7 Jan. 2007

Spider sense is tingling on this one... Rise of a man with a magic mystery pill:
Just how does the company make its money, and are its eye-popping business deals all that they appear? Firepower has been the beneficiary of enthusiastic Federal Government support in its push overseas, but there are questions over how much Australian agencies know about the company they support and the products it promotes. And those products - bits of fuel-technology wizardry, including a pill to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce pollution - may be the biggest Firepower mystery of all. Have they been properly tested, do they work, how many are sold, and who is using them?

The answers are obscure in a story whose ripples reach as far as the arms trade in Romania and a multi-level marketing scheme based in New Zealand, and features links to a Russian who won a multimillion-dollar legal suit against The Times in London over claims he was involved in one of the world's biggest money-laundering scandals.

It embraces the Prime Minister, John Howard; the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie; and a former West Australian police minister, Gordon Hill. It also involves several Federal Government-funded trade missions, where some of the companies that have represented Australia are unknown to the corporate regulator...