By EDDIE OSIFELO
FOREIGNER Dr Deogratias Harorimana has come out to defend himself on many allegations raised against him – from over-charging local businesses to visa breaches, to tax evasion.
Deo, a Rwandan with Zimbabwe and United Kingdom citizenship, operates a consultancy business under the name AIPF (Solomon Islands) Ltd.
He registered the company on 30th October 2013 after IPacific Frontiers Ltd on 21 August 2012.
However, a Robert Leeson had gone on social media to launch attacks on Deo, while urging responsible authorities to investigate the allegations relating to likely breaches of his visa condition and tax evasion.
Leeson claimed when Deo registered iPacific Frontiers (with subsequent name changes), now known as AIPF (SI) Ltd, the Primary Business Sector stated in official government records was very clear – “Professional & Other Services”.
The company was originally focused on business management consultancies and leadership trainings.
A second AIPF (SI) registered by Deo’s local business partner/defacto also has “Others” as the primary business sector.
“Now it is public knowledge that AIPF (SI) is engaging in sectors and activities outside of their approved business registration’s primary business sector.
“They are now doing financial brokering, real estate, construction contracts, to name a few.
“These are sectors that under law would require separate companies to be registered on their own; and cannot be covered under the approved primary business sector of ‘Professional & Other Services’, which was what AIPF(SI) is allowed to do,” Leeson claimed.
He said there is likelihood that Deo has breached the condition of his visa by withholding information on the true dealings of his company – AIPF (SI) with the intent to defraud the Solomon Islands Government.
“Deo should be investigated in line with the above issue and Section 21(1)(a) of the Immigration Act.
“With hard evidence from victims that contacted me, it is clear that Deo and his local business partner/defacto’s dealings with indigenous businesses (e.g. SSS Security Company, East Bouro Motel Lengakiki), schools (e.g. Perch) and families (e.g. Naha Heights family, Honiara Refrigeration building family) have created discord within communities in Honiara.
“There are many other victims that are yet to come forward,” he said.
However, Deo responded by saying Robert Leeson is a non-existent person.
He said it was a Facebook account created and is being used by a well-known figure who is known to have been sentenced previously for fraud; conversion and various crimes.
“We know who he is, but it is the Job of the lawyers to attend to him in the right place .
“He has no current or recent business with AIPF other than he failed to pay his contractors managed by AIPF during the year 2019,” he said.
Deo said now Leeson has teamed up with a client who has lost a High Court Case, for failing to pay his staged payment as per the contract.
He said their strategy is clearly designed to help them avoid paying their dues to AIPF thru libel and character assassination.
Furthermore, Deo said the public should know that AIPF has complied with all the laws of this land and will continue to do so.
He said AIPF and its expats have no issues with Visa, tax compliance or work permit.
Moreover, Deo said he has served this country in several capacities – both in public and private sector.
“I came from highly respected family of Government Minister, Ambassadors, Director General and myself chaired a number of the National Strategic planning groups,” he said.
Deo said in UK he is an active member of the Community and Board member.
“I lead a number of Charitable activities.
“These people need to understand that you do not have to be in a physical location to be a leader or lead others. Their claims are so narrow and misguided,” he said.
Deo said on the ICT Programmes with schools in Honiara, his company donated computers for free.
“We also trained school teachers how to teach ICTS free of charge, funded by AIPF revenues to help the schools struggling to introduce ICT education.
“Schools we supported are St Nicholas, Honiara High, and Koloale Community School,” he said.
Deo said current ongoing campaign against business houses by people with selfish motives will not benefit the country.
He said the government and Solomon Islands should step up and speak against these kinds of behaviors.