Frank Timis, who has two convictions for drug running in the 1990s and was in a series of failed mining ventures in Africa, has returned again to sign a mining and railway lease in Sierra Leone.
It is unbelievable that the Romanian born businessman Frank Timis, an Australian carrying passport holder, would have the nous and confidence to take over the Pepel Railways and mines venture in this country under the guise of a-never-heard of Arise Integrated Industrial Limited – it has no track record, whatsoever.
It was this same dodgy business mogul that after the demise of the erstwhile APC administration, he left the country in a hurry, abandoned the African Minerals, London Mining operations in ruin. Timis has again turned up here under suspicious circumstances to continue where he left off, rubbing shoulders with a few big guns at the ministry of mines, as well as in nearly sensitive places in the upper echelons of power. It is indicated he’s to receive a takeover of a Rail way contract from the government of Sierra Leone. ‘Phew!’
After exploiting Sierra Leone’s mining industry for several years, with the country benefiting next to nothing, the Public Review has a reliable inside information the former Chief Executive Director of Africa Minerals Ltd, Frank Timis has sneakily stepped into this country again with the shameless officials of this government agreeing to sign a lease while terminating the contract of another dodgy company – Leone Rock’s (Kingho Mining); sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Frank Timis is determined to wreak incalculable havoc on the mining industry, in particular in Sierra Leone. Because Timis has the knack of wringing incorrigible politicians here round his fingers for a few peanuts. Timis did it with the APC. Again he is about fooling the SLPP while the Sierra Leonean people are scared to protest against this sort of wretchedness.
Being a bent businessman and one who knows the floppy policies, lax laws, loose rules and regulations of Sierra Leone back and front, Frank Timis knows how to connect himself to the powers that be to have his way. Timis is able to connive with ministers as accomplices to his mafiasco dealings.
Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd., fronted by Timis this time round is hoping to manage operations of the Pepel Railway in Tonkolili District to transport and export high grade ore.
Since he has been detected and his plans exposed, it is now up to the community where the railway operates. Sierra Leoneans must ensure they protest against such a bad lease. It is a deal for inveterate politicians to aggrandize the Sierra Leonean people’s wealth to enrich ministers with ill-gotten money. They wouldn’t uplift the wretched state of the pauperized. Timis would do his worst to exploit Sierra Leone’s minerals.
The signing of such a bad lease with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Ltd is a continuation of like-for-like – the APC syndrome. Arise IIP is on record to have partnered with the governments in Rwanda, Chad, Congo, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast focusing on health, education and job creation; but has no logistical hubs in the railway industries and no ecosystems in the mines.
A ‘mafia’ company ARISE Integrated Industrials has come up to fool the people of Tonkolili it’s to invest over four hundred million dollars on the railway. A lot needs to be answered for by the Mines Minister, knowing what he knew about government transition in 2018 about Frank Timis and the APC relationship. Both the African Minerals and London Mining abandoned the railway mines in a deprived state.
It is no secret that this Romanian businessman called Frank Timis was mentioned in the Panama Papers’ scandal; involved in tax fraud; and bad mining deals up and down in Africa and beyond. A BBC News investigation alleged that Timis paid £35.20 in tax in 2017 despite living a life of luxury. Tax Justice Network said it looked like Mr. Timis was dodging tax: “It all points to this being a maneuver to cheat the tax man.” Timis is a questionable investment character in the mining sector.
In Liberia’s oil industry Frank has been implicated in corruption and his company African Petroleum, an investigation by FrontPage Africa has discovered. The Public Review has learnt that the Kingho Railway and Port Company Limited has embarked on legal action against the Government of Sierra Leone for terminating its lease signed January 8 2021.
In a Cabinet meeting last week, with Bio’s blessing it terminated the Agreement with Kingho. At once Kingho must transfer all facilities to Timis’ ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms Limited. Kingho have dogged its heels in. Kingho have sought a stay by putting its two fingers up at the Government to embarrass it.
Section 2.03 of the Agreement states: “The Lessor and the Lessee agree that the Lessor reserves the right to engage another Railway and Port Operator to independently operate the Railway and Port after the first two years of the term herein granted, subject to a six months’ notice to the Lessee after the first two years (transition period).”
Since the two years of the Agreement has elapsed, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley in a letter dated January 10 2023. It informed the Chief Executive Officer of Kingho Gilbert Zhao that the Government has “engaged another Railway and Port Operator to independently operate the Railway and Port.” He has already served a six months’ notice to Kingho Railway and Port to “vacate the demised properties….”