Friday, 30 August 2013

Ex-Berlusconi Deputy and Mafia Convict Was In Hiding In Seychelles

Amedeo Matacena
Police in Dubai on Thursday arrested a former lawmaker from Silvio Berlusconi's party known for his mafia connections, Italian news agency Ansa said.

Amedeo Matacena had been on the run from Italian authorities for several months when he was arrested at Dubai's airport as he got off a plane from the Seychelles.
Once a member of parliament for Forza Italia -- the party formed and led by ex-Italian prime minister Berlusconi, which was dissolved and reborn as the People of Freedom party -- Matacena was sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 for collusion with the powerful Calabrian mafia, known as the 'Ndrangheta.

He disappeared when the sentence was confirmed in June.
The entrepreneur, who hails from a family of shipowners known for opening the first ferry service linking southern Italy to Sicily via the Strait of Messina, was twice elected to parliament in 1994 and 2001.

Matacena was linked to the Rosmini mafia clan during an investigation that started in the 1990s into hundreds of unsolved crimes believed to involve the mafia.
Of the four main mafia groups in Italy -- the 'Ndrangheta, the Camorra in Naples, the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the less well-known Sacra Corona Unita in southeast Italy -- the Calabrian organisation has become the most feared in recent years.

The 'Ndrangheta turns over tens of billions of euros in profit a year, mostly from drug trafficking, according to various estimates.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Emirates To Cut Flights to Seychelles During Dubai Airport Revamp By Half

Emirates Airline will be trimming several services during the 80-day maintenance at Dubai International Airport beginning from May 1, 2014, according to reports.
The airline is planning to halve the number of flights it operates to Amman, Amsterdam, Beirut, Cairo, Cape Town, Glasgow, Lagos, Moscow Domodedovo, Muscat, and Nairobi, reported UK-based Business Traveller.
Emirates currently operates twice-daily services to these cities.
Services to Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Milan Malpensa and Tehran will also be reduced to two-daily from the current three daily flights.
The carrier will also decrease flights to Bahrain, Bangkok, Colombo, Delhi, Doha, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, Mumbai, Riyadh, Seychelles and Vienna, said the report.
Emirates did not officially confirm the route-cuts, responding with the following statement: “Emirates has a close working relationship with Dubai Airports and is aware of the need for runway upgrading work to be carried out in May 2014.
“We fully support the airport enhancements, which are in the wider interests of Dubai’s development as a global aviation hub. Emirates will provide full cooperation with any rescheduling required and adjust operations accordingly. Mirroring the approach of Dubai Airports, safety is of paramount importance.”
Dubai Airports, which announced the runway enhancement project earlier this year, confirmed at the time that scheduled passenger flights will be reduced while maintenance work is taking place.
“Safety and service are our two top priorities,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said in a statement. “While we regret any inconvenience caused to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and quite literally pave the way for future expansion.”
Dubai World Central, the emirate’s new airport which opens its doors for passenger operations on October 27 this year, will also be an available alternative to absorb affected scheduled passenger flights, the statement added.

 http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/08/emirates-to-cut-several-flights-during-dubai-airport-revamp/#.Uhziuz_lhKt

Monday, 26 August 2013

USS Bainbridge, USS Carter Hall sailors arrive in Seychelles for port visit

USS Bainbridge
NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy says the USS Bainbridge has arrived in Seychelles (say-SHELZ) for a scheduled port visit.
The Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyer arrived in Port Victoria on Monday. It joins the crew of the USS Carter Hall, an amphibious dock landing ship that arrived in Seychelles on Sunday. USS Carter Hall’s home port is in Virginia Beach.
While in Seychelles, the Navy says sailors will have an opportunity to experience the local culture and assist Nature Seychelles with wetland preservation.
Seychelles is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean east of mainland Africa.
The Bainbridge is on a scheduled seven-month deployment that began in June.


By Associated Press, Published: August 26

http://www.washingtonpost.com


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Stella Port Louis, Director of Companies Linked to Money Laundering

NZ firms linked to money laundering -�Stella Port-Louis, of the Seychelles, is director of four Queen St companies linked to illegal activities Related Links Web of intrigue Relevant offers Criminals are using shell companies set up under New Zealand's lax company laws to launder money.
Wrong address or wrong Stella Port-Louis?

Port-Louis is an offshore Agent working for Lotus Holding Company Ltd – a registry agent in the Seychelles. 
Companies created by an Auckland firm operating out of Queen St have been linked to Russian crime, a Mexican drug cartel and Romanian extortion.
A 16-month Fairfax Media investigation has also tied companies created by Geoffrey Taylor and his sons Ian and Michael, who work out of 363 Queen St, to a company that smuggled arms out of North Korea.

Taylor in academic garb
The government admits there is a problem but says it has had other priorities.
The Taylor operation is not illegal, but the companies they create are connected to serious crimes in a number of countries.
They set up a shell company, Bristoll Export Ltd, that helped move part of the proceeds of a $245 million Russian tax fraud out of Moscow and into Swiss bank accounts. London-based Hermitage Capital Management hired a lawyer to find out what happened, but he died in a Moscow jail.
Hermitage chief executive Bill Browder told the Sunday Star-Times he was "highly motivated to make sure all aspects of this story see the light of day", and that he had a "treasure trove of information" about New Zealand companies' ties to the scandal.
The Taylors set up complex webs of companies, and one of them, linked to Russians in Cyprus, is administered out of a home in Albany near Auckland.

Stella Port Louis
A United States Justice Department investigation into the banking giant Wachovia, also tied Taylor-linked companies to the movement of drug money. Wachovia was fined more than $202m for helping disguise the illegal origins of up to $479 billion for Mexican drug lords, predominantly the murderous Sinaloa cartel. Four Taylor companies "filtered" $50m in drug money through banks in Latvia and on to Wachovia. Each of the companies had just one director � Stella Port-Louis, 32, of the Seychelles, until recently a director of around 300 New Zealand companies.
Canada's Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, which assessed Wachovia, identified the "exploitation of New Zealand's weak company registration laws" as a problem.
International expert Martin Woods said shell companies were "ideal vehicles for money launderers, tax evaders and arms traffickers".

Thai security personnel surround the cargo plane loaded with smuggled weapons
In 2009, a Georgia-registered cargo plane flew from North Korea to Bangkok and was found to have 35 tonnes of arms on it. The plane was chartered by SP Trading Ltd, a company set up by the Taylors.
Ad Feedback�� The company's director was a Burger King cook named Lu Zhang, 29, who was later convicted of 75 breaches of the Companies Act for giving false addresses on registration forms, something she described in court as "one little mistake".
She is also a director of companies linked to Romanian Lorenzo Kiss, who is under arrest over an alleged $14.5m embezzlement.
Ian Taylor told the Sunday Star-Times media reports connected dots that weren't there.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Auckland's forensic services director Alex Tan said using company service providers had become common here.
"The money-laundering and even terrorist financing risks associated with them are high, particularly considering they can be set up over the internet."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5069771/NZ-firms-linked-to-money-laundering

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Corporate Owners Hide Assets, Identities

Roughly four miles from the famed Las Vegas casino strip, ABC Equity's corporate
office is registered in a modest business suite located off West Sahara Avenue.
Great Fortune 600 is registered in the same suite. So are DK Financial, Hill 99, Stock
Savant, ZZYZX Holdings — and more than 1,000 other corporations.
They share something in common besides their business address. Each lists the same man
as its sole corporate officer in Nevada incorporation records. He is William Reed, a
businessman with a suspended law license and the target of a Federal Trade Commission
lawsuit that alleges he and a convicted felon teamed in a business that promoted forming
Nevada corporations to shield assets "from 'capricious federal judges and any government
agency.' "


BACKGROUND: Got $95 and 5 minutes? That's about all it takes
A USA TODAY computer-aided review shows that the two men and their business,
Asset Protection Group, are part of a thriving mini-industry that has capitalized on real or
perceived gaps in domestic incorporation laws and virtually non-existent government
oversight to promote some U.S. states as secrecy rivals of offshore havens.
A multi-agency U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment issued in 2005 cited Nevada,
Wyoming and Delaware as the states with laws most conducive to anonymous corporate
ownership. USA TODAY's review, which examined databases of all Nevada and
Wyoming incorporations but was unable to obtain comprehensive data for Delaware,
found:

•A Florida man who served a federal prison term for an international currency trading
scam used his secret ownership of a Nevada corporation to launch a similar fraud after he
was released. More than 120 victims lost $8 million.
•Interpol or other international investigators probing suspected crimes overseas have
contacted the Wyoming Secretary of State's office about corporations registered by a
businessman whose Internet-based venture advertised using Wyoming firms to shield
assets.
•The sole publicly listed officer for nearly 100 firms incorporated in Wyoming is a
woman whose listed address is a postal box in the Republic of Seychelles, an Indian
Ocean nation that has been the focus of corporate secrecy concerns.
Ownership transparency obstacles.
Jalil contended that the IRS and law enforcement investigators can check on any
company by examining bank records. Claiming that corporation secrecy laws can block
investigators "doesn't sound like reality to me," Jalil said.
But the internal workings of some corporations prove particularly resistant to
transparency. Wyoming incorporation records show that at least 90 companies created
since 2002 list Stella Port-Louis as the sole listed officer. Many of the firms, such as
Export Deutschland AG and Motorcomsa S.A., have foreign corporate names.
The only address for Port-Louis listed in the records is a postal box in the Republic of
Seychelles. A USA TODAY interview request mailed in January to Port-Louis' postal
box could not be delivered. Port-Louis did not respond to a message relayed via
Registered Agency Services, the Cheyenne company that is the local agent for the
corporations that list her as an officer.
JoLyn Jordan, an official of Registered Agency Services, a firm that files incorporations,
said she believed Port-Louis was a nominee for owners outside the USA. "I don't know
who she is, or if she's for real," said Jordan. Asked how to determine if they were shell
firms created for crime, Jordan said, "You don't know."
Jack Blum, an international tax expert and former special counsel to the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, said money laundering investigations have historically focused on
the Seychelles. While saying he had no information about the Port-Louis firms, he said
the filings seemed designed to frustrate.
"Whoever's trying to research it will go batty," said Blum.

Contributing: Barbara Hansen

USA Today article
http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/regulation/2007-02-23-tax-havensusat_
x.htm

Monday, 19 August 2013

President Cristina of Argentina Denied Having Been Two Days in Seychelles

Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner
The President’s website published a communiqué signed by Secretary General Oscar Parrilli, informing that the technical stopover at Seychelles of the chartered plane that was bringing back Cristina from a visit to the Far East lasted 13 and a half hour, was made to allow the pilots to rest, as informed in the timetable decree on the flight.

The communiqué states that the allegation made on the TV show, "is a maneuver by Jorge Lanata" media hit man of (Héctor) Magnetto and Clarín."

"The lies, affronts and the invention of situations with the purpose of disqualifying the President, made by the media hit man of Magneto and Clarín, Mr. Jorge Lanata, has no regard for time zones, international flight regulations or officials and public tours of the President," the communiqué reads.

The Presidential flight included the cities of Havana (Friday 11 and Saturday 12 of January, Abu Dhabi (Jan. 14 and 15) Jakarta (Jan.17 and 18), Ho Chi Min (Jan. 19) and Hanoi (Jan. 21). President Cristina started her flight back to Argentina on Jan. 21, 2013, at 11:18 PM local time, using plane D-AXTM, belonging to the Chapman-Freeborn British company."

The communiqué explains that after seven and a half hours of flight, the plane landed at the Mahé Airport, in Seychelles, at 3:50 AM local time. That same day, after completing the minimum rest period of the crew, the President departed from the same airport at 5:25 PM of that same day, thus remaining 13 hours and 30 minutes in Seychelles.

In the Presidential decree of Jan. 10 on the tour, its  participants and the stopovers, was informed that the Victoria, Republic of Seychelles stopover was not only to refuel, but had required a minimum time for the pilots’ rest.

"What would have happened if the President made a stopover not mentioned in the decree, visit secretly a country with a tax heaven in a secret way? How many prosecutors and politicians would have accused her?", queries the communiqué signed by Parrilli.

"To set up a media circus for a mandatory stopover of a plane for security reasons to permit the rest of the crew, lying with an unlimited amount of hate, only proves the bad intention and the political enrage to which the alleged journalist responds," ends the communiqué.

 http://www.telam.com.ar/english/notas/201308/309-president-cristina-denied-having-been-two-days-in-seychelles.html

The Phatom Account

In 2008, a Romanian who felt cheated by three Moldovan businessmen filed a civil case in an obscure courthouse in the capital of the tiny Republic of Moldova, in effect asking the authorities for help against a phantom offshore company called Tormex Ltd. Prosecutors subpoenad two years’ worth of Tormex’s bank accounts in Latvia and what they found was stunning.
It seemed that more than US$680 million a year was pouring through Tormex’s accounts.
Those bank records opened a window for reporters from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to a world where crime is measured in billions.
Tracing the transactions took reporters to Chisinau, Moscow, Kiev, Riga, Bucharest, London and Auckland, cities that have become hubs in a huge network of banks, proxies, financial consultants and offshore companies that launder money and hide stolen assets.
Tormex Limited was one of these companies in the Proxy Platform.
For over 12 months, thousands of transactions and commissions from all over the world circulated through the Tormex bank account in Latvia before they were diverted to other offshore companies.
Yet Tormex didn’t really exist. It was a phantom. It had no offices, no employees. Its director was a Russian citizen; an unwitting stand-in with no idea there was such a thing as Tormex. What Tormex did own was a bank account at the Baltic International Bank in Riga, Latvia. Who really runs the operation, no one knows, so carefully have they disguised themselves behind layers of dead-end proxies and offshore companies.
But their goal is boldly clear: launder money and hide assets. It insured that crime profits were hidden behind outward-looking legal import-export operations or consultancy and intermediary agreements. Money that flowed through Tormex has been connected to criminal activities or is simply lost in the maze of offshore companies. It is no coincidence that Tormex’s account was in Latvia, a country with one of the least transparent banking systems in the world. It is recognized as a hotbed for international money laundering.
OCCRP also found out that Tormex Ltd played a role in laundering the money for a fraudulent scheme that ultimately led to the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, a brave Russian whistleblower. Two companies involved in the Magnitsky case and in the looting of the Russian state budget, Nomirex Ltd and Keronol Ltd, sent almost US$15 million to the Tormex account.
Birth of a Phantom
 In February of 2007, Tormex  was registered in Auckland, New Zealand by the GT Group.  The GT Group was a business registration firm based in that city and already well known to law enforcement as a company that specialized in setting up untraceable offshore companies, fronted by proxies.  It helped organized crime, corrupt leaders and terrorists avoid detection, launder money and evade taxes. New Zealand authorities, in fact, closed GT Group, in June of 2011.  It registered companies that were later connected to illegal arms trading between the North Korean government and Iran and in deals with Hezbollah, Mexican drug cartels, Russian organized crime groups and others.
Tormex Ltd, was owned by another paper company and its director was a proxy named Stella Port-Louis. Port-Louis, 32, was a professional proxy for the Taylor network, by all accounts. She lives in the Seychelles islands off the coast of Africa far from the 577 New Zealand offshore companies, at least 90 Wyoming companies and 164 companies in Great Britain of which she has been listed as director.
 Port-Louis’s directorship lasted only hours. On the company’s birth date, she signed a power-of-attorney which effectively gave control to a second-level proxy: Albert Maslakov. Maslakov, 44, a driver, lives very modestly outside Moscow. He could only imagine the amounts pouring though Tormex’s accounts in his name. In fact, he was completely unaware Tormex existed and that he was its director until OCCRP reporters contacted him.
Yet documents at Baltic International Bank indicate someone used his name and signature to open a multi-currency account for Tormex Ltd at the end of May, 2007. It recorded its first transaction in September of 2007 and its last on Sept. 3, 2008. It stayed inactive until the offshore company was terminated in New Zealand on June 22, 2010.
Maslakov told OCCRP that three or four years ago he was working as a driver in the Russian state-owned Center-Telekom, which provides telecom services throughout the country.
 "One of my colleagues offered me a way to earn some money. I can’t remember his name now. I asked him what I had to do, and he replied ‘Nothing, we just need your passport details." Maslakov remembers that he signed some documents in English, which he didn’t understand. "I’m regretting now that I did it, but I really needed the money," says Maslakov.
Maslakov is not the only one who sold their passport details.
"There are hundreds of law-firms in Moscow, which specialize in setting up ready-made shell companies for their clients, who want to remain in the shadows. Usually law firms use poor people, who sell them passport details. The sum for one passport may vary from US$100 to US$300," says Ruslan Milchenko, ex-officer of the Russian tax police.
The Transactions
 Tormex opened a multi-currency account – a usual practice in the banking paradise of the Baltic state. The balance was held in seven currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, SEK, JPY, CAD), but the most significant transactions were in US dollars.
The Tormex Ltd bank account for the year of its life has more than 500 pages offering details of thousands of suspicious transactions with phantom companies in offshore jurisdictions around the world as well as with legitimate companies in Europe, USA, the Middle or the Far East.
Occasionally, payments were made to real people. A woman got €6,000 (US$8,100) at an Italian bank in Bari; another one received US$13,000 in Miami, USA. A man got US$12,000 in Chicago. All were former Soviet Union immigrants living in the West, with two exceptions: an Egyptian and a Bulgarian.
Many of the transactions appear to be commercial deals at first glance. They have descriptions and even associated contracts, reporters were told when they called the companies involved. But in only one case did the companies say they received any goods. Mostly, the contracts were cancelled after the transaction and the companies repaid for their order through a different offshore company. Some admitted the contracts were bogus. The pattern matches a money laundering operation Russian organized crime uses.
Tormex Limited also had transactions with other offshore proxy companies engaged in a similar business including Nomirex Trading Ltd, Keronol Ltd, and Melide Ltd. OCCRP found that Keronol Ltd sent almost US$15 million to the Tormex Ltd account in a short period of time.
All of these companies were established by the Taylor network in New Zealand. The companies show up on Suspicious Activity Reports, reports banks file when they suspect money laundering.  These reports became the basis for a US government money laundering case against Wachovia which was accused of laundering billions of dollars for the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel. Wachovia was fined US$50 million and it surrendered US$110 million in profit, which was the highest fine levied against a bank in the US history.
Tormex Ltd statement of account shows a consistent pattern of banking operations. For example, two offshore type companies - Geowide Ltd and Triallon LLP – periodically sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Tormex. That money was, in turn, sent to Ofra Group Ltd, Loritex Ltd and to an entity simply named "Robertson".
Triallon is registered in London, England, while Geowide, Ofra Group and Loritex were established by the Taylor network in Auckland. All are now closed. All had hidden ownership, and all had bank accounts in Latvia.
They are likely missing pieces of the platform puzzle.
http://www.reportingproject.net/proxy/en/the-phantom-accounts

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Career of Shell-Company Creator Points to Banks as Culprits

US senators Carl Levin and Chuck Grassley introduced the “Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act” in the US Senate on August 3, which is intended to close down the US as a jurisdiction used by unscrupulous businessmen, often of Eastern European origin, to set up shell companies. "Our states don't require anyone to name the owners of the corporations being formed under their laws, practically inviting people to misuse our corporations," Levin said, introducing the bill.

That move comes after June's G8 summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, where leaders, including US President Barack Obama, resolved to legislate so that, "Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron has subsequently launched moves to creating a national register of beneficial ownership, intended to eradicate widespread use of the UK to set up shell companies.

The prospects for the Levin-Grassley's bill may be less rosy than Cameron's initiative. But support from Obama is a given – he was one of four senators who introduced the Transparency bill first time round in 2007 – making the Lough Erne G8 declaration something of a return to his roots.

A shell in every Port-Louis
Stella Port Louis

However, the recent moves by the US and UK will probably raise false hopes that merely closing loopholes in corporate law will combat money laundering; experts say governments need to tackle the banks that generate such shell companies in order to shift funds around for their secretive clients.

Tellingly, Obama's original letter of 2007 picked out Seychelles-based nominee director Stella Port-Louis as a flagrant example of corporate abuse. Obama pointed to how Port-Louis featured as director of over 100 companies alone in tiny Wyoming. It was later revealed that she was also director of hundreds of shell companies in New Zealand. Port-Louis was the employee of a company incorporation firm located in the Seychelles called Lotus Holding Company.

Obama then seemed remarkably prescient when, in early 2010, Port-Louis featured as director of four New Zealand companies that were named as laundering funds from Mexico's Sinaloa narcotics cartel via Wachovia Bank. The story then grew wings after a plane stuffed with anti-aircraft missiles was intercepted in Bangkok, en route from North Korea to Iran – and it transpired the plane had been leased by another New Zealand company, SP Trading, which was set up by the same service provider.

Later, in 2010, following the death of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky in detention in Moscow, details emerged of how a massive fraudulent tax rebate had been siphoned out of Russia via shell companies, including by New Zealand companies featuring Port-Louis as director.

Journalists had a field day exploring the connections, and pinned the blame on the company service provider Geoffrey Taylor, eccentric founder of the GT Group, that had set up the New Zealand companies. The story of the colourful, but allegedly criminal, South Sea self-styled lord produced great copy, but dodged the question of how Australia-based Taylor sourced his secrecy-obsessed clients from the northern hemisphere.

That question was then answered when a massive leaked database of British Virgin Island databases, obtained and made available online in 2013 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, pointed to a different story about Obama's favourite nominee director, Stella Port-Louis – a story connected not to the South Seas and eccentric colonials, but to the Baltics and murky banks.

Rigged in Riga

The leaked database showed nearly 1,500 British Virgin Island (BVI) firms that had been set up by Port-Louis' Seychelles employer Lotus Holding Company, and featuring her as nominee director, were all listed at the Riga address of a Latvian incorporation company called Financial Group Omega.

According to the Latvian company database, Omega was owned and headed by Latvian citizen Marks Rečkins, who is also listed in online sources as head of the Seychelles company Lotus Holding. Riga-based Omega offers customers shell companies with nominees in a range of jurisdictions, in combination with bank accounts at Latvian banks.

No surprise then that the criminal New Zealand companies that hit the headlines in 2010 later proved to all have bank accounts in the Baltics. For all the media brouhaha, the leaked BVI database indicates Taylor may have been merely the supplier of New Zealand companies and some nominee directors to Rečkin's Riga-based head operation, which worked directly for the Baltic banks and their clients.

According to Latvia's regulator, Financial and Capital Market Commission, around 23% of the Latvian banking sector's non-resident deposits are incorporated in the BVI, 14% in the UK, and single figures for Cyprus, Belize, New Zealand , Panama, Seychelles, the US and Russia – pointing to huge demand for shell companies on the part of the banks' clients.

"I have no interest in talking to journalists," Reckins confides to bne, answering a Latvian mobile number. Reckins apparently closed Omega in Riga in 2010, and Port-Louis was struck off as a Seychelles director. But she was later reinstated on appeal, and Rečkins now operates as Lotus Corporate Services in BVI, whose address of 3A Little Denmark Complex scores nearly 20,000 Google hits, many for dodgy business such as online pyramid investment scams – and, where visible, with Latvian bank accounts.

Alpine scamming

bne traced Rečkins' activities and discovered they extend to another famous banking secrecy region besides the Baltics – to the Alpine countries, where shell companies are also de rigueur for clients, among whom are many wealthy businesspeople and officials from the former Soviet states.

In 2009, Rečkins registered a Swiss company called Lotus Corporate Services at Ville delle Scuele 34, Lugano. That was also the address of a tiny new bank called Aston Bank, founded in 2007. In December 2009, Aston Bank was raided by armed police, and the manager-shareholders bundled handcuffed into vans. In January 2010, its licence was withdrawn. Swiss financial regulators found CHF20m was missing from the bank's capital, and tens of millions of Swiss francs of client funds had also apparently vanished. News magazine L'Hebdo established the funds belonged to Russian-Israeli oligarch Vitaly Malkin, apparently managed for him by Luxemburg banker Pierre Grotz.

In 2010, Rečkins joined the advisory board of another freshly minted bank – Valartis Bank in Liechtenstein, acquired and rebranded by the Swiss Valartis group in 2009, and headed by Gustav Stenbolt, a former fund manager in Russia. According to its annual reports, Valartis "specialised in providing advice for high net-worth families and institutional investors… from Russia to Turkey, the Middle East and the Far East."

Andreas Insam, board member of Valartis Liechtenstein, tells bne that the advisory board, on which Rečkins serves for free, is "only a marketing tool to get closer to the bank’s markets," and that the bank has no relationship to Rečkins' Lotus Corporate Services.

In early August, documents linked to a Liechtenstein money-laundering investigation were leaked to Maltese paper Il-Torca. The Liechtenstein investigation traced assets at Valartis that were linked to exiled Kazakh oligarch Rakhat Aliev, former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was accused in Kazkhstan of abducting two bank managers in 2007 before fleeing into exile. According to documents seen by bne, just under €10m in cash was anonymously paid into the Valartis account of Aliev's Panama offshore called Plotin Associated on it being opened in late 2007. According to sources cited by Maltese paper Il-Torca, which originally obtained the documents, the account swelled to around €212m before Plotin Associated was dissolved in 2012. Valartis said it could not comment on any client.

In early August, documents linked to a Liechtenstein money-laundering investigation were leaked to Maltese paper Il-Torca. The Liechtenstein investigation traced assets at Valartis that were linked to exiled Kazakh oligarch Rakhat Aliev, former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was accused in Kazkhstan of abducting two bank managers in 2007 before fleeing into exile. He has never resurfaced, and was sentenced to 20 years in absentia and his property confiscated. According to documents seen by bne, just under €10m in cash was paid into the Valartis account of Aliev's Panama offshore Plotin Associated anonymously, on it being opened in late 2007. According to sources cited by Maltese paper Il-Torca, which originally obtained the documents, the account swelled to around €212m before Plotin Associated was dissolved in 2012. Valartis said it could not comment on any client.

Next generation

Underscoring the central role of banks and their agents in generating demand for mass-produced shell companies, a leaked audit of stricken Cyprus banks in April estimated that a whopping 75% of all accounts at the banks had been opened at the bank by "introducer structures", ie. company service providers like Rečkins, who set up offshores together with bank accounts, on behalf of clients. Such introducer structures conduct customer due diligence in lieu of the banks – one reason why banks love them. As a result, "customer business profiles are generally not properly established by Cypriot banks," found auditors Deloitte and Europe's anti-money laundering body Moneyval.

Thus the secretive bank-client relationship in countries like Latvia, Switzerland and Cyprus seems the real motor behind the creation of shell companies around the world. Tightening up laws in UK and US, as Cameron and Obama propose, may simply prompt a search for fresh fields – and there are many. "Untraceable shell companies are in practice widely available," says Griffith University expert Jason Sharman.

Offshore incorporators – including those who are agents for Latvian banks – are increasingly offering South African, Scottish and Canadian shell companies, and the cases of such companies implicated in East European dubious dealings are proliferating.

Even squeaky-clean Denmark could become the "new New Zealand", according to market sources. In particular, the Danish equivalent of the UK's notorious Limited Liability Partnership (LP) – the kommanditselskab, or K/S – is being touted as the next hot thing, potentially providing anonymity and tax exemption in a jurisdiction with spotless reputation.

Jan Breum Eriksen, Danish representative of offshore incorporator Sovereign Group, pitching to Moscow businessmen, even points to loopholes he claims can make a K/S completely invisible to law enforcement – meaning corporate rot could soon become a depressing feature in the state of Denmark.

Graham Stack in Berlin
August 15, 2013

http://www.bne.eu

Thursday, 15 August 2013

How India averted a UK supported Coup in Seychelles!

India had taken an active security role in the Indian Ocean since the mid 1980s. In 1986, India's security role in Seychelles crystallised over a series of coup attempts against President René led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis. Many of the details of these coup attempts remain unclear, perhaps because more than one coup was apparently being organised at the time. According to some reports, the Berlouis plot, codenamed Operation Distant Lash, involved some 30 mercenaries and 350 Seychellois (although Indian sources believe this was an overestimate). Some claim that it had the support of South African intelligence and of prominent anti-communists in Washington. Berlouis had been invited to the Pentagon in 1985 and, according to one report some in the US security establishment saw Berlouis as a potential future president of the islands, recognising in him an ambitious man with no ideological baggage despite his tenure of a senior post of the René government. However, it seems that there was some ambivalence in the Reagan administration about any moves against René, fearing that Seychelles could be destabilised by the installation of a new leader. Since the 1981 attempted coup, René had mended fences with South Africa and the United States: he was increasingly viewed as someone who they could work with and in late 1985 had agreed to extend the US lease on the satellite tracking station.

Nevertheless, in early June 1986, Berlouis and his co-conspirators decided to move against René. When New Delhi was informed of an impending coup by either Indian or Soviet sources, Prime Minister Gandhi (who was also Minister of Defence) and the junior Defence Minister, Arun Singh, personally contacted the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RH Tahiliani, with a verbal request to provide assistance to René. Coincidentally, the Indian Navy had already dispatched the INS Vindhyagiri under Captain S. Ramsagar on a scheduled visit to Seychelles to participate in Seychelles Independence Day celebrations. It was decided that on arrival Vindhyagiri would report an engineering defect requiring an extended stay in Port Victoria. The Director of Naval Intelligence and Director of Naval Operations then briefed a Commodore who was sent to the Seychelles on a commercial airline to command the operation and ostensibly take charge of repairing the ship. A local engineering company was also enlisted to make some minor repairs. An Indian Navy "engineering" team of 20 sailors trained in weapons was readied for dispatch to Port Victoria, although their presence was not ultimately required. The Indian Navy gave the operation the codename Flowers Are Blooming.

In the meantime, René repaired to the Presidential Palace under the protection of his 50-strong North Korean bodyguard while the INS Vindhyagiri remained at Port Victoria for 12 days, making great use of its Sea King to provide public displays of helicopter commando "slithering" and assaults. The ship regularly trained its 4.5 inch gun on power mode as a demonstration to the coup plotters. Also present in Port Victoria was a Soviet Turya class patrol boat, the Zoroaster, which was due to be handed over to the Seychelles. The Zoroaster's captain was junior in rank to the Vindhyagiri's captain. At one stage the Zoroaster left Port Victoria on patrol in response to a report that two Royal Naval vessels intended to enter the port in support of the planned coup. By mid June the planned coup had been averted. Seychellois authorities - with the likely assistance of Indian security services - arrested six men (but not Berlouis). Indian sources believe that the presence of an Indian naval vessel made a significant contribution to averting a coup. As a former Indian intelligence officer who was in the Seychelles during the period commented, the Indian naval presence "served the purpose."

Two months later Berlouis made another attempt to unseat President René which India again helped to quash. The plot was uncovered in late August while President René was attending a meeting of the Non Aligned Movement in Harare with Rajiv Gandhi and other leaders of non-aligned states. René may have been told of the planned coup by the South African security services whose strategy was cultivating all sides in Seychelles with a view to cementing its own influence. According to another report, René was personally informed about the plot by Rajiv Gandhi who had been tipped off by the Soviets. Gandhi lent René his own plane, Air India 001, to return to Seychelles early. According to one report on 6 September René, disguised as an Indian woman wearing a sari, was met at the airport by the Indian High Commissioner and taken to the Commissioner's residence. Berlouis and other plotters were then tracked to the island of Praslin. Berlouis and four other army officers were forced to resign and Berlouis left for London. The Indian ship INS Godavari, which was then returning to India from New York after taking part in centenary celebrations for the Statue of Liberty, was diverted to Port Victoria, although it only arrived on 24 September and departed several days after. It was reported that in October 1986, some 50 Soviet troops were landed by the Soviet amphibious vessel the Ivan Rogov, to provide additional security to René.

India's interventions cemented India's role in the Seychelles. In 1989, India established the Seychelles Defence Academy and continues to play an important role in Seychelles' security. Although India lost some of its assertiveness in the region in the wake of the Sri Lankan debacle, since the turn of the century it has been actively re-establishing its security role in the Indian Ocean. Today, India has close security relationships with many states in the southwest Indian Ocean, including Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique, which form an important part of India's broader strategy in the Indian Ocean.

Conclusion

Operation Flowers Are Blooming was the first demonstration of the Indian Navy's capability to influence political events throughout the Indian Ocean, far from the navy's traditional area of operations in South Asia. It showed that the navy could be used to project power effectively, at long distance, and with relative discretion. Naval diplomacy by the Indian Navy has been used to great effect in recent years. The success of the Seychelles operation may also have given the Rajiv Gandhi government confidence that it could execute low cost military interventions in its Indian Ocean neighbours, including its decision to intervene in Sri Lanka in July 1987 and it successful intervention in the Maldives in November 1988. That the Sri Lanka intervention was ultimately disastrous for the Indian Army, Rajiv Gandhi, and of course Sri Lanka, is a reminder of the risks involved in such actions.

Air Seytihad Repositions Itself for profitability

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which also operates daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Lagos, during the week, expressed satisfaction over the turnaround of its equity partner, Air Seychelles, which has posted a profit of $1 million following three years of losses.
The net profit was achieved just one year after Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways acquired a 40 per cent stake in Air Seychelles along with a five-year management contract to provide strategic support and management expertise in reshaping the airline as a sustainable commercial entity.
The result marks a dramatic change of fortune for the Indian Ocean carrier which had made heavy losses for past three years.

“The challenges in the global economy mean it is still a very tough environment for airlines. Against that backdrop, this is an impressive result,” James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said.
“This performance validates the strength of our equity alliance proposition in which closer committed commercial collaboration drives revenue growth, and the integration and consolidation of key functions, achieves economies of scale and cost savings.”
“It is also testament to the hard work and willingness of the Air Seychelles team to embrace change and make the tough decisions required in reshaping their business.”, he said.
According to the airline, network and fleet planning centralised in Abu Dhabi has resulted in a new network plan which will support the hugely important tourist sector in Seychelles more effectively with good connections and broader choice for visitors to the archipelago.

The optimised schedule, it says, has also enhanced connectivity with Etihad Airways and other partner airlines over Abu Dhabi.
Also, 19 new code share destinations with Etihad Airways will open up key European markets.
Leveraging synergies and economies of scale arising from its relationship with Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles has been able to achieve substantial savings and cost reductions in aviation insurance, international catering and ground handling and in flight entertainment.
The conclusion of joint contracts for fuel, uniforms and stationery supplies, all contributed to significantly reduced costs.
 http://businessdayonline.com

Dredger In Seychelles on Behalf Of Sheikh Khalifa

THE Emirati Royal Family has ended Roman Abramovich's three-year-reign as owner of the world's biggest yacht.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi, has been revealed as the owner of Azzam, a 180-metre superyacht so big few berths can accommodate it.
The boat beats Chelsea Football Club owner Abramovich's Eclipse to the top spot in a survey of the world's 100 biggest yachts by just 16.5 metres.
After its sale earlier this year, the identity of Azzam's buyer was not known.
But according to the annual survey in Yachts France magazine, it belongs to the emir, whose half-brother and government colleague, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, is owner of the investment company that acquired Manchester City Football Club.
Azzam was designed by Nauta Yachts and built by Lürssen Yachts, in Bremen, Germany, who called it the "most complex and challenging yacht which has ever been built".
With a top speed of 31 knots, driven by a combination of two gas turbines and two diesel engines, it is the third-fastest yacht in the top 100.

It is reported to have cost between $400 million (£258 million) and $600 million (£387 million) to build, and features a lavish 6,000-square foot salon. Mr Abramovich's boat, though smaller, still has room for two helipads, two swimming pools, a disco and a mini-submarine.
Of the 100 yachts listed by the magazine, 31 were owned by people from the Middle East, 19 by Russians and 17 by Americans. The biggest British-owned yacht was inventor James Dyson's 91-metre Nahlin, ranked 36th.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Monday, 12 August 2013

Seychelles Environmental Extremist Destroy and And Discredit Investment Climate Overnight

Last year in April 2013, unknown to the James Alix Michel administration, Since he relies on ministers who sleep on the job:

1. Minister Rolph Payet (Environment).

2. Minister Christian Lionnet (does he ever sleep on the job)

the highest court of the land the Seychelles Court of Appeal delivered a damning judgement on his administration and two ministries mentioned above in particular, for deliberately over controlling development in Seychelles by using with malice, zoning restrictions to prevent Seychellois and foreign investors the right to develop their properties as guaranteed under Article 26 (1) The Right To Property.
Christian Lionnet

The case involved Alwyn Percy (Don) Talma's property at Praslin, Anse Lazio about 65 acres worth perhaps $2 billion on the market based on Fair Market Value. If someone with that kind of land was knocking my door with investors, i would treat them with a little respect.

Court of Appeal Hammers PL Government Openly
The Seychelles Court of Appeal upheld the case of the Constitutional Court and said that Government of Seychelles cannot declare a "place of Exceptional outstanding natural beauty" a "No Development Zone".

The Court held that such declarations violate Article 26 (1) of the Constitution and Article 27 (1) Right to Equal Protection Under the laws. The court went on to say: "laws prohibiting development must be reasonable, and not obstructive to the land owner......", in such cases, it may/can amount to a Taking under the Land Acquisition.

When this happens of course, the Government of Seychelles must pay "Full and Fair Compensation" at "Fair Market Value" before the Taking took place. I hope the Central Bank has enough money to pay off private land owners on Praslin, which which has the most expensive land in Seychelles.

MLUH and Enviroment Obstuct Court of Appeals Ruling in Contempt 

Under the most basic principles of law, ignorance of the law is not an excuse, not even for a Minister. It will be comedy all night if Minister Dr. (Coastal Erosion) Rolf Payet and Minister Mr Christian Lionnet ("Sleeping in Bosoms anywhere") are to claim that they were ignorant of this monumental Court of Appeals ruling  concerning property rights written by Justice Macgregor, Justice Twomey and Justice Fernando when they must face the Justices of the Courts in the coming weeks. Dr Payet claims to be on leave for 30 days. I am sure the Ushers will find hin sooner or later.
Judge M Twomey

Zone Seychelles To Death
Soon after this ruling, these two ministries set out conducting quickie public meetings on Praslin and did not inform property owners in writing. They said the meeting was in context of zoning the entire island on SBC.

No one expected any radical changes to the existing zoning of Praslin, nor did any one except that most of Praslin would be declared brashly, to be a "Area of Extreme Natural Beauty" and development be restricted in direct contravention of the ruling of the Court of Appeals which every land owner on Praslin follows carefully. 

Guess what? Only in Seychelles. The two ministries ignored the two rulings of the Court of Appeals and implemented a new zoning map by Gazette in March 2013 which is in direct Contempt of the Court of Appeals Ruling made April 13, 2012.

Both Ministry of Land Use, Ministry of Environment stand in Contempt of Court today after implementing by Gazette a Land Use Plan in contraventionof the rulings of the Court of Appeals.

Even Planning Authority tasked with implementating the mishap, is now in Contempt of Court.
Dr Death, Rolph Payet

It Gets Worse
Zoning laws must be reasonable and cannot prohibit development unreasonably on private property. When this is done, and zoning laws are unreasonable, it amounts to a government Taking or land Acquisition as we like to refer to it in Seychelles from our One Party State days.

The decisions made by these two Ministries will now cost Government of Seychelles $ Billions and Billions as most as most of Praslin has DEFACTO been turned into a "Environment Protection Zone". Lawsuits and claims for compensation in the $ Billions and $ Billions will now start to surface as lawyers figure out what is happening to the investments of their Clients and the opportunity to earn 30% on Billions will create a new industry for starving lawyers in Victoria.

Investors Are Scared To Death To Invest Today
This situation is fuel to the fire from another hair brain idea promoted by Minister Christian Lionnet according to other ministers in the Cabinet Round Table. His idea, that he was able to feed into Michel's speech in June 18th, that is scaring off investors is this: "Our PL Government will no longer sell Land to Foreigners. Foreigners will be able to lease for 60 years and their lease will not be renewable.

Who Will Invest in Lease Property if They cannot Renew A Lease
Minister Lionnet thinks foreigners will invest in LEASE property for 60 years and build project worth hundred of millions of US Dollars then suddenly phoof!

On the Sixty year time limit, the investor will lose all effort, and his heirs will end up with nothing. Wow! Sounds like Disney world all over again.

Minister Lionnet go tell Mickey Mouse to do a ride at Disney and call it the "Christian Lionnet 60 Year Lease Ride" at the end of the ride, the passenger dumped out cold. What world do you live in Sir?

The key word of course, left out of the proposal that destroy the workability of the 60 YEAR LEASE is (RENEWABLE after negotiations with the lessor).

I implore you Minister Lionnet "stop messing James Michel up to mess up our economy which hurts everyone". You are good at building public houses financed by Khalifa- stick to it. Stop breaking the cycle of investment in Seychelles that gives Seychellois a fighting chance in this mad hat world you seem to be trying to create along with Dr. (Coastal Erosion) Rolph Payet.

Pierre Laporte must be on PANADOL 24 hours a day 7 days a week with you guys. How is he suppose to raise money to pay down the debts if you guys are literally killing off investments in Seychelles. Have you seen how many properties are for sale on the internet fellows? It is because of you. Everyone is selling, because no one trust you.

Back To Contempt of Court Proceedings
These two rookie miniters screwed up so badly, i mean badly that guess what folks?

Talma is now going back to court, to hold them in Contempt of Court, (likely request that they will be jailed) and fined probably Scr 500,000 each this time, and next time likely another Scr 1 Million each next time his project is delayed.

Suing this government with lackeys like these two ministers, will prove to be very profitable for People of Seychelles.

A little advise for James Michel:
1. Dr Rolf should be running a garden maintenance company for hotels and
2. Lionnet should be doing a little house and building maintenance as a contractor, nothing more, really Mr Michel.

You can only speculate of the amount of damages they have done to luring investors to Seychelles. How many Billions of US Dollarscould Two Ministers cost Seychelles because they were sleeping on the job?

Unfortunately, the reputation of Seychelles, as an investment zone, has been destroyed overnight, and litigation will start flowing as we speak like vultures to dead carcass.

Seselwa Unite!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Written by Christopher Gill, Leader of Seychelles Freedom Party
Mr Christopher Gill
 


 




     

  

Sunday, 11 August 2013

QUESTION TIME FOR SEYCHELLES MILLIONAIRE IN PUBLIC SERVICE

Mr. James Michel, is your nett worth today: A. Scr. 100 Million B. 300 Million C. 500 Million or D. 1 Billion? Thank you for allow us to address this issue as you are a Public Figure. Did Khalifa help you achieve this figure?
 
James Michel

 Mr. Guy Adam, can you confirm whether while at SEPEC and building TANKERS and hotels on Government of Seychelles land leased to your company for 046 cents a square meter, as Chairman, your personal wealth exploded to over: A. $500 Million or B. $1 Billion, C. $1.5 Billion or D. $2 Billion? Thank you for your disclosure. We appreciate your honesty, enjoy your golf.
 
Guy Adam

Father Wavel Ramkalawan, can you please advise us what is your nett worth today: A. 25Million, B. 50 Million, C 75Million or D. 100 Million. This is the question I posed before being blocked on Seychelles Daily.
Ramkalawan

Friday, 9 August 2013

Timeshare company owes members at least $262k

SINGAPORE - At least 125 consumers risk being left out of pocket as timeshare company Concord Developments is wound up.
Records with the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) show that victims are owed a total of more than $262,000 - some after being sold contracts for properties overseas that did not exist.
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore's records show that Seychelles-registered creditor Kinson Real Estate issued the firm a writ of summons for $366,588.82 last October.

It could not pay up and the application was made for Concord's compulsory liquidation. This was granted on April 5.
But most of those left stranded with "lifetime contracts" have not been told, said Case's executive director, Mr Seah Seng Choon. The consumer watchdog will soon advise victims on how to file proof of debt so that they can try to get their money back.
"Consumers need to file proof of debt early, before the affairs of the company close," said Mr Seah, adding that liquidators will look into the financial assets of the company and take into account the claims of all creditors.
In all, 125 consumers have approached Case to help them recover a total of $262,300 - but there are likely to be more victims out there. The amounts owed in individual contracts range from $500 to $21,000.
According to Case, which had red-flagged the company several times, Concord targeted those who wanted to sell timeshare memberships with other companies.
They were invited for a meeting and warned that the liability from their existing timeshares could be passed on to their children. Many caved in and signed new contracts with Concord, but later found they were still stuck with their existing ones.
This is not the first time Concord has made the news. In 2011, Case filed a lawsuit against the local firm, asking the court to stop its operations.
Experts said consumers should file their proof of debt, but warned that returns are not guaranteed.
Mr Abuthahir Abdul Gafoor, executive director of accounting firm Stone Forest Corporate Advisory, said: "Liquidators have to look at the assets a firm has and what happened to the money collected. If the money was expensed in the proper way and there is nothing there, then creditors will have nothing to recover."
Administrative assistant F.L. Soh, 45, had already ploughed $55,000 into two bogus timeshare deals, then gave another $3,000 to Concord, believing it could help her claw back the lost investment money. She now believes she has kissed goodbye to that too.
"I feel that I am dumb," said the National University of Singapore graduate and mother of three. "We got hooked because they said they could help us at no charge."
Ms Soh and her husband - a graduate from Nanyang Technological University - ended up paying $3,000 after a three-hour sales pitch. "Now I slam down the phone on any timeshare company that calls me," she added. "It was an expensive lesson learnt."
Neither Concord Developments or its liquidator, Infinity Consulting, could be reached for comment.
The closure is the latest blow to the timeshare sector.
Case received 1,870 complaints against the timeshare industry last year, up 28 per cent from 2011's 1,458 complaints. A total of 827 complaints were received from January to July this year.

 http://news.asiaone.comJessica Lim
The Straits Times

FREEDOM


                                           There is no EASY WALK TO FREEDOM

                                               (Jawaharal Nehru, Nelson Mandela)

                                                  Only Free Men Can Negotiate

                    No Power Can Stop oppressed people determined to win their FREEDOM

                                     There Is No Such Thing As part FREEDOM.

               Only Through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can FREEDOM be won.

                                                               (Mandela)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Seychelles Tourism Industry, An Adjunct Of The UAE

Ramadan iftar event hosted by Seychelles Tourism Office Middle East.
The Seychelles Tourism Office Middle East hosted their 2nd annual Ramadan Iftar with the Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Media on Wednesday, 31st July 2013 at The Oberoi Hotel, Dubai, UAE.
With over 95 attendees, STOME was overwhelmed with the support given by the Trade and media partners. The evening was a great opportunity to spend more time with the valued partners to recognise their contribution towards the increased growth to the Islands from the UAE and update our partners on new developments.

The event was supported by several Seychelles Hotel representatives and Tour Operators by sponsoring prizes such as Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Cerf Island Resort, Coco de Mer Hotel & Black Parrot Suites, Constance Lemuria Resort, Creole Travel Services, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Mason's Travel and Raffles Praslin Seychelles which some of them were able to highlight new updates on their resorts during their interaction with the travel partners and media.

"In line with our marketing activities and to commemorate the Holy month of Ramadan, this was a good platform to interact with the Trade and media and to further express our commitment, to strengthen the relationship and to thank them outside the normal work environment. Their role in the region is very important for us to achieve our set strategy." says Ahmed Fathallah-Regional Manager, Seychelles Tourism Board Middle East"

"We would like to thank the media too for gracing the event and for their continuous support to the destination," says Fathallah. 

  • United Arab Emirates: 4 hours, 40 minutes ago http://www.ameinfo.com/

Friday, 2 August 2013

Ramkalawan Takes Seychelles Into An Electoral Reform Mess‏



This week, Mr. Gappy of the Election Commission along with his Board of Commissioners rightfully and duly submitted the Electoral Reform recommendations to the Vice President Mr. Danny Faure as Mr. Michel was absent from country. It is noteworthy for the reader, that the Seychelles Electoral Commission did do its best in this exercise. It is the leaders in PL, SNP, PDM, DP that failed all of the People of Seychelles. PL failed to keep its commitments, and the Alliance and PDM failed to take steps to hold PL to their commitments. For that, the entire process has been compromised and Democracy in Seychelles is at risk. I explain clearly, below why.


A Fools Electoral Reform Proposal
Prior to this, Mr. Gappy submitted the Report to the parties participating in the process. PL was not seen on SBC. Only Mr. Ramkalawan and Mr. Volcere sat in the room, holding their breath, and wondering what a mess they have gotten themselves into, now the attempt to cover up over the coming months.
SFP will not cover up anything to fool our people. We deserve better then what we are getting.


Mr. Gill Said: BOYCOTT!
SFP lead by Mr. Christopher Gill. Called on all opposition parties to BOYCOTT the process not because Mr. Gappy and team were doing a bad job, they in fact were doing the best job they could under the circumstance, but because PL was not honoring materials conditions set out in early meetings in 2010 late and early 2011 as PRECONDITIONS TO PROCEED WITH A FULL ROUND TABLE FOR REFORM. The SNP Leadership (Mr. Ramkalawan) and DP leadership (Mr. Volcere) stayed in the process, ignoring the fact that PL had broken material pre conditions to the process. These conditions are so important, that once broken the entire REFORM EXERCISE, like the EXERCISE to Reform the Constitution a few years back turned into a waste of time. It is noteworthy to say that both  Mr. Ramkalawan and Mr. Boulle attended that in full that exercise with SPPF and it turned out to be a  total waste of time.


Preconditions Broken By PL Ignored By SNP PDM DP!
 1.     All Political Party Leaders Have to Attend The Reform Meetings
SNP PL PDM DP hoodwink the Public. They agreed in the Reform Process preconditions that all party leaders will have to attend the Electoral Reform Process. Not one PL leader ever turned up to these meetings. On numerous occasions no one higher than Mr. Ralph Agrippine in PL attended.  
At times, we asked the Electoral Commission where is Mr. Michel and Mr. Faure, they said: “we contacted them, but they are not available for the meeting, but their thoughts are with us and they are watching the developments carefully”.  Has SNP PDM DP made PL some sort of royal family today in Seychelles? In the Reform they accepted this. SFP walked out because in Seychelles there is no royalty!



2.     SBC Must Televise The Proceedings
      A second house keeping precondition was that SBC would cover the proceedings. This would create a check and balance of the entire process. The truth could not be hidden with SBC coverage, and each player could be assessed by the Public and the Public could decide on the merit of the debates and issues raised. PL failed to keep this material promise. SNP-DP played along just like PDM did. The Public failed to know what was happening. Even the SFP BOYCOTT was never made public in case the Commonwealth would come to learn that not all players were on board, and not all pre conditions were being met and respected. In the end we had a process that was secretive. Why did SNP play along with PL? Because SNP leadership was in too deep and could not handle the debates and issues Christopher Gill raised. If this got out to the Public, it would show that SNP has nothing but a tin man running the show. 
 


3.     Attorney General Representative Walks Out Quits The Job 
 Another precondition not followed but agreed by all parties was the attendance of the Attorney General’s office to draft legislation and put draft documents to the Reform Commission. Attorney Ronnie Govinden attended the first session and then never turned up again. He sent in his place a lady to sit in take notes and refer the notes back to him . No drafting took place. The Madam from Sri Lanka who is trained in drafting legislation was so offended, by this babysitting work, she resigned. Not a word from SNP, DP, PDM, they all just played along with PL.
 

4.     Attorney General Not suppose to change Terms and Conditions of Report
In the pre condition meetings with Jean Paul Adam for PL and the Election Commission, along with all other parties, it was agreed and fully supported by the Commonwealth, that the Attorney General will not amend the recommendations of the report, nor draft legislation out side the scope of the REOPRT. Since the meetings started, the Attorney General has been given air time on SBC to say he can do whatever he likes with the Report. PDM, SNP, DP stayed silent. Why are they playing along with PL?


5.     National Assembly Not Suppose To Amend The Proposals
The Commonwealth went even further to say, that given the lack of implementation of democratic best practice in Seychelles since 1993, once these Electoral Reform proposals are put in draft form, the National Assembly must not amend them. This implies that the National Assembly is a bogus National Assembly without any credible standing. The Commonwealth of course is 100%. Yet, the SBC gave air time to Dr. Herminie , the Speaker of the one party state National Assembly, and he said on SBC: “ no one can question the powers of parliament and parliament can do what it likes to any Bill”.
In spite of this gross statement, giving these facts above, the PDM, SNP DP stayed silent knowing full well and good, PL was going to do what they please with these Reform proposals.


Mr. Ramkalawan complains that SFP BOYCOTTS only. SFP BOYCOTTS when the      ruling party steps on us and steps on Seychellois rights. BOYCOTT forces PL
hands and enforces respect. The Anse Aux Pins elections taught SNP this. But they endorsed a candidate in spite of BOYCOTTING. Pathetic.
Mr. Ramkalawan does not like BOYCOTTS. They are difficult for his nature. Similarly be does not like PROTEST. Yet, he is fond of quoting Nelson Mandela to fool the die hards in his party, who have been knocking their heads to the wall for over 20 years in vain. They support a pathetic man and worse then pathetic leader.


Nelson Mandela On Boycott:
“By and large, boycotts are recognized and accepted by the people as an effective and powerful weapon of political struggle.”
The problem of course, is Mr. Ramkalawan has caught a little of Ton Jim’s fever, he is not in a struggle, he is a self made Priest Millionaire, who cares more about getting along with PL, then he does about changing the country and bringing the struggle to VICTORY.
Bake Ya Ya is there waiting for you Father Pathetic, you are beyond belief, Pathetic!
We want to bring down this evil regime, not live in perfect harmony with it you political moron.
Seselwa Unite!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Written by Christopher Gill, Leader Of Seychelles Freedom Party.