Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MONFARED USED HIS DOMINICA DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT TO EVADE IRANIAN ARREST WARRANT



This document* shows that Alireza Monfared was arrested, in Malaysia, on November 27, 2015, on a warrant issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran. It details his Iranian, Dominican CBI, and Dominican diplomatic passports, which were seized at the time of his arrest. Malaysian sources have confirmed that Monfared was held by the authorities, for ten days, and released, after he claimed diplomatic immunity, based upon his Dominican Diplomatic passport. Monfared had no diplomatic assignment, nor title or position, in Malaysia, rendering his status illegitimate as a diplomat, under the Vienna Convention.

He is one of a number of foreign nationals who, when being taken into custody for criminal matters, have attempted to cheat justice by asserting diplomatic immunity, all using the bogus Dominica diplomatic passports they purchased. Notwithstanding his fugitive status, Dominica gave him refuge, and failed to turn him over to INTERPOL agents.
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* The name of the arresting officer has been redacted for privacy reasons.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

RICARDO MARTINELLI'S EXTRADITION HEARING IS RESCHEDULED



Former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli's July 25th Extradition Hearing has been reset to August 3rd, after his counsel moved for a continuance. A motion for reconsideration of the motion to set bond has been denied. The Order recited: "The Court's order denying the Motion for Release fully sets forth the Court's analysis of the unavailability of bond in this case, and the Motion for Reconsideration provides no ground to reconsider that Order. In addition, the primary authority cited in the motion is not ane xtradition case, so its relevance here is non-existent." 

Martinelli faces multiple criminal charges in Panama; many Panamanians fear that he will evade justice, though in most cases extradition orders are generally issued, assuming the documents meet certain minimum requirements. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DOMINICA "DIPLOMAT" WAS OFFICER IN OFAC-SANCTIONED FIRST ISLAMIC INVESTMENT BANK



For those apologists from Dominica's government, who still insist that Alireza Monfared was properly vetted before being given both a Dominica CBI citizenship, and a diplomatic passport, take a look at these documents. He was an officer of the First Islamic Investment Bank Ltd.*, sanctioned by OFAC years before Monfared  ever sought a Dominica nationality, and diplomatic passport. The correspondence identifies him as an "authorized signatory" of the bank.

Did I mention that another senior bank officer, and bank owner, is Babak Zanjani, Monfared's partner, who, along with Reza Zarrab, ran Iran's massive oil-for-gold sanctions evasion program, out of Labuan, Malaysia's prime offshore tax haven ? Look again at the documents, and check out the date. Zanjani has been sentenced to death in Iran; Zarrab is looking at 75 years in a Federal Prison.




This totally and completely destroys any claim that Monfared's dark past was not easily accessible. If I was a betting man, I would venture a guess that the due diligence firm, engaged by Dominica, found it, but certain greedy Dominica Government officials ignored it, and took Monfared's cash, thinking that they are immune from prosecution. Perhaps someone might want to explain who Joon Kim, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York is, and that the Money Laundering Control Act confers extraterritorial jurisdiction.
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* Labuan IBFC records show that the First Islamic Investment Bank lost its charter on July 18, 2014.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

LAWSUIT FILED BY UNITED STATES CONFIRMS DOMINICA'S MISCONDUCT IN SELLING DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT TO CORRUPT NIGERIAN MINISTER


A civil forfeiture action, filed in US District Court in the State of Texas, seeks to seize more than $144m in assets, linked to the corrupt former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who has money laundering charges pending in both the UK (FCA) and Nigeria (EFCC), confirms that Dominica's "due diligence investigation," allegedly undertaken before selling Madueke a Dominica Diplomatic passport, in 2015, was either an utter failure, or a complete fabrication.

Madueke, whose UK residence contained millions of dollars in cash, when she was arrested, reportedly accumulated, with two confederates, $1.5bn in Nigerian oil revenues. It is important to note that the US forfeiture lawsuit*, filed by the Government of the United States, asserts that the illegally-acquired assets, which amounted to laundering illicit profits into an $80m yacht, and a $50m New York City condominium, and California real estate**, all took place between 2010 and 2015. This is a period prior to the alleged due diligence investigation, supposedly conducted upon Madueke, culminating the award to her of passport DP0000445, on May 21, 2015.

Furthermore, the vetting of Madueke was completed in only six days, an extremely short period, during which an investigation would have been required to be conducted, and finished, in Nigeria, and in other jurisdictions. This is an impossible task for any  compliance officer, or team of investigators, which has been claimed by Dominica.  And who was doing it anyway, as the diplomatic scheme is NOT part of the CBI program.

Finally, the suspicious role of Baroness Patricia Scotland, who reportedly acted as the intermediary, introducing Madueke to Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who  hand-delivered the passport to Madueke in the UK, adds even more fuel to the fire. Scotland, whose controversial election to the Commonwealth Secretariat, alleged lavish spending habits since taking office, and experts have doubted that there was even questionable legal standing to qualify her for the position, raise even more questions about the legitimacy surrounding Madueke's acquisition of the passport. Scotland, whose attorneys have aggressively targeted media reports about her activities, to keep them from the public, knew or should have known about Madueke's situation, but still recommended her to Dominica.

Madueke attempted to evade justice, by asserting her "diplomatic status," when arrested in London, but to no avail. Was that the true reason she purchased one ? Remember, Alireza Monfared, the Iranian oil sanctions evader, used HIS Dominica diplomatic passport to escape arrest in Malaysia.

If there were any illusions about the legitimacy of the diplomatic passport program of Dominica, the US Government lawsuit certainly has shattered them. A rogues' gallery of criminals acquired their diplomatic status, bought and paid for with dirty money, which the current Dominica government was more than happy to accept, no questions asked.  
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*United States vs. M/Y Galactica Star etc., Case No.: 17-cv-02166 (SD TX).
** 1049 5th Avenue, units 11B & 11C, New York, NY; 807 & 815 Cima del Mundo Road, Montecito, California,







Saturday, July 15, 2017

UNITED STATES TO REQUIRE OTHER NATIONS TO SUPPLY MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR CITIZENS


An unclassified US State Department cable, which was directed to its foreign embassies and diplomatic posts, announced that elevated standards for information, regarding foreign nationals, especially those who wish to acquire visas to enter the United States, will soon be required, including detailed data on suspected terrorists.

In the event that a country fails to meet these new information requirements, the document states that sanctions will be imposed. Though short on specific details, it is recommended that compliance officers whose duties include the assessment of Country Risk, review the document, for the imposition of sanctions, by the US, due to non-disclosure of the information demanded, and the resultant sanctions, should be immediately assessed, so that your calculation of Country Risk, for those specific nations, is accurate and timely.

The document, which is on the Reuters website, may be accessed here.

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISMISSAL OF GIBRALTAR BANK INSURANCE COVERAGE IN SCOTT ROTHSTEIN PONZI CASE

The lower court decision, which denied insurance coverage, involving alleged misconduct of executives of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust Company, where convicted billion dollar Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein banked, was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit. Rothstein is presently serving a 50-year sentence, in Federal Prison, for his crimes.

The US District Court, Southern District of Florida, ruled that the "professional services exclusion" provision, contained in liability insurance policies held by the bank, barred a suit against the insurers. readers who wish to review the complete text of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision can access it on the Court's website, here. The style of the case is Robert Furr vs. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.

APPEALS COURT RULES MONITOR'S REPORT ON HSBC AML PROGRESS CANNOT BE RELEASED


The Second Circuit Court of Appeals* has reversed a ruling of the District Court, where the Monitor's Report, on HSBCs progress on correcting its AML deficiencies, pursuant to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, was ordered to be made public, after a victim of HSBC  moved fore access.The appeals court held that the report was not a judicial document, and that the trial judge had no power to supervise the agreement between HSBC and the Government, nor to make the report public, pursuant to rules regarding judicial documents.

There has been great public interest in the issue, as both the Government and HSBC took to position that public disclosure of the report would expose the Bank's AML program to further money laundering, and that, in the future, staff members at any bank that enters into a DPA would not cooperate, fearing that they might be publicly exposed. The compliance community was interested in seeing whether actual AML/CFT progress had been made by the bank.

Readers who wish to review the complete text of the decision may access it here .
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United States vs. HSBC Bank USA N.A., ___F3d____, 2017 WL 296018 (2nd. Cir. 2017).

TRIAL JUDGE DENIES REZA ZARRAB EXTENSION OF TRIAL DATE; ZARRAB PLACED IN SOLITARY



The judge in the Reza Zarrab Iran oil-for-gold sanctions evasion trial has denied a defense request to delay the trial date, which remains October 30, 2017. The letter motion, filed by defense team lead counsel, Benjamin Brafman, asserted that Mr. Zarrab " was denied access to his personal legal files, which substantially hinder his ability to have meraningful prep sessions with any of his attorneys."

What is interesting about the matter is the reason the defendant did not have access to his legal materials; he was reportedly confined to what is charitably called, by the Bureau of Prisons, the "Special Housing Unit," or SHU, for 21 days. having spent some time there in my youth, I can tell you it is a spartan cell, separate and apart from general inmate population, with minimal comforts, and no real ability to work on anything, let alone trial preparation. It is imposed for punitive reasons, or to protect the inmate from others incarcerated. The layman's term solitary confinement is an appropriate, though perhaps overly dramatic, term for the SHU. One has zero privileges, and virtually all the time is spent in an extremely small cell, near others similarly situated.

No reason was given for the SHU transfer, other than an SIS investigation. SIS stands for Special Investigative Services, the BOP division that reviews allegations of misconduct, as well as threats to an inmate. No further information is available, so it could be either; we do not know any details.



In any event, after the SHU transfer, Zarrab was moved out of the Manhattan MCC, to the Brooklyn MDC; his files have not been transferred to his new institution, though he has been there for five weeks, apparently adding to his attorneys' issue about his ability to conduct trial preparation assistance to counsel. You may recall that Richard Chichakli asserted that he had several problems with his own trial preparation, at the Brooklyn MDC, which he said were caused by the BOP.

Notwithstanding his plight, the US Attorney opposed the motion, as did counsel for the Turkish banker, Mehmet Atilla. The trial judge denied the motion, stating 

"Application to further adjourn the trial is respectfully denied. counsel and his team have been given ample time to ready Mr.Zarrab's defense. The Court has taken into consideration the concerns of the defendant, the Government, the public, as well as the Court's calendar, in fairly setting the trial date."

It appears that this case is going to trial on schedule. Additionally, Co-defendant Atilla, whose attorney had previously warned that he might not have sufficient time to prepare, in opposing Zarrab's request for adjournment, has probably fatally damaged any chances he might have to delay the trial.  


Friday, July 14, 2017

ANTIGUA'S BELATEDLY RELEASED DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT LIST: CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER ?



After six months of unexplained, and apparently intentional, delay, Antigua & Barbuda has publicly released what is captioned the "Revised Diplomatic Passport Listing." A careful review of that information confirms the longtime fears of compliance: there are a significant number of individuals on that list who have no legitimate diplomatic assignment, who are from high-risk countries, and who have the capability, with their officially-issued diplomatic passports, to cause significant damage, through financial crime, especially in the developing world, where such diplomatic status confers instant legitimacy.

Here are some of my issues:

(1) Many of the "diplomats" are from the Arab world; some appear to be Russians. Do these individuals speak English, which is the official language of Antigua ?

(2) Many have clearly bogus, or artificially created, assignments or titles, such as Economic Envoy, Ambassador at Large  (which is supposed to indicate a special status), Former Honorary Counsel, Business Development Officer,  Diplomat, or are listed as non-resident ambassadors. These are definitely not true assignments, only honorary designations, to apparently justify their passports.

(3) Inasmuch as names that are not originally in the Latin alphabet, such as Arabic names, must be transliterated into English, the results appearing may not be accurate translations . How is a compliance officer to accurately conduct due diligence on them ?

(4) I am not satisfied with the passport numbers appearing, which should be four, or even five, digits, to allow for expansion. Is this itself a redacted document, and not accurate ?

(5) Why are agents of the CBI program issued diplomatic passports ?

The excuses offered by the Antiguan government do not wash; if you have passports issued improperly by a prior government, cancel them. Do not say Antigua cannot afford to send diplomats everywhere, and that is why there are unexplained foreign assignments that are obviously bogus. 

The list is worse than we anticipated; its merely illustrates that the retail sale of Antigua diplomatic passports has resulted in some unknown (read:possibly dodgy) individuals having tools that could facilitate financial crime, or even terrorist financing. Those Antiguans who believe that this program should be terminated are eminently correct; kill the gravy train, please.


THE DOMINICA PAPERS: IRANIAN SANCTIONS EVADER APPLIED FOR DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT AFTER BEING DETAINED FOR DEPORTATION IN THAILAND

Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit and Alireza Monfared
 
Alireza Monfared, the Iranian oil sanctions evader, and partner of Reza Zarrab & Babak Zanjani, both under arrest, actually requested his Dominica diplomatic passport after he had been detained, for deportation, in Thailand. Emails recently made available confirmed that Monfared's diplomatic passport acquisition was conducted under opaque circumstances, and after he saw that his Dominica CBI passport was no help, when it came to evading law enforcement agencies abroad.

The emails, which have now appeared on the Internet,  appear to show that Monfared's agents sent in an application for a Dominica diplomatic passport after his arrest in Thailand. Obviously, there was zero due diligence performed at that point. We also not that Monfared was offered the Domincan ambassadorship to Malaysia at that time, notwithstanding his deportation.

The head of the Dominica CBI program later, very assertively, asked when the money was going to be wired in. This is quite interesting, because the country's unauthorized, and illegal under international law, diplomatic passport sales program, is NOT part of Dominica's CBI program. So why did the CBI program manager demand payment, in a blunt manner ? That's because the program is only a cash flow device for certain corrupt leaders in Dominica, who use it to fund their reelection campaign, allowing them to remain in power indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the world business community, and its banks, are deceived, and injured, by counterfeit diplomatic, who are, in truth and in fact, career criminals with a license to steal, facilitated by the Government of Dominica, now truly a racketeering enterprise, whose "clients' prey upon others.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ARE AFFLUENT MAINLAND CHINESE CLIENTS TOO HIGH RISK FOR WESTERN BANKS ?



It is getting to the point where the risk levels, of accepting wealthy new clients from the Peoples' Republic of China, are becoming so elevated that prudence many demand compliance officers at North American banks decline their business altogether. The potential negative publicity, when an affluent Chinese client is named as a fugitive from Chinese justice, simply outweighs any potential profit banks may gain from these clients.

At a glance:

(1) China is actively looking for those of its nationals that it alleges are major tax cheats, fraudsters, corrupt PEPs, and other classes of sundry and assorted accused wrongdoers, whose crimes may simply that they fell out of favor politically, or were associated with one who did. You do not want your bank client named as a financial criminal, in major media in the US or Canada.

(2) What constitutes money laundering in China includes using any part of the $50,000 ceiling Chinese are allowed by law to change their local currency into, for an "unapproved" and undeclared purpose. Your client's purchase of North American real estate could have made him or her guilty og  money laundering in China.

Compliance risk assessments should note that the chances that wealthy Chinese expats will be accused of criminal or corrupt activities, by his own government, than any other jurisdiction, and conduct enhanced due diligence, prior to onboarding the client.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WATCH FOR TRANSACTIONS WITH CHINESE BANKS, AFTER DOJ DISCLOSES US BANK TARGETED



Buried in the news about North Korea is the disclosure that the Department of Justice is looking at transactions at eight major US banks, for the purpose of locating, and seizing, transfers involving Chinese banks who are fronting for North Korea, which is the subject of major American sanctions. US-based Compliance officers would be well advised to examine any substantial payment being directed to Chinese banks, located in the northern portion of the country, to rule out hidden transfers destined for North Korea. A possible rule of thumb: the closer to the Yalu River (PRC-DPRK border), the bank is, the more you should trot out your enhanced due diligence specialist. Does the bank's business include North Korea ?

Be always alert for any possibility that your bank client is buying goods, which are ostensibly of Chinese manufacture, and even marked "Made in China," but truly crafted in the DPRK, and shipped through China. Do your client's "Chinese" purchases constitute goods that are known to have been manufactured in North Korean factories in the past ? If there are a number of Red Flags, you may want to being in an expert in the precise field, to consult with, to render an opinion on the issue. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

NO BOND FOR RICARDO MARTINELLI; EXTRADITION HEARING SET FOR JULY 25


 Ricardo Martinelli, fighting an extradition warrant from his native Panama, where he faces charges of conducting an illegal surveillance program, and illicit enrichment, must remain in the Federal Detention center, as the Court determined that he was a flight risk. The former president's team of attorneys' efforts to have the matter dismissed were also unsuccessful.

Is there really a procedural defect in the extradition documents, and were the defects included intentionally, so that Martinelli's extradition will not occur ? Many Panamanians who are wise to the corrupt nature of certain senior members of the present government fear that the problems with the documents are not attorney posturing, but actual flaws, rendering them ineffective to achieve extradition. Was this the work of the Varela government, who have much to lose, if Martinelli chooses to expose their mutual dark past.

The hearing has been scheduled for July 25th. An extradition that was previously thought to be a foregone conclusion is now in doubt; Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ST KITTS COMPLICATES THE CBI MADNESS BY ADDING RESIDENCY TO ITS DANCE CARD


 The Federation of St Christopher & Nevis, more commonly known as St Kitts, has announced, through the CEO of its Citizenship by Investment Unit, that it will be adding a residency program to its existing immigration and investment options, to meet demands for such a program. Approved applicants, who would be required to spend at least a portion of the year in actual residence, would receive a residency card.

Compliance officers at North American financial institutions, who have observed multiple hiccups with the St Kitts' CBI program, will be alarmed to learn that individuals who are accepted into the program, and who become Residents, will be able to subsequently "convert" their status into a CBI citizenship, according to the public announcement. Will these conversions be handled with an adequate  level of enhanced due diligence, or be quietly approved, more or less automatically, due to the additional income they will bring in to government offers ? 

You can be sure that, upon reading the above information, money launderers and other financial criminals, not to mention wealthy PEPs who have stolen government funds, or accepted bribes & kickbacks, have made inquiries of their professional advisers, or will contact the CBI agents who are authorized to process such transactions. One wonders to what illicit use career criminals intend to employ this residency status.




CANADIAN APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS $1.7bn JUDGMENT AGAINST IRAN FOR TERRORIST ACTS IT SUPPORTED


 The Ontario Court of Appeals has affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice, regarding a $1.7bn claim against the Islamic Republic of Iran, filed by victims of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist acts, and their heirs. The Court acting pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (JVTA), rejected Iran's procedural arguments, including the diplomatic immunity of its seized assets. The style of the case is Tracy vs. Iran.

The plaintiff had already obtained final judgments, on the merits, against Iran, and were seeking to levy upon assets, namely real estate, and bank accounts, located in Canada.  Readers who wish to review the complete 60-page text of the Order, here.  The impact of the appellate decision: Foreign states are now liable in Canada for Terrorism.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

TERMINATING CARIBBEAN DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS THAT VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW AND FACILITATE TRANSNATIONAL CRIME


 The explosion of what purport to be diplomatic passports, but in reality are actually tools, used to commit transnational crime, evade the long arm of justice, and facilitate terrorist financing, represents a clear and present danger to the global financial structure. The presence of bogus diplomats in the field, possessing what is effectively a license to steal,  allowing them to pass, uninspected ,through customs, avoid arrest, and to masquerade as a legitimate representative of a country that they may never even visited, is unacceptable, must be suppressed, even if radical, but still legal, measures must be applied.

 Effective countermeasures, on an international scale, can be implemented, without disturbing the sensitivity, national sovereignty, and local justice systems of the East Caribbean republics that are, or have been, selling diplomatic passports to foreign nationals, which violate the Vienna Convention. Those five countries are certainly familiar to American, and especially, Canadian, law enforcement and immigration agencies.



Since the fees, generated by the sale of diplomatic passports, to dodgy foreign nationals who wish to operate under the cover of legitimate diplomacy, are so lucrative, and have become, in several countries, a drug that the corrupt governmental recipients are addicted to, extra-national remedies are in order .

First, the sale of these diplomatic passports, which violate multiple requirements of the Vienna Convention, which was ratified by the United Nations, and therefore constitutes international law, as to all UN members, qualify as an Abuse of Power, on the part of the senior governmental officials who are vending them, and profiting from their sale. The place for relief is the International Criminal Court, where the Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, and Citizenship by Investment (CBI) agency heads,  all should be charged. INTERPOL Red Notices should be issued against all of them, without exception.

Facing criminal charges, in court that is usually reserved for national leaders who commit Crimes Against Humanity, or Crimes Against the State, as well as crippling OFAC actions, as well as international alerts on all diplomatic passports from those countries, which could even hit the CBI passports, the five offending countries' leadership may choose to terminate, with extreme prejudice, their illicit diplomatic passport programs, lest their nations become international pariahs, severely damaging their local economies, affecting critical foreign remittances, and even imports.

Second, those same government officials, whose illegal acts, made under the professed cover of legitimate local laws or executive orders, and who move and transfer their illicit wealth, so as to commit money laundering, all deserve to be named & shamed, by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC. Let them then try to move all those dirty dollars anywhere in the world, or try to enter the United States, to spend some of it.

The problem will not go away, and the local Caribbean governments, save an invasion by the US Marines, will not kill their "golden goose," extraterritorial action is the only effective course of action. Will the US & Canada step up to the plate, and use these tools to shut down these illegal programs ?


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

READ US SUPREME COURT BRIEF IN ARAB BANK CASE


Compliance officers who have been following the decade-long landmark cases, filed against the Arab Bank, pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute (ATA), may review the complete text of the Petitoners' 70-page Brief here.  Lead counsel for petitioners, at Motley Rice, are Michael Elsner, John Eubanks, and Jodi Westbrook Flowers.

The principal issue is whether there can be corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute. readers who are unfamiliar with the facts are urged to read earlier articles on the subject, previously appearing on this blog.


Monday, July 3, 2017

DID OFFICIALS IN DOMINICA AID IRAN IN OIL SANCTIONS EVASION ?


Did senior officials in the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica intentionally facilitate Iran's illegal oil sales program, which artfully evaded United Nations, and American, sanctions ? A number of financial intelligence analysts, as well as Dominicans who have first-hand knowledge of the Alireza Monfared diplomatic passport sales scandal, as asking themselves that question.

A number of seemingly unconnected events appear to suggest an affirmative answer to that query:

(1) Alireza Monfared, the Iranian national who purchased both Dominican CBI, as well as diplomatic passports, was engaged in massive illegal sales of Iranian crude, with Reza Zarrab and Babak Zanjani, effectively circumventing United Nations and US sanctions, employing  a gold-for-oil scheme, later converting to US Dollars.

(2) No less than eleven Iranian oil tankers were registered in Dominica, by 2015, and transported the crude, from the Persian Gulf, to the waters off the Malaysian offshore financial center (read: tax haven) of Labuan, where Monfared conducted sales transactions. Thereafter, most of the oil was delivered to the Peoples' Republic of China.

(3) The operator of those vessels, Ocean Tankers, is a subsidiary of Hin Leon Group, from Singapore, owned by the Lim family, overseas Chinese based in Singapore, but known to have extensive interests in the oil industry in Mainland China. Dominica maintains diplomatic relations with Singapore, through its embassy in Beijing.

(4) UN sanctions on Iran were lifted January 16, 2016, and Dominica "cancelled" Monfared's diplomatic passport. By the way, cancelling his passport did not cancel his Dominican citizenship, obtained through the CBI program. he still had his CBI passport, and was a citizen.

(5) Dominicans have reported that Monfared's villa, at Morne Daniel, was within walking distance of the Chinese Embassy for Dominica. Did he coordinate the deliveries of the sanctioned Iranian crude to China ?

(6) It is curious that, after Monfared relocated to the Dominican Republic, a notoriously corrupt nation, where money talks, Monfared (who showed up in Dominica with huge suitcases) was easily located, and extracted, by Iranian agents. Did Dominica tell Iran where he was staying ?

(7) Monfared's unique route home, Havana-to-Moscow-to-Tehran, which was obviously designed to evade US airspace, or any US allies, confirmed our suspicion that Monfared had information the Iranians did not want America to have. Intelligence agent, perhaps ? Iran went to a lot of trouble to keep him from falling into US hands.

The utterly corrupt senior leadership of the Commonwealth of Dominica, who have unilaterally taken control of funding from the government's CBI program, and the illegal diplomatic passport sales scheme, openly operate a parasitic socialist economy, totally dependent upon diverted funds. The Prime Minister is aligned with the leftist governments of Cuba and Venezuela, and Dominica must be considered an ally of Iran & China.  

Did Dominica violate UN sanctions on Iran, and should this be brought to the attention of the United Nations, for possible sanctions, and should the United States also impose OFAC sanctions upon Dominica's Prime Minister,  Minister of Foreign Affairs, and their Senior Counsel ?







NEW NOTE FROM SYRIA FEATURES IMAGE OF PRESIDENT



This is the new 200 Pound note issued by Syria, and reportedly placed into circulation yesterday. it is the first appearance of the country's current president on the currency. Being that it will only be in official circulation in those areas of Syria where Assad is in military control, if you subsequently see this note, in the possession of a bank client, given sanctions in place against Syria, you may want to make further inquiries. Is/was your bank client a PEP ?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

DISTRICT COURT KICKS BACK FRANCISCO ILLARRAMENDI'S PRO SE 2255 PETITION, TO ALLOW HIM TO OBTAIN COUNSEL


The Venezuelan hedge fund operator, Francisco Illarramendi, whose 13-year sentence, for operating a Ponzi scheme was affirmed by the Second Circuit last year, has had his §2255 Petition returned to him, to allow him to request appointment of counsel. the Court, suggesting that the case involved complex issues, has given Illarramendi thirty days, from June 20, to petition for appointment of an attorney to assist him.

It may be a waste of judicial resources; the petition alleges ineffective assistance of counsel, in entering a guilty plea, due to the fact that Illarramendi alleges that he did not have his choice of counsel in his case. In truth and in fact, the defendant went through four defense attorneys, causing his case to be delayed for years, as each new counsel requested additional time to become familiar with what was a very complex case.

The law does not require a defendant to have a specific attorney represent him, only a competent and effective one.

NEWS BLACKOUT IN IRAN REGARDING ARRESTED DOMINICAN "DIPLOMAT" ALIREZA MONFARED

There has been zero press coverage, from Iran, regarding the Iranian "businessman," accused fraudster (and sanctions evader) Alireza Monfared, since he was seized, in the Dominican Republic by Iranian agents, several months ago, and transported to Iran. Monfared allegedly was a partner, with Babak Zanjani, now facing the death penalty, and Reza Zarrab, now facing American justice, but he has not shown up in any Iranian court, nor is there any coverage of his case.

Iran claims the three fraudsters, who moved billions of dollars in internationally-sanctioned Iranian oil, using gold, converted to US Dollars, diverted literally billions of dollars in state profits,  to their own control. Unless Zanjani disgorges this sum, the Government of Iran states that he will be executed. The trio used the Malaysian offshore financial center of Labuan, not only to move the money, but to actually harbor oil tankers carrying Iranian crude.

Monfared, who held both Diplomatic, as well as Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passports from the Commonwealth of Dominica,and used his diplomatic passport to evade arrest in Malaysia, was returned to Iran, via a circuitous ( Santo Domingo-Havanda-Moscow-Tehran) route, giving rise to the suspicion that he was actually a rogue intelligence agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which did not want the US to take him into custody, or even interview, hence the unusual, and indirect, travel, due to the classified information that he possessed, about Iran.

 Whether Monfared was collecting any intelligence, while he resided in Dominica, including whether he had any contact with intelligence officers at the local Embassy of the Peoples' Republic of China, which is unusually large, is not known. There is also no information regarding whether his duties included espionage.

Since his arrest, a Malaysian businessman has accused Monfared of failing to discharge substantial obligations incurred there; he is also accused for failing to follow through on his many verbal promises, to bring needed services to Dominica, in exchange for his diplomatic status. It is rumored that he paid corrupt senior government officials in Dominica $3m for his diplomatic passport, which was belatedly cancelled, after his arrest. the disposition of the $3m is not known; it was not received in the national treasury of  Dominica.

The Monfared scandal ignited a firestorm of controversy, over Dominica's issuance of diplomatic passports, to foreign nationals, allegedly for large sums paid covertly. Many of those foreign nationals have since been arrested, in several jurisdictions, and charged with criminal acts.

Dominican diplomatic passport holders arrested worldwide





TREASURY ACTION AGAINST BANK OF DANDONG IS A WARNING ABOUT RISK LEVELS AT ALL CHINESE BANKS


 The US Treasury's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, filed against the Bank of Dandong, for assisting the DPRK (North Korea) in its illegal weapons programs, and for assisting in sanctions evasion, is a wake-up call for compliance officers who bank customers are conducting transactions with ANY Chinese financial institution. The Treasury Notice states that the Bank is a "financial institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern," which means that it will be denied access to the US financial structure. Readers who wish to review the Notice may access the complete text here.

Dandong is not the only Chinese bank that is assisting North Korea in evading US and global sanctions; it is just the first one named & shamed. There are indications that other Chinese financial institutions will be identified, and most likely, sanctioned in some way. If your bank clients are trading with Chinese companies, especially in manufacturing, where DPRK-made goods have been identified as having "Made in China" labels, the risk levels of your clients unwittingly importing North Korean goods should be examined, and appropriate action taken with the client, where you suspect North Korea is circumventing sanctions, up to and including account closing, and the filing of SARs.

Given the Trump Administration's hard-line attitude towards North Korea, which is completely justified, in my humble opinion, you can expect more sanctions, and you certainly do not want to be banking any American company exposed as a willing participant in the Chinese charade, when its Chinese bank facilitates evasion, through the use of their US correspondent accounts, to repatriate North Korean profits. Pay particular attention to Chinese banks in the north of China; the Bank of Dandong is literally at North Korea's doorstep.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

ANTIGUA'S LEROY KING EVADES AMERICAN JUSTICE, ONE MORE TIME


The East Caribbean Supreme Court, in a total departure from the Rule of Law, has now allowed Leroy King, the fugitive former regulator from Antigua, to take an appeal, from a 2012 ruling, ordering his extradition to face justice, in the Stanford International Bank criminal case in Texas. The Court's action, which essentially ignores the 2017 decision, of the High Court, which was, for all intents and purposes, the end of King's ten year dilatory court effort to evade criminal prosecution,
has no basis in law or in fact.

King's purported Constitutional grounds have previously held to be without any legal merit, and the judgment of the East Caribbean Supreme Court, which delays extradition for at least two more years, if not longer, again confirms the continuing presence of political influence in many Caribbean courts, and will translate to increased Country Risk, not just for Antigua & Barbuda, but for the English-speaking countries in the region as a whole. If a country's court system is flawed, and ignores the Rule of Law, you do not want to be investing there, or having your bank clients doing business there, or risking loss by engaging in a financial transaction.

I wonder if those Caribbean Supreme Court Justices are aware of the economic consequences of their extension of protection to Leroy King, on spurious legal grounds ?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CANADA TO REQUIRE VISAS FROM DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS FROM CBI COUNTRIES

 Insiders with connections in Immigration have disclosed that Canada plans on requiring that holders of diplomatic passports, from five countries of the East Caribbean, and two in Europe, that offer Citizenship by Investment programs, to obtain visas, prior to entering Canada. This unusual act is an obvious effort to eliminate any diplomatic passport holders who do not meet the international requirements of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, because they bought their so-called "diplomatic" status, with cash.

Before you start questioning this upcoming policy, as a violation of international law, let me advise you that genuine diplomats, entering Canada for official reasons, will not be affected, though this means that one claiming to be a diplomat must demonstrate to Canadian authorities:

(1) That he or she is a bona fide representative of Dominica, with a designated diplomatic posting in a specific country, or to an international organization or entity. This means they actually have a real job, not simply a passport.

(2) That he or she has presented credentials to that posting, and been recognized there.

(3) That the individual was entering Canada for a specific, relevant diplomatic purpose, and that this purpose is consistent with normal diplomatic activities.

Additionally, Since foreign nationals, as diplomats of another country are acceptable only under unusual circumstances, unless the "Dominican diplomat" was of Canadian origin, and being posted to Canada, do not expect immigration authorities to accept bogus reasons for nationals of other countries, carrying a Dominican (or other East Caribbean nations) diplomatic passport to be accepted as a bona fide diplomat on assignment to Canada. They have no legal excuse for being in Canada as diplomats.

Therefore, the genuine Dominican diplomats, posted to Canada, are to be freely admitted, without delay. The "unassigned" holders of diplomatic passports, will NOT be allowed into Canada. This should discourage the Iranian, Russian, Chinese, Venezuelan, Cuban, and the other usual suspects, who paid well, to play diplomat, evade Customs,  and commit various and sundry White Collar crimes.  




SPANISH COURT SETS IMPOSSIBLE BAIL CONDITIONS FOR "MATERIAL WITNESSES" IN BOGUS POLITICAL MONEY LAUNDERING CASE


A court in Spain's Canary Islands has set an obscenely high bond, for three "material witnesses," who have been illegally held for 20 months, in a bogus money laundering investigation filed for purely political and mercenary reasons, in a scandal that has exposed major flaws in Spain's criminal justice system. Vladimir Kokorev, a dual Russian-Spanish citizen, his wife & son, have been in custody, as witnesses, in a case where criminal charges have never been filed. Spain's adherence to the Rule of Law has been called into question, and this case has been raised in the European Court of Human Rights, as a major violation.

Ismael Gerli, a Panama attorney who perjured himself when he gave false testimony against Mr. Kokorev, is the sole witness against him, but Gerli is himself under criminal forgery charges in his native Panama, after he reportedly stole real estate from the Kokorevs, after their extradition to Spain, as Material Witnesses. He has been completely discredited, and cannot leave Panama, to testify at any future trial in Spain. How can the Spanish prosecutor justify this massive human rights violation ?

Bond has been set at €2m each, knowing that the Kokorevs cannot pay such an immense amount; they are listed as Material Witnesses, and have not been charged, either in this case, or any others. The bail conditions also require that they surrender their passports, and they are prohibited from leaving Spain. Bail was set at a prohibitive amount intentionally, according to observers familiar with Equatorial Guinea, whose petroleum reserves have long been coveted by Spanish business interests, and they are seeking Kokorev's testimony, against Guinean leaders, to replace them with others, favoring Spain.

If the Kokorevs had been convicted of money laundering, they would have already served the required 1/3 of the maximum sentence for that crime, and been provisionally released. Clearly, Spanish prosecutors are following the instructions of Spanish business interests not the Rule of Law. Nobody has been charged, the "witnesses" human rights have been totally violated, and the judges presiding over this case should be dismissed, and arrested.

PYRAMID/PONZI SCHEMER MURCIA FUNDED PANAMA AMERICA PURCHASE



With all the hoopla surrounding the money laundering charges being thrown around, in the matter of the Editorial Panama America SA (Epasa) scandal, nobody seems to want to discuss the 300 pound elephant in the room: the thrice-convicted Colombian Pyramid & Ponzi schemer, David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán, and his prominent role in the purchase.

Panama's fugitive ex-president, Ricardo Martinelli, and his close associate, Gabriel "Gabby" Btesh, were the buyers; both Martinelli & Beesh used the newspaper to smear anyone in Panama that they had differences with, or regarded as political or economic rivals. Btesh fled to Israel, where he cannot be extradited to Panama, to face justice for his corruption, and criminal activities. Agents involved in the illegal electronic and video surveillance of over 150 prominent Panamanians, and US officials working in the American Embassy, worked out of a building that Btesh owns.

A substantial amount of the money used to buy Panama America came from Murcia; the balance reportedly was stolen from various Panamanian governmental agency accounts.

Monday, June 26, 2017

MORE CBI BLOWBACK: CANADA INSTITUTES VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

 A government announcement from Antigua today advised that, effective 0530 local time tomorrow, July 27, Antiguans wishing to visit Canada must first obtain a visa. Although Antigua has instituted  a number of reforms and upgrades to its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, risk factors for the region's other CBI programs, as a whole, have increased, which may be the reason for this new visa requirement, or de-risking programs instituted by North American financial institutions.

Canadian consultants familiar with the country's negative experiences with CBI passports holders from St Kitts & Nevis, and the Commonwealth of Dominica, may be responsible for the new visa rule, and not any problems or issues involving Antigua. Dominica in particular has been a source of trouble for Canada, specifically Iranians holding Dominican CBI, and/or diplomatic, passports and citizenship*. A number of these individuals have been deported; others are presently being held, in custody, by Canadian immigration authorities. 

Readers who wish further information, from an official source, may obtain it from Canada Immigration News. The Canada Immigration Newsletter, Canada Enforces Visa Requirement on Citizens of Antigua & Barbuda here.
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* More details can be found elsewhere on this blog.

UK BORDER FORCE DETAINS ARRIVING DOMINICA TRAVELER, SAYS HE IS FROM "HIGH RISK" COUNTRY



According to a report filed today, a traveler, with a passport from Dominica, arriving in London last Friday, in transit to the EU, was detained by UK Border Force, questioned at length, and had his bags and computer searched. He was reportedly told that he was traveling from "a high risk country."

This incident confirms that many Western nations are regarding individuals holding passport from Dominica, where foreign nationals may freely obtain Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passports, or even diplomatic passports, are being closely examined. Note that the traveler was only in transit, and not intending to enter the UK, but was still subject to detention, search & questioning at length, indicating the validity of his passport was one of the issues confronting the UK Border Force officers who detained him.

We have been predicting, for some time, that ordinary Dominican citizens would soon find themselves the subject of unwanted attention, at immigration checkpoints abroad, due to the publicity surrounding the possession of Dominicans passports, by career criminals, international sanctions evaders, and organized crime members. It appears that our concerns were justified.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

IS DOMINICA HAWKING ILLEGAL DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS BECAUSE ITS CBI PASSPORTS HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY LESS VALUE THAN OTHERS ?



While most Caribbean commentators have focused upon the fact that corrupt senior government officials in Dominica are illegally selling their diplomatic passports for big bucks (foreigners not authorized by the Geneva Convention of 1961), there is also another another major reason: "ordinary"  Dominican Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passports are valued at a much lower rate than those of the competition, Antigua & Barbuda, and St Kitts & Nevis. It is possible that agents are steering prospective clients away from considering Dominica, in favor of other jurisdictions offering the same product, forcing Dominica to push diplomatic passports, to snare the customer.

One of the leading international agent firms, which attracts CBI prospects on a global basis, and which calculates the value of passports, based upon a number of factors, including how many countries a certain country's passport will get you into, visa-free, lists Dominica as substantially less desirable than both Antigua and St Kitts; It is down on the list near Serbia, if you need a point of reference. You have to believe that they are pushing clients towards SKN and A & B, rather than Dmonica.

Remember, Alireza Monfared ALSO had a CBI Dominica passport, in addition to the diplomatic one. he probably found out, the hard way, that a Dominica CBI passport was not as valuable as he had been led to believe.

Therefore, we ask again, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Who are the holders of the 425+ diplomatic passports issued by your office ? Dominica only has a small number of authentic diplomats. How many Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Venezuelans, and Cubans have one ?


ARE YOU BANKING ANY NGOs USED BY TERRORISTS ?

Illegal Hezbollah observation tower, Lebanese-Israeli border
  
A loose confederation of environmental groups, principally those who advocate extensive planting of trees, to improve denuded areas, use the title "Green Without Borders." This non-governmental organization appears to have been co-opted by the designated terrorist organization, Hezbollah, which has placed observation towers within the Lebanese-Israeli frontier zone restricted to UN peacekeepers, and marked them with the NGOs logo and name. Obviously, Hezbollah wants to use any future, wartime destruction of these towers for propaganda purposes. They have conveniently promoted this NGO in Lebanon as a peaceful entity, dedicated to tree restoration in denuded areas of the country.

The real NGO


The Hezbollah-controlled bogus NGO

Terrorists, as well as criminal elements, have been known to unilaterally adopt the identities of NGOs, which are powerless to prevent or suppress such actions, and abuse those non-profit entities, for an illicit purpose. This action serves as a warning to compliance officers to always thoroughly check out the activities of any and all NGO bank clients, especially if they happen to be located, or operate in, high-risk areas or regions, lest you find out one day that your customer's good reputation is being used for a dark purpose.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

CANADA DEPORTS IRANIANS HOLDING DOMINICA AND OTHER CBI PASSPORTS, AND DETAINS OTHERS



The Department of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada has deported to Dominica a number of Iranian nationals, all holding CBI passports from that country; it has also deported additional Iranians, present in Canada, and in possession of CBI passports from other East Caribbean countries, back to the countries that issued their passports.

Other Iranians remain in custody in Canada, also with CBI passports, due to the fact that they were to be deported directly to Iran, and then alleged that they will be subject to political persecution, and possible imprisonment, if returned to their native country. In truth and in fact, several Iranians, under arrest and detention in Canada, face imminent execution if repatriated, since they committed major fraud, and grand theft, in Iran, and are simply criminals, seeking to relocate, and evade justice. How did these individuals obtain CBI citizenship, in Dominica, and elsewhere, given that they were known to be career criminals ?

According to the CBC, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is conducting a criminal investigation of several international companies that are agents for East Caribbean government entities CBI passports, which are then used to enter Canada. These are the same firms that are prominent in delivering clients to Dominica and St Kitts & Nevis, and who also were involved in vetting their applicants, who turned out to be fraudsters & thieves. Were their criminal backgrounds overlooked, due to the lucrative nature of the CBI business ? 




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PANAMA IMPLICATES PRESIDENT VARELA AND JUSTICE JOSE AYU PRADO

Ex-Fiscal Ana Matilde Gómez
 Ana Matilde Gómez, the former Attorney General of Panama has implicated the country's president, Juan Carlos Varela, accusing him of participating in multiple illegal acts, while acting as Vice President, between 2009 and 2014. The ex-Attorney General also named the president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama,  José Ayú Prado,  for corrupt acts he allegedly committed, during the period when he was the lead prosecutor in charge of the organized crime division.

Many Panamanians, and North American expats, have voiced their opinion, that President Varela does not want ex-president Ricardo Martinelli to be extradited to Panama, to face justice in the pending cases against him, because Martinelli will then name many current government officials, including Varela, for their involvement in corruption, and other illegal activity. Ms. Gómez reportedly made these accusations on a local television program, in Panama City.

MIAMI JUDGE DEFERS RULING ON EXTRADITION AND BOND FOR FORMER PANAMANIAN PRESIDENT



The efforts of counsel for Ricardo Martinelli, the fugitive ex-president of the Republic of Panama, to obtain bond yesterday, during his pending extradition proceedings, were thwarted when the Court declined to immediately rule on his bond request. A motion to dismiss the extradition was  similarly deferred, though the judge indicated that there would be a ruling next week.

Martinelli faces massive corruption and illegal surveillance charges in his native Panama, which is abuzz with rumors that he is either cooperating with US law enforcement, or intends to cooperate, something which could implicate the country's current president, Juan Carlos Varela,  several members of his cabinet, and a number of judges on the Supreme Court of Justice. Bond is rarely given during extradition proceedings, due to the risk of flight. Martinelli's reported wealth, due to corruption, is not known, but has been estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Martinelli was reportedly taken into custody at a waterfront mansion he allegedly purchased for $8m cash, since he relocated to Miami, ahead of the filing of criminal charges in Panama. He has at least thirteen separate criminal cases filed against him there; One source claims that there are over two hundred independent investigations of criminal conduct pending at this time. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WIC NEWS HAS BEEN LINKED TO COMPANIES SELLING CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC PASSPORTS


If you read my recent article, Evidence Confirms that Caribbean News Website is cooperating with Dominica's Labour Party and Prime Minister, which showed that a supposedly objective news website has disturbing ties to the corrupt Dominica Labour Party, and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, gving rise to allegations of news management, and disinformation, read on.

WIC news, and Caribbean CBI firms, CS Global & Henley, have all had their Internet filings registered by the same company, raising the presumption that this may be little more than a forum to spread pro-CBI agent propaganda for Dominica, paid for by the companies (agents) that receive outrageously high commissions for steering wealthy foreign nationals, from high-risk countries to a CBI citizenship. This is yet another reason to steer clear of the stories being promoted, as there is a definite agenda from the content.

Here is the reported filing information for this new company, which appeared out of nowhere, under suspicious circumstances:  WIC News, Ltd., registered on February 21, 2017 . The company's address, Kemp House, City Road, London EC11V 2NX, means that has no brick-and-mortar location. It is a virtual company, staffed by only individual, Benjamin James Parker, British citizen, age 27,  free-lance journalist & travel writer, and with no permanent fixed UK office location, or land-line.

How is it that a brand-new internet news service, specializing in the Caribbean, has no advertising ? How are the site's bills being paid ? Is it Anthony Astaphan, who is said to be the source of all the slanted Dominica content ?










PROTECTIVE ORDER REINFORCES PROBABILITY OF ADDITIONAL DEFENDANTS IN THE REZA ZARRAB IRAN OIL SANCTIONS EVASION CASE



The District Judge has entered a Protective Order, in the Reza Zarrab case, directed to the defense attorneys representing the Turkish banker, Mehmet Atilla, which restricts them, and their staff, from disclosing sensitive information, contained tin Discovery which will be routinely furnished to defense counsel.

The started purpose of the order is to prevent information about pending investigations of other potential defendants, and there may be confidential informants, or undercover law enforcement agents in the field, that the Government must protect from exposure, and possible physical harm. Probable additional defendants could be Iranians and Malaysians who worked in the criminal oil-for-gold enterprise, lead by Zarrab, Alireza Monfared, and Babak Zanjani. Others could be the operators of the Dominica CBI and diplomatic passport programs, which sold citizenship to Iranians, and others, in Zarrab's organization. Still others could be bankers who assisted the group in obtaining dollars from US banks, and moving the money abroad, and they may not all be Turkish nationals.

Inasmuch as Atilla's attorneys have frankly advised the Court that they most likely will not be ready for a Fall 2017 trial, the addition of more defendants is probable. This is the biggest Iran sanctions evasions case currently pending in Federal Court, from my research, and the Department of Justice is pursuing it diligently. Whose else will be named ?

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

EVIDENCE CONFIRMS THAT CARIBBEAN NEWS WEBSITE IS COOPERATING WITH DOMINICA'S PRIME MINISTER AND LABOUR PARTY

Hint: you can move the "Followers" around to see the complete text of this email. It says "I'm doing what I can but .,..ugh


While we have previously reported on the engagement of an American public relations firm, by the Dominica Labour Party, and its Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, to respond to the news about the country's deteriorating democracy, we did not know that the present Dominican government would stoop to sponsoring a supposedly objective Caribbean news website, to publish pro-regime propaganda; We call that news management.

If you look closely at the email at the top of this article, you see what appears to be a dialogue between PM Roosevelt Skerrit, and Benjamin Parker, who lists his title as Editor-at-Large of WIC News, which  you will recognize as a newly-arrived news website, specializing in the Caribbean. Using an email address deceptively similar to that of the PM, a letter sent by "Skerrit" confirmed that there is an incestuous, unethical, and probably commercial, relationship, between WIC and the Skerrit/Labour/Astaphan organization, the object of which is to publish slanted, not objective news.  The context of the exchange involved a "shoot-the-messenger" article, about a Dominican who opposes the actions of the present Skerrit administration, especially the purchase of votes, at election time.

If you have spent any time on the WIC website, you know the following:
(1) All the articles published about Dominica are unabashedly pro-Skerrit and pro-Labour.
(2) Anything on the site, about the Opposition, is universally negative.
(3) A long-winded legal discourse, written by Skerrit attorney and resident Mad Monk Rasputin, Anthony Astaphan,  including endless references to legal citations, was published on the site, without stating that it was an editorial, or opinion piece.

Is this checkbook journalism ? If not, why is Editor Parker shilling on behalf of Skerrit ? Any compliance officers who are reading WIC News, seeking objective information, are advised to look elsewhere, for you will only find propaganda on that so-called "news" site*.
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*A word to the wise over in St Kitts & Nevis; someone in Bassetere might want to take a close look at the articles about your country: Is there a hidden agenda in that content ?

CONVICTED PONZI SCHEMER ORDERED TO PAY $27m IN CIVIL SEC CASE



Francisco Illarramendi, the convicted Venezuelan Ponzi schemer, who operated two unlicensed hedge funds in Connecticut, and who is presently serving thirteen years for his crimes, was ordered to pay $26.8m, in a civil case brought by the Securities & Exchange Commission in Federal District Court.

Illarramendi, who entered a guilty plea in his criminal case but appealed his sentence to the Second Circuit, had his judgment and sentence affirmed by the appellate court in February. A restitution order, in the amount of $370m, was entered in the criminal case, by the trial judge. Illarramendi defrauded the pension find of PDVSA, the Venezuelan Government petroleum agency, and he was found to have paid bribes  to an agency official in charge of pensions.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

CARIBBEAN CBI CITIZENS ARE ELIGIBLE TO SIT IN THE UK HOUSE OF COMMONS, OR EVEN THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

 
Back in 1983, when the Honourable William Herbert, the Foreign Minister of a newly-independent St Christopher & Nevis, created the first Citizenship by Investment program in the East Caribbean, he may not have been fully aware of all the ramifications of the naturalization of  foreign individuals in  the Commonwealth of Nations. St Kitts, Dominica, and indeed, all the half dozen EC democracies that have enacted CBI legislation, to create additional income for their developing ecomonies, neglected to examine, in detail, all possible negative outcomes that their CBI  programs might spawn.

Sometimes, legislators, with good intentions, create something never anticipated nor wanted. We call it the Law of Unintended Consequences. In the case of CBI programs in East Caribbean, it is the simple fact that, pursuant to the British Nationality Act of 1981, citizens of Commonwealth countries have, not only the right to register and vote in all UK elections, they can stand, as a candidate as a Member of parliament, to the House of commons, and ultimately, be appointed a minister of government, or even Prime Minister. They also have an absolute right to sit in the House of Commons if a qualified Bishop of the Church of England (Anglican Church).

Here is the nightmare scenario: a well-known Russian organized crime figure, armed with a CBI citizenship from the Commonwealth of Dominica, obtained through a corrupt method, namely payment of an obscene sum to a senior government official in Roseau, stands for the House of Commons. he already owns a significant amount of London real estate, and now he wants political power.

 With the expenditure of a large amount of money, he buys enough votes to get elected. Once seated in Commons, he assists other career criminals in obtaining CBI passports & citizenship, and also in running for office. There may be alternatives; Iranian, Venezuelan or even Chinese, criminal elements may tale advantage of this loophole. Dodgy individuals from those countries are known to hold




Perhaps the next time a national government decides to enrich itself, through a CBI program, its officials might want to consult a competent immigration law firm.


JAPANESE COMPANIES EXPOSED BY PANAMA PAPERS OWE ONE BILLION YEN TO TAXMAN



Though not being reported by global media, the Panama Papers disclosures have had a major effect in Japan. A number of major Japanese corporations were identified, and linked to more than 200 shell companies formed by the law firm of Mossack and Fonseca. The outstanding tax bill owed has been estimated at ¥1bn (USD $ 9m), but it has been stressed that this is only a preliminary calculation; the final tax bill may be substantially more than this.

Most of the companies identified were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and Guernsey, in the Channel Islands.



NEW JERSEY JUDGE RELEASES MAN FOUND WITH $315,000 WITH SUMMONS

Gerald Flores


A state court judge in Hackensack, New Jersey allowed an alleged drug trafficker to be released, on only a summons to appear, after law enforcement found $315,000, hidden within his vehicle. Gerald Flores was charged with a money laundering offense, and though he was not a New Jersey resident, he was not placed into pretrial detention. what's wrong with this picture ?

When the courts recognize that money launderers represent a clear and present danger to the community, and that, if released, they will be continuing their crimes while on release, those individuals will not be allowed to bond out, or be released, prior to trial. They also have a risk of flight, due to the fact that they have ready access to large amounts of cash, which is the other yardstick through which we measure the risks involved in deciding whether to release an arrested individual.

If this individual is later arrested, again involved in criminal activity, while on release, we wonder what the ramifications will be for the judge who improperly released him.