Monday, March 2, 2009

Intelvision & Mukesh Scam

Intelvision – Another scam of daylight robbery

With Mukesh at the helm, we should not be surprised

The hard times under the SPPF continues and this time the mastermind behind the latest scam has left his seat at SMB, left James Michel to turn it into STC and Carrefour (while the rupee floats) and he goes on to occupy a posh office at Intelvision. This time, on a specific mission to protect the interests and fraudulent investment of the old boss and his cohorts. Perhaps a few of our readers have forgotten how this company known as Intelvision came about but it is good to refresh the memory of the nuts that are harder to crack.

A Dubai and Kuwaiti joint-venture company was invited to make a substantial investment into a cable TV venture and were given land at the ex-US Tracking Station as their base (today re-sold to an Arab Sheikh for one rupee). When the investment was well on its way, the SPPF government with its usual arrogant mentality decided that this would not go ahead adopting their ‘nationalization’ policies of the one party state and seized the assets of this company known as ‘Global Vision’. So with the usual tricks of the trade, Global became Intelvision and a new bogus company was formed with Indian directors and other silent partners (some claim Minister Joel Morgan is also a shareholder). The location of the company is also of prime significance as it sits on reclaimed land which is owned by Mrs. Sarah Rene and she collects the hefty rent together along with the Airtel phone company just next door. This one by the way (Airtel) was also concocted by Mukesh and co with the Kurumjees of Mauritius involved. The story goes further into hotel investments on how Mukesh took a good slice of Cosproh to make more deals with the Kurumjess with the likes of the Meridien Hotels (more to come on future articles…you can run from the truth but you cannot hide).

As it is always the case with SPPF, no one can win as you cannot trust and deal with crooks. So Global Vision tried to recoup their investment (equipment and all) but were left empty handed.  At the same time, the management of the Internet Service Provider ATLAS (headed by entrepreneur and local businessman Marc Houareau at that time) asked for a Cable-TV license but was refused on the grounds that Global Vision had the ONLY license (basically a monopoly).  ATLAS also asked to run a fibre-optic network around Mahe using the same PUC poles that have the Intelvision cables today, but permission was also refused.  And let us remember that it was Mukesh himself who was running PUC at that time!  How ironic!

Albert Rene knew all along that he was on to another lucrative, monopolistic business venture. He promised in an election campaign that soon the people would be having ‘televizyon par grap’. Intelvision stated off as a cable TV company and today is a full time service provider in telecommunications offering telephony and internet facilities. They were obviously marketing masters at the game as they lured customers with very low rates to beat the competition unfairly and then use whatever excuse under the moon (GST, rupee floatation etc) to increase their prices. The latest batch of decoders that they are supplying are the most archaic we have seen and can be bought for $15 in China. One cannot even block channels for parental guidance and therefore our kids are getting their training into bad moral values when the parents are at work (are you listening “Mrs. Let Us Protect Our Children” Sarah Rene)?

Now let’s have a look at what Intelvision promised in their fancy adverts with nice local smiling girls, football and screen icons. Obviously there was an initial installation fee and a decoder to fork out as we saw an army of Filipinos making the connections from every electric pole around Mahé. There were several ‘bouquets’ on offer which started off at reasonable prices for most of the local homes that were tired of seeing the same BS on SPPF Broadcasting Corporation (SBC TV).

The ‘basic’ today at Sr. 145 per month allows you access to 10 channels which is mainly news (repeating itself hour in hour out) and best of all a channel called Rhema which is only available on Sunday. These channels are all free-to-air channels, meaning that anyone with a satellite dish can receive them for free.  It means that Intelvision (and even SBC) does not pay to rebroadcast such channels!

The ‘executive’ (gone up by Sr. 100) which adds 9 more channels allows you two more news channels (Al Jazeera and SBC, Super Sports updates a Go and Travel Channel which are most of the time scrambled!!) When it comes to the ‘prestige’ which has incidentally gone up by Sr. 150 per month, you get an additional 13 channels. In this package you get a few sports channels (6&7) which provides mostly local African games or reruns of games from old world cups dating back 8-10 years ago - while in South Africa (DSTV the provider of Intelvision), these channels are reserved for English Premiership games and other European league matches which are normally played at the same time so one can watch their favourite teams.

The ‘Extravaganza’ package is what gets most of the Seychellois by the nuts!! As this is the one that has the occasional English Premiership games (perhaps a spill over of another game on another channel (SS 5, 6, or 7). But the most interesting thing is that this is on channel 3 and we get it on Intelvision’s test channel here locally. Can someone from the management explain this to its consumers please??? They know very well that Seychellois are football mad and therefore this package has now increased by Sr. 190. The rest of the Supersports channels 1-5 are just a total waste of time as they cover sports that do not interest our audience one bit. So out of the 46 channels that the Extravagance package provides, half of them are a total waste of time as they are just reruns – Cartoon Network is a good example for those who have kids! To crown it all who cares a hoot about the likes of Bloomberg, Fashion TV and Rai International in Italian! Unless Mukesh and Albert are seeing their millions disappear on Bloomberg’s stock market report.

If we were to go on into their customer service aspect that would need another article…’Thank you for calling Intelvison… Press this, press that & when you manage to reach someone after a while it seems that no one can assist you as they do not seem to know what the freak they are doing! And note that a lot of their employees are non-Seychellois (Indians in fact).  How about that for a slap in the face!  But then, remember that Mukesh is the only one in Seychelles with Gurkas for bodyguards! James Michel wants to clean up the excess expatriates on our books and help feed the hungry Seychellois? This is where to start main man! We will judge you by your actions!

Now that you have hidden away in your posh suite office at Intelvision and brokered the deal to purchase the latest building opposite the Pirates Arms (ex-Seychelles Club which Albert Rene bulldozed right after the coup d’etat if any one can still remember), can you come clean and try to get our poor Seychellois a fair deal? Now that you have screwed up with SMB, the Coetivy Prawns project, the Barbarons Orchid Farm Project, and most recently your genius idea of the MERP, can you look into this before all the viewing public of Intelvision start smashing all your faulty decoders? Or better still mail them straight to your mansion in the USA so that you can be reminded of another of your failures in Seychelles. You should be ashamed of getting your own countrymen to pay through their noses for some entertainment so that they can forget they are living on empty stomachs…

And what is Jules from NATCOF doing about all this?  NADA (nothing) as they say in Mexico!  After all, who wants to take on the 2 biggest Mafia bosses of Seychelles?

And finally, we the people call on Mr. Morin from PUC and also Minister of Finance Danny Faure to come clean and to let us know how much Intelvision is paying for the use of the PUC electricity poles for their cables, plus Government land and electricity for all those big green relay boxes on the side of the roads around Mahe?  Now, Mr. Danny Faure and Mr. Morin, maybe you can raise their rent instead of subsidizing them, and collect even more funds for PUC.  After all, Government needs all the revenue it can get this year.  Or a better idea might be to nationalize Intelvision in the name of the people!  Give it to Afif, Maurice Lalanne, Guy Adam, Glenny Savy and the usual “special board members” appointed by the President to run.  


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