Travizory drops law firm in Seychelles after accusation of ministerial conflict of interest
Travizory Border Security and a Seychellois law firm, Ferley and Associates, have terminated their collaboration, the Swiss company announced in a press release on Thursday.
Travizory said that the termination comes as a result of unfounded rumours circulating in the press and on social media.
The statement comes a day after the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Sebastien Pillay, announced that he will be coming forth with a motion seeking the resignation of transport minister Antony Derjacques for alleged conflict of interest. Pillay, who leads the United Seychelles (US) party in parliament, showed that he had in his possession a document concerning Ferley and Associates that lists Derjacques as an associate in the law chamber.
“We strongly deny any claims of impropriety or wrongdoing and wish to be clear that at no point has Travizory been pressured or asked to consider providers by Minister Derjacques, his team or any member of the government, past or present. We are terminating our agreement with regret, as Travizory has been more than pleased with the legal advice and services that were provided to us solely by [Mr] Ferley, our Attorney-at-Law, since January 2021,” said the company.
Travizory is managing the Seychelles Travel Authorisation online platform, which is providing a mandatory travel document that all visitors must submit to enter Seychelles to provide evidence online that they are COVID-19 free.
The company said it first engaged the Seychelles’ government in December 2019, with offers to upgrade and digitise its borders.
The platform was rolled out on September 15 in 2020 and in an interview with the media, Dr Jude Gedeon, Seychelles’ public health commissioner, said that keeping the Seychellois citizens safe from the pandemic was the number one priority.
“However, we need to enable international travel to let in key workers and specialists, and to allow tourism to restart and for our citizens to work again. With our current email and multiple forms, doctors and airport staff were struggling to keep pace with the number of arrivals. We have now given them a tool to focus their attention where it is most needed,” he said at the time.
This was reiterated by Travizory who said that “we started a trial of our system with a health (COVID) focus in September 2020. A contract for border security was signed between Travizory Border Security and Seychelles in March 2021, six months after the election of the current administration.”
Travizory added that to make its operation a success in Seychelles, it “had to procure services in the areas of real estate (renting offices), taxation, law, accounting, payroll, security, IT hardware and software supplies and services, media production, telecommunication, transportation, carpentry, electricity, and catering. We have more than 20 service providers locally.”
The company said it “was and is apolitical in all its operations.”