revised in part on 15 and 16 December 2020 by Mark Smith
I met Ralph in late March 2017. Below are the personal opinions (unless stated otherwise) of Mark Smith.
Ralph purports to have connections to people in high public offices in Fiji – Cabinet Ministers having, he claims, attended Marist College as a Schoolboy in Fiji where he has said that he formed childhood and longterm relationships with persons later coming to occupy, as I mentioned, high public offices in Fiji. It is believed that some of these connections include to persons within the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Hardwood Corporation and a number of Government Departments. It is believed therefore that some of the below profile may be of public interest to those trading with persons and dealing with government officials, in some instances, in Fiji as well as interest to foreign persons providing aid, trade or other support to Fiji. This profile may also be of interest to Australians – Australia contributes a substantial sum of aid to Fiji and naturally as a sovereign nation we have an interest in the good governance of the Country of Fiji – one of our closest neighbours together with an interest in efficient and proper utilisation of Australia’s Aid provided to Fiji. Regrettably, Fiji, it is reported, has a problem with corruption along with other countries within the region. We do not suggest Ralph is involved in public wrongdoing, just the developing nature of administration and governance in some parts of the still developing world. The below article may also be in the public interest of persons from or interested in India. The public interest of Australia may also be involved – Ralph and his former employer (discussed below, man named Mohan Kumar) lobbied and received Visa’s and other benefits, as a result of lobbying and other likely legitimate dealings, from officials and public office holders in Australia.
It is unclear whether any secured or unsecured creditors of Taiwan Timber Co, Fiji benefit from the lease arrangement – but we say that analysis of the tenant is in the interests of creditors, stakeholders including suppliers to Dreketi Timber Mill and generally in the public interest particularly in Fiji.
On or about 25 October 2015, Mohan Kumar (apparently bearing a fake passport in the name of Mohan Kumar) boarded a plane at Sydney and travelled to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. It is believed that Ralph Paligaru, on the same day, travelled from Sydney to Denpasar – but on a separate flight – Ralph has provided oral admissions to me to that effect that he did not travel with Mohan Kumar but he did travel to Bali on the same day as did Mohan Kumar – Ralph’s then employer.
To the best of my knowledge, Ralph stayed in Bali for approximately 1 night before returning to Sydney, accordingly I do not believe that Ralph’s visit to Bali was for or turned out to be for a vacation?
The writer has no knowledge of the truth of these allegations but says he was informed upon meeting Ralph Paligaru in March 2017 that Ralph was aware of such allegations. The writer is aware of Ralph’s concerns, in writing to Dennis English, a former lawyer of Ralph’s of being “lynched“.
The writer understands that Mohan Kumar appeared to be of good character during his residence in Australia over the period of about 12 years from about 2003 (on and off) till October 2015 approximately.
The writer has seen correspondence held by Ralph Paligaru written to the local member of Mohan Kumar being Phillip Ruddock (a highly reputable MP) which states that Mohan Kumar is in effect a reputable business person making investments which are, or seem to be, legitimate in Australia in the MP’s electorate and elsewhere. A copy of the letter can be seen by clicking this link: Letter to Phillip Ruddock MP. I was provided with a copy of this letter by Ralph.
Ralph assigned the debt to my company seeking that my company would recover for Ralph’s benefit a referral fee.
In the interests of Mohan Kumar, it is unclear why Ralph didn’t simply negotiate a lower fee than that which was agreed on the sale of 632 Old Northern Rd from the selling agent, Brookes Partners?
Between April and May 2016, as Kumar’s POA, Paligaru was involved in negotiations for the sale of 632 Old Northern Rd, Dural being folio 1/228521 (“the land”) with Adams, director of the purchasing vehicle company, Bargo. A number of transactions were considered including a call option or vendor finance.
It is unknown why, if the JV was for the benefit of Mohan Kumar, the shareholding and other benefits provided for in the JV were not simply made in the name of Mohan Kumar (the POA did not expressly permit Ralph to confer benefits upon himself)?
On or about 2 May 2016, Kumar’s solicitor, DCE advised Paligaru strongly against vendor finance for any transaction with Bargo. Paligaru as POA for Kumar did not follow the advice. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
Between 9 and 10 May 2016, DCE and GV exchange correspondence. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On 20 May 2016 at 1.51pm, DCE continued to advise Ralph, as Kumar’s solicitor, against vendor finance. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On 25 May 2016 at 4.25pm, Paligaru receives a signed copy of the Bargo JV. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
At or about 23 to 25 May 2016, Paligaru received employment (or a contract of some kind) to commence upon settlement, on terms of approx. $5,000 per month directly from Brookes Partners, managing agents for Bargo (Bargo, replacing Mohan Kumar as outgoing vendor and lessor). Copy of correspondence coming soon. Ralph received a monthly payment from Brookes Partners from the rent that Bargo was entitled to from the tenant of 632 Old Northern Rd, Dural after completion.
On or about 31 May 2016, through Paligaru under the POA, Kumar entered a contract for sale of the land in the sum of $5.5m. Kumar received the sum of $1,500,000 at settlement and taking a vendor’s lien for the sum of $4,000,000 secured by an unregistered mortgage (but didn’t register a caveat initially), an executed blank share transfer for 100% of the shares in Bargo Developments Pty Ltd (“the purchaser”) as detailed in the contract (“Kumar’s interest”). The vendor’s lien was between the vendor and purchaser however the sum was guaranteed by the director of the purchaser (“guarantor”). Copy of extracts of these documents – click here to view.
Between May 2016 and March 2017, the terms of the $4,000,000 vendor’s lien were defaulted upon.
On or about 15 March 2017, Lisa Natoli (the Chief Financial Officer of the mortgage manager for Pacific8 including Kesinda and its predecessor, N&M, see below, corresponded with Andrew Kingston (“Kingston”), Managing Director of Winchester O’Rourke, a closely related party of the mortgage manager for Pacific8.
On 15 March 2017, Kingston wrote to Justin Hatfield (“Hatfield”), mortgage broker for the purchaser. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
During the day and the evening of 22 March 2017, Paligaru made a series of calls to me seeking increasingly urgent someone to discuss the Bargo defaults and directions (that evening, except he had to attend his son’s school function), in securing unpaid monies pursuant to the unpaid vendor lien.
On 23 March 2017 at or about 7.30am, I met with Paligaru at his residence at 88 Perfection Ave, Stanhope Gardens.
Paligaru informed me the POA he held for Mr. Kumar who resided in an Indian prison (and would do so, Ralph said, on a life sentence).
During the meeting I enquired of Paligaru a series of questions concerning the vendor’s lien, and his exercise of the POA as follows (words to the effect) …
Me: “Okay, you’ve entered into the sale of this land for $5.5m under this contract, how much money did you, Kumar, actually receive?”
Paligaru: “About $1.5m on settlement”.
Me: “Who signed the contract, you under the POA or Kumar?”.
Paligaru: “Me, under the POA”.
Me: “So where is the title deed?”.
Paligaru: “Um, we, I gave it to Craig Adams”.
Me: “So you held the title, but gave it to Adams?”.
Me: “So you are saying you just gave Craig Adams the title deeds to a piece of land worth $5.5m and he went off and did whatever he liked with the property?”
Paligaru: “It wasn’t like that, he promised in the contract to pay it back with interest.”
Me: “But so far, has he kept his promises.”
Paligaru: “No, not exactly.”
Me: “Whose idea was the vendor finance?”.
Paligaru: “Craig Adams and I came up with it, more or less, together”.
Me: “But ultimately, who approved it, you or Kumar?”.
Paligaru: “Me, I have full authority under the POA to manage his affairs however I see fit”.
At 7.47am on Friday 23 March 2017, I searched the register of the land for records of any persons claiming an interest in the land. I discovered registered interests in the land by Bargo, N & M Investments/Properties Pty Limited (“N&M”) and POE. Copy of search document coming soon.
On or about Friday 23 March 2017, (at my instigation) a caveat was recorded upon the title to the land to protect his interest. The caveat was sworn by Paligaru under the POA for Kumar (the Smith Caveat). A copy of the caveat as registered can be viewed here – click link – coming soon.
At 9.36am on Monday 27 March 2017, once aware of the interest of N&M, I searched N&M’s particulars, to know where to correspondence with N&M. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On Monday 27 March 2017 (at 12.23pm), at my instigation, I conducted a grantor search on Bargo / Adams to see whom he’d given PPSR’s to. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
At 1.24pm on Monday 27 March 2017, I contacted the second mortgagee, POE, to discuss breaches of the vendor lien terms. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On or about Monday 27 March 2017 (the next business day), at my instigation, I wrote and delivered a “no-tacking letters” to the first mortgagee at that time only owed circa $2.675m and the second mortgagee whom I knew professionally. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On or about 2pm on Tuesday 28 March 2017, I served the no-tacking letter upon N&M’s registered office via its company secretary, Anthony John Catalano. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
On Wednesday 29 March 2017 at 11.41pm, I wrote by email to Mr. Catalano (copied to Paligaru) the first mortgagee (and solicitors for the second mortgagee) about the default of Bargo pursuant to the $4m vendor’s lien. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
Between 11.41pm on Wednesday 29 March 2017 and 6.05am on 30 March 2017, unbeknownst to the writer, Catalano wrote to Kingston supplying my email to Catalano. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
Between 28 and 30 March 2017, N&M the prior mortgagee to Kesinda and its manager received actual notice of the prior interest of Kumar. We can provide upon request a true copy of the relevant title searches, emails and notices given to the prior mortgagee to Kesinda (“N&M”) and Kesinda’s manager, Pacific 8 and/or Winchester O’Rourke, in particular its Managing Director Andrew Kingston (“the mortgagee’s manager”). Through Paligaru and Mahony, Kumar conducted mediation with Pacific 8, Kesinda, Kingston and the writer. Copy of correspondence coming soon.
The writer observes that the Deed is dated 4 August 2017 but the caveat is only attested (it seems) by Ralph (and not Amreeta) on 27 November 2017?
As a general rule it is understood that the law is that:
“where equities are equal, the first in time prevails”.
The writer notes that four (4) months, from August 2017 to 6 December 2017 (if correct) was a sufficiently long time by which time the Paligaru’s interest in that land at Warriewood was, it seems, postponed.
Postponement means, in simple terms, instead of a person receiving secured money before X person, that person is postponed behind X person (another person receives payment first or in priority).
It is believed that the decision not to (for reasons unknown) lodge caveats in August 2017 (until 6 December 2017) and the subsequent postponement that follows meant that Australasian Property Group Pte Ltd – controlled by Ian Jordan and Maya was paid (I believe circa $540,000) in priority to the charge of the Paligarus.
By my reckoning, interest on $540,000 at 6% per months amounts to around $32,400 in the first month in default.
In month 2 the interest (calculated on principal plus default interest) compounds, if not paid, to around $34,000 PER MONTH.
It is difficult to fathom why a person (such as Ralph and Amreeta) might provide such generous, high risk support to another person they did not know well, e.g. Craig? That is – it is difficult to comprehend why the Paligaru’s would be prepared to borrow on high risk terms for this particular 3rd person?
The precise benefit (if any) available to the Paligaru’s for their guarantee and provision of security is not known?
On 26 October 2018, I gave Paligaru and each of Kesinda and the parties in the Kesinda proceedings notice of the application for windup of Bargo pursuant to the assigned debts.
Each of Kumar, Paligaru, Dural Alliances and Amreeta stood by, not disputing the assignment (Kumar to DCP,Paligaru/Dural Alliances to DCP), whilst the Applicant as their assignee proved its debt and caused the winding up of Bargo pursuant to the Bargo debts.
In the early morning of 14 November 2018 I swore an affidavit of debt.
On 14 November 2018, the Supreme Court of Victoria order upon the Applicant’s windup application concerning Bargo.
We understand the director of Taiwan Timber Company (Fiji) Limited is a personal named: Mr Shin Ho Yu. The writer understands that under the triparte lease, Ralph’s company pays HFC Bank around FJD$85,000 per month? The writer is unaware if the timber mill has operated during the Covid period in mid to late 2020, the current status of the lease or the status of Ralph and his company’s relations with HFC Bank?
Alternatively, Ralph as director of the company Dural Alliances did not dispute the debt alleged to be owed to DCP Litigation Holdings. Under the same deed, if binding, Ralph may also have a liability to my company personally (noting he as director did not dispute that Dural Alliances owed the same alleged sum that led to the Dural Alliances company being wound up).
These loans may be a coincidence, the writer does not suggest any wrongdoing by Pacific8 (the holder of an AFSL)? A further coincidence is that Adam Tilley’sPacific8 (the holder of an AFSL) and Franklin Yeezy shared the same lawyer – Summer Lawyers a firm who do specialise and act for a large number of Sydney based private lenders.
The writer is only opining that “its a small world” and does not suggest any wrongdoing.
If the writer believes there is further detail adding to the profile of RalphPaligaru which come to light in the public interest to people, tax payers, business community, bankers, governments or others in Australia, Fiji, India and elsewhere, he reserves the right to publish appropriate materials.
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