There has been alot of walk about corruption and rice contracts recently.
The Timorese blogging scene has gone slightly BANANAS over the matter of who got what rice contracts. It has even become known as Ricegate - so named by the Timorese Government themselves. English using blogs including this one and others, Portugueses ones like this, and Tetun as well.
The latest from Tempo Semanal has documents which prove that the PM daughter had more than 10% of Prima Food, and that the PM signed 3.5 million rice contract with his daughter-in-law Director of Olifante.
One blogger even went to great lengths to provide Tetun subtitles to a Australian Television news report. Even Twitter has come alive on Ricegate.
ABC News in Australia has been feeding on the rice story for several weeks now.
Gusmao speaks out
East Timor PM defends rice contracts
East Timor PM Xanana Gusmao accused of corruption
With alot of money at stake, over 57 million USD it seems some people have made alot of money, often usually by knowing someone and not being bonefide rice dealer.
If there is is corruption, it may never make the courts: the Minister of Justice is herself the subject of a corruption probe.
Oh well, people need to make money. Some people say the below is a the list of companies and their owners that won contracts.
Company 3 and 7 is partially owned by the wife of the Minister for Economic Development.
Company 4 is held by the PM friend.
Company 10 is partially owned by the daughter of the PM
Company 15 is owned by the PM's son's wive.
and so the show goes on.
1. Serbajaya; $1,615,000, Sudarmadi,
2. Atramor; $1,848,640, Paul dos R. Lemos
3. Belun Feto; $3,842,500, Fon Ha Tchong , Maria A.F.da C , and Milena A.S.de G.S.A
4. Tres AMIGOS; $3,843,500, Germano A.J.da Silva , Koh,Ho
5. Star King; $3,843,000, Lay Su Hing
6. Maubara Fitun Naroman; $3,843,000, Ricardo Cardoso Nheu
7. United Food; $3,842,500, Vitor Lay and Fon Ha Tchong
8. Jubilex; $3,516,000, Julio Lo Kim
9. Monteveado; $3,516,000, Oscarlito Lima
10. Prima Food; $3,516,000, Zenilda E.B.G ,F.d C Alves and Maria de F.da Silva
11. Ran Aitana; $3,516,000, Bernardino dos Santos and Alexandre Pascoal
12. Suai Indah; $3,516,000, Natalino Ferrajota Simao and Jo Jung Tsing
13. Hercio International; $3,516,000, Hercio Campos
14. Veteran General; $3,516,000, Adriano de Camara
15. Olifante; $3,516,000, Carminda Carlota , Jorge Manuel Pinto Serano . and Julio Alvaro .
16. Taci; $3,516,000, Henrique Tam and Ha Hin Sung
17. Lunarsol; $3,516,000, Manuel Tavares Amaral
But they also need to pay their taxes....
Assuming a 10% profit margin, the above persons/companies made 5.7 million USD from these rice contracts. Assuming a 10% rate of tax they owe the Government and people of Timor-Leste 570,000 USD in tax. Cheap at the price.
Ok get a contract through family and friends, fine. But please pay your tax. Timor's new (2008) tax regime is analysed here.