their right to access hotels has been violated and spells out the course of action that will be followed by the State to ensure it does not happen again.

We hope that we will not receive any further such reports regarding these types of incidents, and that we continue to work together in our quest to promote and to encourage the continued development of the tourism industry in our country.
I count on your usual support
Yours Sincerely  
Alain St.Ange

Fregate Island Goes To UAE in A Day! James Michel approves Transaction!

Dubai: The Oetker Collection, a luxury hotel group, signed a management contract on Tuesday with the owners of the Fregate Island Private hotel in Seychelles to promote the property as of July 2013.

The luxury retreat in Seychelles, owned by a consortium of German investors, will be the eighth addition to Oetker Collection’s hotels, which include getaways in France, Germany, and Morocco.

The UAE is the fifth-largest provider of tourists to the Seychelles islands, where tourism accounts for more than 60 per cent of the annual GDP. Over 12,800 visitors travelled to the Seychelles in 2012 from the UAE, according to the Seychelles National Statistics Bureau.

“More than 6 per cent of the visitors to the Seychelles are from the UAE. Interestingly, this figure has increased by 150 per cent in the last three years,” said Alain Briere, vice president sales and marketing of the Oetker Collection. “The target for 2013 was to reach more than 22,000 visitors, and the likelihood is that it’s going to reach 25,000.”

Visitors from the UAE comprise both Emiratis and expatriates, Briere told Gulf News. The main attractions for UAE visitors in the Seychelles are the privacy and seclusion the islands offer, in addition to the greenery and ecology. Another key incentive for Seychelles-bound tourists from the UAE is that they do not need a visa to enter the country, Briere added.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"VP Danny Faure Sent on Africa Tuberculosis and Malaria Conference, Polite JP Adam Sent to PRC"

Vice President Danny Faure has represented President James Michel at the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held on 15-16th July 2013 in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control (African CDC) was one of the recommendations of the declaration which was given unanimous endorsement; as it was felt that such a Center would go a long way to reduce Africa's over-dependence of services outside the continent and improve the timeliness of interventions.
The Vice President welcomed the commitments made and joined the call for the replenishment of the Global fund.
The Vice President was also accompanied Dr Jude Gedeon, the Public Health Commissioner and Mr. Joseph Nourrice, Seychelles Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the UNECA.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi Meets with Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam of Seychelles

On July 22, 2013, State Councilor Yang Jiechi met in Beijing with Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam.

Yang Jiechi said that China-Seychelles relations have maintained good momentum of development in recent years and have become a model for the friendly cooperation between countries with different national conditions. China highly values the traditional friendship with Seychelles and is willing to join hands with the Seychelles side to push forward bilateral relations for further development and to make greater contribution to jointly safeguarding peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region of Indian Ocean.

Jean-Paul Adam said that the Seychelles side is willing to make concerted efforts with China to promote the further development of China-Seychelles and China-Africa relations.
They also exchanged views on international and regional topics of common interests. 


"Emiratisation of Seychelles Part of UAE Humanitarian Culture" .

"I have dealt with a number of world leaders for decades, but did not meet one like the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He was humble and philanthropist", His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, told media gathering in Dubai.

He added that "When we talk about Sheikh Zayed, we need more evenings. The best thing could be said about Sheikh Zayed is that he was the humanitarian leader", noting that "President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his brothers and all of us follow his footsteps to further develop our country and achieve prosperity for our people."
The Vice President referred to the importance of commemorating and celebrating what the UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed liked most - the humanitarian work, on Emirates Humanitarian Work Day.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was speaking to a number of media-persons and officials after the ceremony held to honour the distinguished federal government employees.
He tackled a number of local, regional and international issues, and answered questions on a number of important national issues as well.

Present were  Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, a number of ministers and officials.

Sheikh Mohammed referred to his initiative on making 19th of Ramadan, a day that coincides with the death anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed, as "Emirates Humanitarian Work Day".
All institutions and categories of community will observe the commemoration anniversary of Sheikh Zayed, who implanted the seeds of humanitarian work in the UAE.

He added, Emirates Humanitarian Work Day will also mark the honouring of Zayed as Arab leader and world humanitarian leader as well.

The Vice President said that all Emiratis whether men, women were serving the Union, noting that Emirati women have so far exhibited their perseverance. He cited that Emirati women were among the best worldwide in terms of the university education.
He noted that Emiratis in general were getting good education, training and rehabilitation, thanks to the leadership support.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
On honouring the distinguished employees, Sheikh Mohammed said, "We are always keen on honouring the outstanding employees, because it is a duty of the leadership to motivate others to follow suit. The honoured from different institutions did not come to the podium accidently, but through strenuous efforts that earned them good recommendation from the committees that oversaw their performance."

The Vice President also talked about the tawteen (Emiratisation), stressing the importance of tawteen, being a priority of the government to provide jobs for Emirati youth. He cited the efforts being exerted by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed in this respect.

"We have excelled in all fields", he continued, noting that "I want Emirati people to continue working harder and looking forward to becoming number one. This is an endeavour Sheikh Khalifa is looking for."

The face of modern slavery
About the coordination among the Gulf Coordination Council for Arab States, Sheikh Mohammed said the coordination since the inception of the GCC in early 1980s has been growing steadily to keep pace with the aspirations of the GCC peoples.

He added that the GCC states are stable, citing the successful leadership. On the Arab Spring, Sheikh Mohammed said, "it is a motivation for us to develop our capacities to deal with the changes with wisdom to ensure security and stability." He noted that media may refer from time to another to existence of different currents among the GCC states, but the reality is that the GCC states are closer more than ever before.

The Vice President wished for the restoration of stability to the Arab countries in the wake of the Arab Spring. "We hope for Arab countries, especially Egypt to restore stability for their significant strategic depth to the Arab region."


Monday, 22 July 2013

China pledges to boost military ties with Seychelles

Senior officials from China and Seychelles pledged to further develop bilateral ties while meeting on Monday.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi said during his meeting with Seychellois Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam that China and Seychelles have maintained sound development in bilateral relations.

Yang voiced his hope that China is ready to work with Seychelles to further develop bilateral relations and make greater contributions toward peace, stability and cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held talks with Adam on Monday.

Wang said bilateral cooperation has seen fruitful achievements in the areas of politics, economics and trade, health, military affairs, culture, sports and tourism.

He said China attaches great importance to developing relations with Seychelles and is willing to further advance their ties.

Adam thanked China for its assistance for his country's economic and social development.

He said Seychelles will work with China to push forward cooperation in all fields and bring benefits to both peoples.

After their talks, the two foreign ministers signed an agreement for establishing a political consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries. 

Pinnacle Point inquiry finds directors may have ‘traded recklessly’

A COMMISSION of inquiry into the financial affairs of troubled property company Pinnacle Point Group has found that some actions taken by directors may constitute "reckless trading".

Under the Companies Act directors could be held personally liable for the debts of the company if a company’s business is carried out recklessly or with "intent to defraud" creditors.

Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS), the law firm which represented the liquidators of Pinnacle Point in the inquiry, said on Sunday there were discussions with creditors to issue summons against those who may be deemed liable. ENS director of insolvency, Leonard Katz, said the claims could be in excess of R60m.

Mr Belmont raising his glass for the project with Marie May Kolsh in the background 

Parties who lost money following the demise of Pinnacle Point Group in 2011 include banks, shareholders and workers aligned to the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union whose pension moneys were invested in the ailing company.

The inquiry, led by retired Judge Meyer Joffe, looked into the dealings and affairs of Pinnacle Point Group as part of a winding up process for the company.
ENS was appointed by liquidators Progressive Administrators to lead evidence at the inquiry.

The inquiry’s findings noted, among other things, that some Pinnacle Point directors who paid more than R4.4m to Seychelles consul-general Marie-May Kolsch had acted recklessly.

Joel Morgan involvement with the project worth US $150M

Pinnacle Point had ambitions to develop a luxurious golf estate in the Seychelles to be known as the Ile Aurore Nouvelle.It won the tender but the project never took off.

Pinnacle Point’s former CEO, Hennie Pretorius, had testified in the inquiry that when he joined the group he was not given satisfactory explanations by directors Steve Kruger and Ivor Stratford of why Ms Kolsch had been paid.

Judge Joffe’s report quotes an e-mail from Mr Stratford describing the payments as: "Commission due as a finders’ fee and for ongoing lobbying of support that the Seychelles Consulate provides to PPG in dealing with governmental matters with regard to the ongoing development of the island".

A miniature plan of the project

The other matter that could constitute reckless trading, according to Judge Joffe’s findings, concerned a refund to Pinnacle Point Group from the Seychelles government.
In the Seychelles, Pinnacle Point Group had entered into a 99-year lease with the government for an amount of $5m.

The $5m had been paid in tranches between September 2007 and September 2008. The rand equivalent of the money then was about R39m.

As a result of cash-flow problems, Mr Stratford asked the Seychelles government for an urgent refund. The amount refunded was about R49.7m at the then prevailing exchange rate in March 2009.
About R28m of the R49m was paid to Property Promotions Management, a company linked to Mr Stratford and one Mervyn Key. Only R21.7m was made over to the Pinnacle Point Group.

Judge Meyer noted in his report that the payments to Mr Stratford’s company constituted a "gross breach" and the amounts were paid when Pinnacle Point Group was in dire cash-flow straits.

The R49m refund from the Seychelles and R28m paid to Property Promotions Management were never disclosed in the 2009 annual financial statements of the Pinnacle Point Group.

The judge said the abstraction of the money and the failure to report it "constitutes reckless conduct".
The other matter that may also constitute reckless trading by some directors was the payment of R4.4m to entities linked to one Richard Kawie, who had trade union links.

Judge Meyer noted in his report that the payment of more than R4.4m, "where no tangible services were rendered is, on the face of it, highly irregular".

The judge’s report noted that the invoices made out to Mr Kawie were "questionable in a number of respects". Some of the invoices were for "massive amounts with very little or no detail being provided as to the services which were allegedly rendered".

Considering the fact that Pinnacle Point had critical cash-flow problems, such payment, in the absence of clear reasons, could constitute reckless trading by the directors involved, the judge’s report said.

The difficulties at Pinnacle Point could be dated back to 2008 when the company merged with Acc-Ross, a company focused on primary residential development, resort and leisure developments.

When the R1.7bn share deal happened, through a reverse takeover, it was stated that the company would also raise R400m by issuing shares and the proceeds would be used for new developments and to settle debt.

After the deal Acc-Ross changed its name to Pinnacle Point Group. The company could not raise all of the R400m.

Rakeen Development, a real estate development company in the United Arab Emirates, had paid R200m for its shares, but Lurco Trading 278, linked to one Jac de Beer, failed to put up its R200m for the shares it had subscribed for.

Failure by Lurco to subscribe for its shares put Pinnacle Point Group under financial pressure, causing a cash crisis for the company, and forcing it to restructure its debts.

The report by the commissioner of inquiry noted that the failure by Lurco to subscribe for its shares worth R200m was not relevant to the failure of Pinnacle Point Group.

There has been a complaint by some of the Pinnacle Point directors that the role of Nedbank and Absa in the collapse of Pinnacle Point Group has never been investigated.
The directors, who include Mr Kruger, had wanted an investigation into the role of the banks in a single-stock futures deal.

 by Phakamisa Ndzamela, 22 July 2013, 05:55

Thursday, 18 July 2013

WHL dives as Seychelles deal collapses

  WHL managing director Steve Noske. Picture
UPDATE 3pm: Shares in WHL Energy fell sharply after the company announced a $60 million farm-in agreement with an undisclosed oil and gas major over its Seychelles project had fallen through.
"The potential farminee has notified the company that it is withdrawing from any further negotiations at this time as it has been unable to formalise its board approval," WHL announced in a statement.
"The potential farminee had noted that timing issues on the proposed Seychelles farm-in work commitments needed to compete with its large portfolio of global developments for funding at this time."
WHL managing director Steve Noske said while the decision was disappointing, the potential farminee proposal had supported the company's internal valuation and view regarding the prospectivity of the project.
"The proposed farm-in transaction had also provided independent third party verification on the body of technical work completed by the company along with the valuation of the Seychelles acreage."
WHL said it was reconsidering its Seychelles strategy, including discussions with another party in regard to a potential agreement on a seismic acquisition in the Seychelles project area.
WHL shares closed off 0.8 cents, or 33.33 per cent, at 1.6 cents after touching an intraday low of 1.4 cents.


The West Australian July 18, 2013, 11:34 am

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

More Problems, Problems, Problems In Seychelles Paradise!

The situation in Seychelles is getting worse and worse each day under PL. The status quo is giving cause for great concern of the average Seychellois is now facing unprecedented difficulties in daily life, which they are not a custom to.
Stifling Freedom of Expression by Seychelles Police

The PL refusal to deal honestly with the People, to fool them with lies when challenges abound, the practice of cutting corners on hard decisions, the living of lavish lifestyles on high end political pensions, is taking its toll on the Nation as it comes down to crunch time slated to last out at least, over the next Ten (10) years.
In such times, honesty is the best policy.
Foreign workers have not been paid for months.

St. Ange Says 15% Tourist Increase- A Lie!
Most recently, Minister Alain St. Ange has announced a 15% increase on Tourism Arrivals for the first Six (6) months. It is a lie.
On arrival at the Seychelles International Airport or the Seychelles Port of Victoria, a person is given an Immigration Department form to fill in. The form  ask if you are a Visitor or a Resident.
Minister of Tourism Alain Ste Ange
St. Ange gets this wonderland 15% increase from the Visitor box. This included Tourists, but it also includes Indian Navy, Chinese PRC Navy, Russian Navy on shore leave after doing missions in the Indian Ocean. They are:”Visitors”.
The PRC Navy most likely makes the bulk of this arrival, and they do not have much money to spend as “Tourist”, and cannot possibly be considered Seychelles traditional “Tourist”.

Come straight with us Minister St.Ange, stop acting like a fake blok. If you cannot do the job as Minister of Tourism without fake figures and fake announcements, resign, and run Minister of Culture, where you seem to be good at finding jobs for unemployed PL Musicians that have past the “use by date”. It is only a matter of time, before E-Turbo starts doing press releases when a toilet is flushed in your

office. Get serious man. While you have played your political hand well to become a minister overnight from SNP Executive Member, you are dealing with our investments and the lives of ordinary Seychellois.

Airlines Have Cancelled Flights Into Seychelles!

Numerous airlines have cancelled their flights into Seychelles over the last 12 months and St. Ange, the Minister of Tourism has done nothing to address this leakage of valuable much needed seats into Seychelles from key markets. Let’s take a realistic look at the post-mortem after 12 months:

1.     Air Austral- Three (3) flights a week 126 seats per flight gone;

2.     Transaero – Two (2) flights a week 492 seats from Moscow, a key growth market gone,

3.     Blue Panorama- Two (2) flights a week 492 seats, gone;

4.     Qatar Airways, as of September, 126 seats per day or 882 seats per week, going;

5.     Turkish Airways flights of 240 seats per day or 1,680 seats per week on the heels of Routes Africa Conference announced last July, never happened, the heels of his resignation from SHTA Executive, Mr. Louis D’Offay was still asking what is the hold up, with Turkish Airways landing Rights and fees.

In all, we have a whopping 22,444 seats lost in the last 12 months per month or 26,928  seats per year lost and due to lack of flights into Seychelles when Qatar pulls out. 

This means that Minister St. Ange 15% growth is most likely in the shipping arrivals, like tuna boats, Sri lankan stranded fishing vessels, Somalia pirates, naval personnel.

The Cry For The Yield To Go Up

Sometimes I think Minister St. Ange is trying to pull a Francis Chang- Leng on us. He does have some intellectual traits of the One Party State Era lingering about him. 

Remember the $308 Million Bond at 24% interest the Governor of the Central Bank took with Lehman Brothers in 2007 that President James Michel signed without first reading? Well, after 12 months of issuance, the Government of Seychelles took out a 54 Million Euro Bond again at 24% interest to do what? Pay interest on the $308 Million Bond. This is what sent Seychelles into DEFAULT and national bankruptcy. 

All along, Mr. Chang Leng presumably advised Mr. President that the national debts had been paid off and he was running off to Mauritius, First Class of course, when the Lehman Brothers creditors were arriving as “Visitors” to Seychelles, not as “Tourists”. 

Not dis-similar to Chang –Leng, to hide this scam of 15% increase in Tourist, Mr. St. Ange cunningly, says to us that our “Yields” must increase in order to provide an explanation as to why revenue is down, if Tourism is up 15%. Yet, this is the same St. Ange that told Seychelles Today, his government is not interested in making Seychelles a DUTY FREE port, which would do what? Increase Yields over night.

Fourth Branch of Government Up and Running
We live in an age of transparency. Cyberspace, Facebook, Google, blogs, have become the Fourth Branch of Government of the People, By the People, For the People, that “Checks and Balances” all of government and all of the politicians that attempt to fool the people. We will not be fooled.
Guy Adam and Co Offshore entities

PRC Gearing Up The Fourth Branch of Government
In PRC a regional public servant was photographed wearing numerous Rolex watches and other expensive high end brands. The pictures went viral. In no time, this corrupted fellow was arrested by the State and soon executed after a very speedy trail. The Fourth Branch is not messing about.

Solve The Problem Minister St. Ange, Do Not Try To Hide It
Our immediate problem as a country is that we do not have adequate seats on flights into Seychelles. This is the problem. Admit it. Then come up with a program to solve this problem. Level the playing field at SCAA. Make landing fees and charges low for every airline. Sell fuel at a more competitive rate. Even Air Seychelles part owner Etihad buys fuel in Mauritius where it is cheaper. Allow airlines 5th Freedom Rights to collect passengers in Seychelles, than make an onward journey. Get real. This is the year 2013, not 1913. End protectionist policies that favor Air Seychelles. She is gone. Save the people and the Nation. Forget about the free Pearl Class seats fancy canapés and champagne for a moment. 

Mr. St. Ange will say: “I am not the Minister of Transport, Joel Morgan is….I love those canapés and I don’t drink champagne”.
David Pierre the "sellout".

I will say: “you are both former PS-SNP executive men, so stop passing the buck and blaming each other, like Pierre and Ramkalawan  do. Take responsibility to solve the problem between the Two (2) of you.”  If you must, ask David Pierre, PDM to take a seat around the table to solve your problems. If that does not work, call in Wavel Ramkalawan, promise him first class seats to officiate a solemn solution to this problem that is now hanging Seychelles out to dry like salted fish in season.
The last time Ramkalawan was seen in public.

As you can see, SNP is already in power, and they have already created a royal mess of things with the usual help of PL!

Seselwa Unite!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Written by Christopher Gill, Leader of Seychelles Freedom Party.