Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

More Scandalous Transactions For Eden Island
The Nouveau Seychelles Weekly newspaper has reported in its March 31st 2011 issue, that a scandalous deal was done between the Seychelles Pension Fund and Eden Island to prop up the fledging if not failing project when all market forces clearly indicate that this development project should have been bankrupt by now.
Eden Island 
Khalifa To Buy Out Eden Island?
Reports have been coming in weekly that Sheik Khalifa Bin Al Zayan Al Nayan has sent a delegation to Eden Island to negotiate a buy out, one that could assure Craig Heeger another life saving handout as the Eden Island development takes on a tsunami of woes.

Sheikh Khalifa 
These reports have not been confirmed or denied by Craig Heeger. More recently, Eden Island was given a helping hand by Danny Faure, Vice-President and Minister of Finance for Seychelles and who also held the annual Chairman post of PTA Bank when the regional bank gave Eden Island a $10 Million loan 6 months ago.  

Craig Heeger (right) 
PTA Bank is the Preferential Trade Area Bank, a trade and development financial institution in Africa and is the financial arm of COMESA.  Ironically, the other pet project that received finance from PTA Bank was Felicite Island or Zil Pasyon, a villa development project being developed by Albert Rene’s stepson Francis Savy under the name “Zil Pasyon”.  

Felicite Island - now known as Zil Pasyon

Francis Savy - Albert Rene's Stepson
This is a 570 acre island that belonged to the people of Seychelles but was mysteriously transferred overnight from the Government of Seychelles to a private company for a measly Seychelles Rupee.  After a similar SR 1 rupee transfer of St. Anne Island to the same Francis Savy over a decade ago, the more recent Felicite Island transaction is just another scam by the corrupt Government of Michel and Rene in our beloved paradise.  Such scams have cost the People of Seychelles hundreds of millions of Dollars in lost revenue and confirm to the entire world that corruption and nepotism are still rife in Seychelles today.

Vijay Eden Coming Up
Most of the Eden Island money from the PTA Bank facility has gone to pay off what is owed to Vijay Construction and Engineering, the main building contractor on the Eden Island project.
Eden Island 
Vijay Patel for his part, has brilliantly played his cards with Craig Heeger of Eden Island who now appears to be looking like an investor without enough money for a grand idea conjured up in the days of unlimited bubbles. But after bubbles, troubles always follow.

Contractor Vijay Patel 
It appears Craig Heeger just had a scheme in hand with his salesmanship skills, and Vijay has now ended up in full control of the Commercial Retail Complex which is under construction, as well as ownership of a string of villas, plus control of the second Marina to be built shortly.

The Commercial Complex was Heeger’s crown jewel to generate high rents and steady turnover from retail sales.

The first Eden Island Marina, under management and ownership of Hunt Deltel and Company, has been experiencing flagging business activity and the once bullish presence of new yachts every week has ended. 

Pension Scheme Scam
Seychelles Weekly confirms that the James Michel Party Lepep administration authorized an interest-free Pension Scheme loan to Eden Island for SR 109 Million. This scandalous misuse of retirement funds of the workers of Seychelles was not so much an investment but rather a pure bailout for the project and basically cheap finance to friends in high places.

It confirms why the Government of James Michel authorized the licensing of Eden Island as a hotel when it was limited to residential use in its original project memorandum. The Government of James Michel was already secretly out on the limb to keep Eden Island afloat.

Hide The Deal
The Pension Scheme transaction was never made public. It is unclear if a Board Resolution of the Pension Scheme, run by SPPF stalwart Willie Confait was ever made.  
Willie Confait shaking Michel's hand 
Willie Confait is close friends with Vice-President Danny Faure and swears allegiance to the party in power. It is not believed that he is astute enough to conduct an arms length transaction with Eden Island if Danny Faure had not been edging him along to offer Pension Fund money to Eden Island. In fact, it is the very reason why Willie Confait was moved from Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA) to the Pension Fund.  Just get a trustworthy “yes-man” friend into the Pension Fund office, which controls large reserves of cash,  and voila!  One can now have access to all the cash one needs to fund secretive projects.  Seychellois people must not forget that many years ago, the same Pension Fund cash was used in an underhanded transaction to buy large amounts of Seychelles Breweries shares at an enormous premium from high-level Government officials linked to Mukesh Valabhji, Managing Director of the infamous Seychelles Marketing Board (SMB) and close confidante of ex-President Rene.
Willie Confait (left) 
IMF Must Wake Up To These Scams
It is imperative, that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pull the files and books of the Pension Scheme and get to the bottom of this gross abuse of Public funds to prop up a failing project such as Eden Island.

The abuse clearly highlights that Eden Island is not playing on the same playing field as the rest of the real estate agents in Seychelles, nor local developers, nor the tourism and boating industries. Eden Island somehow enjoys special conditions, favours and privileges not afforded to other businesses in Seychelles.  All doted onto them by Presidents current and past, the Vice-President and Ministry of Finance as well as many other high-ranking Government officials. 

Eden Island seems to have a special gold card that allows them to get away with scams like the Pension Scheme loan scam. Why could not the Pension Scheme loan this money to the DBS or set up bond schemes to raise money for the Seychelles International Airport, to improve our infrastructure that would benefit the entire Tourism Industry at a reasonable interest rate?  Why did they not offer the funds to local investors at low interest rates?

It is quite clear that this recent scam reveals to us that some high-ranking and high-profile “players” are really behind Eden Island. And in Seychelles, big players come from the Communist Party Lepep Party.  Buyers are put on notice. Craig Heeger is playing a game of hiding some big worms, behind the name Eden Island. Sooner or later, the worms will surface. When the worms are exposed, the whole scheme will come apart. Values of Eden properties will drop, if they have not already.

Eden Island Charity
As Eden Island fails, it will become a charity organization for the People of Seychelles, through dubious loans and Pension Scheme scams. This clearly shows, Eden Island will go down, and it will take the PL and Government of Seychelles with it.
But the madness of this transaction goes further. At a time when Government Bonds were paying 30% interest, the Eden Island Pension Scheme Fund scam of Sr. 109 Million, was interest free. Does this make any sense at all to the Pension Scheme investors, the workers of Seychelles?

Where in the World can a business developer get $$15 Million - $20 Million interest free?  Seychelles Weekly goes on to say the loan is unsecured. What kind of madness is this? Either Weekly has lost its marbles, or Heeger did not have any marbles. What kind of foreign investor comes to Seychelles and raids the Pension Fund with an interest free loan? That is not called investing. It is called something else. FRAUD! Or maybe the foreign investor is intricately linked to local investors!

Name and Shame Pension Fund Directors
In addition to the IMF investigating this scam, I firstly call on the People of Seychelles, to require that the Board of Directors of Pension Scheme make public the minutes from the meeting where the loan was approved and clearly expose the names of all Board members who supposedly approved and was involved in this loan.
Overpriced monstrosity - another of Seychelles Pension Fund White Elephant project

Secondly, I call on the People of Seychelles, to shame them by DEMANDING their immediate unconditional removal from their posts. Legal action if necessary must be taken and any damages incurred such as lost interest must be refunded by these board members.

Thirdly, this event must be shown on the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation Television station (SBC-TV) during prime time news at least 5 times.  As much as we hate the show “A moment with the President”, whom my 4 year old calls the REPEAT MAN because he repeats himself in interviews over and over again and again, I ask that the President comes on TV and tells the people of Seychelles if he believes the Pension Fund loan was legal.  While he is at it, he can tell us what he is doing to curb corruption and nepotism in our country SESEL.

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!

Christopher Gill


Anonymous said...

Lots of claims... where is the proof?
Eden Island has increased Seychelles GDP and also brings more tourists to Seychelles... which lets face it, is the only thing Seychelles has to offer (TOURISM). Better take care of tourists.
You are a misinformed Xenophobe.

Anonymous said...

E ou la Gilliar,

When are you going to bez dir la verite as to where were you born?.

Anonymous said...

Pp's economic policy is a political red herring that has and will continue to undercut competitiveness in this country^s economy.He abuses tax payers^money on deals that do not pan out,SMB etc...He is creating bloated sectors .A country does not become competitve by tweaking its MIX but by outperfroming in each individual sectors.

Faure past a law without consulting or having been debated in the Assembly,thus he did not not have the quorum to go on with this discriminatory law that allows a handful of individuals to be previledged and to act above our laws.They will not pay licenses,taxes or anything but will still be able to operate as gueshouses,villas etc.Faure action will undermine Mr St Ange hard work to bring the tourism industry back on track which must be recalled was competely destroyed by Pp mis- management and ignoreance of this sector.All Seychellois guesthouse owners,paying taxes,licenses.. must come together to fight this unlawful decision by Faure which does nothing than destroy Seychellois businesses.If you do not act Michel and his ilks will bankrupt us once again.

Jeanne Dàrc

Anonymous said...

Hi Christopher, I think we met at your office in Mahe circa 1995. Did you attend San Francisco State U at one time? Related to JM? You may reach me via .. I have a few questions to ask you. Best Regards, Sang.

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