(o+) Ba Province Blames Ballu Khan for Million Dollar Losses
The people of Ba are blaming Fiji-born New Zealand multi-millionaire businessman Ballu Khan (photo: Fiji Daily Post) for losses incurred by the Ba Provincial Holdings Limited, and may take legal action against him. The company belongs to the Ba Provincial Council, which is owned by the ethnic Fjjian people of the Province.
Ba Provincial Council member and Western Shipping Operations manager, Luke Ratuvuki, said Ballu Khan was involved with missing financial documents needed for audit purposes.The Board irectors of the company were unable to form an opinion whether the financial statements given were true because of the missing documents.
Mr Ratuvuki, a former permanent secretary in the deposed Qarase government, said “Ballu Khan is involved. There was some involvement of Mr Khan in the illegal takeover of the Company Board that was headed by Ratu Tevita Momoedonu in August, 2006. “This was [done] through his company Pacific Connex and the Native Land Trust Board."
Ratuvuki said suspicions were reported to police two years ago and to the FICAC (corruption commission) but it is a complex case involving millions of dollars and many people, locally, nationally and with international links. “Ballu Khan has been in the picture from Day One and we will prove that he is to blame." The Board is awaiting investigators to verify all facts before pursuing legal action.
Ratuvuki said the people of Ba and the Board wanted answers, justice and compensation.
“The people of Ba are angry ...[the case] has had a widespread effect, not only with people in villages, but also [with] unity. It has split the people of Ba.”
Earlier, separate allegations implicated Mr Khan in 2006 in offering to pay off SDL party debts in exchange for business advantage, and in 2007 of financing and possibly master-minding the assassination plot to kill PM Bainimarama. Subsequent to his arrest in 2007 he was badly injured by police and returned to NZ, having won permanent stay of prosecution because of the police assault. The unrelated Ba issue could see an attempt to extradict him from NZ to face charges, but it is highly unlikely NZ would agree in the present political circumstances. Readers wishing to read more on Khan should type his name in the SEARCH THE BLOG facility. This facility gives access to blog and all other internet reports.
For readers not familiar with Fiji geography, Ba is Fiji's most populous and most economically important province. It has 28% of the country's population; is ethnically mixed (42% Fijians, 54% Indo-Fijians, 4% Others); the main tourist destination; and the major sugar cane, gold and pine producing region.