Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

MARTINELLI ASKS FOR AN ADDITIONAL STAY OF EXTRADITION ORDER


 The court file may be essentially sealed, reportedly to keep Martinelli's secrets about Trump and US covert actions abroad, from getting out, but we can still read the docket, in his Habeus Corpus filing. Yesterday, Martinelli's team of attorneys requested an additional stay of enforcement of the Extradition Order. Although we do not have the benefit of reading the motion, we should assume this is but one more dilatory, bad faith attempt to drag out the proceedings Ad Nauseam.

 Is he actually blackmailing the United States Government, over Trump sex films, as many Panama insiders believe ? And is it also about sensitive covert American actions, conducted inside Latin America, that Martinelli knows about ? Politics should not interfere with the conduct of Panamanian justice, and Martinelli needs to face justice for his crimes.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

CBI PASSPORTS WILL REMAIN A PROBLEM FOR COMPLIANCE DUE TO HIGH RISK STATUS OF APPLICANTS


Compliance officers at international banks in North America, and in the European Union, continue to be on guard for prospective customers whose primary method of identification is a passport obtained through a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program from the five East Caribbean English-speaking republics.

They fear that a CBI passport holder is concealing his or her true identity, may in truth and in fact be a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), or an individual engaged in financial crime, a terrorist financier, in possession of the proceeds of corruption, or a criminal suspect in his home country.
 
While CBI consultancies, and the governments of the CBI countries themselves, all brag about the effectiveness of the firms performing due diligence investigations of the applicants, they fail to disclose the central flaws impeding all their inquiries into the background of applicants:

(1) The vast majority of CBI applicants not only come from high risk countries, they hail from the Middle East, Asia or Russia, all of whose languages use non-Roman (Latin) characters. This means transliteration, not simple translation, into English, where one letter changed, deleted or improperly interpreted will result in a total failure to identify a threat to your bank.

(2) These high risk countries, which serve as the principal source of affluent CBI clients, all have a thriving underground in official blank passports for sale. Your applicant may have a legitimate passport with a clean alias, meaning that all the due diligence in the world will not uncover his true identity.



Many compliance officers have taken to closely examine ALL individuals who come from countries in the developing world that sell CBI passports, on the assumption that they may be looking at an individual who appears to be a legitimate national, but in reality is a well-prepared CBI holder. I wonder how many citizens of St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada are aware of this ?

Whether CBI programs ultimately plunge the countries who implement them to raise needed revenue into increased paraiah status for Country Risk purposes is not known, but we will be watching.   









IS ALIREZA ZIBAHALAT MONFARED A ROGUE IRANIAN SPY ?



While the Iranian "businessman " Alireza Monfared is best known as part of the multi-billion dollar Iran  oil-for-gold sanctions evasion scheme, while using a diplomatic passport issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica, to evade financial crimes he committed in Malaysia, the question remains: is Monfared an Iranian intelligence agent who went rogue and stole money from Iran ?

True, he did use the Dominica diplomatic passport to escape arrest in Malaysia, on charges that he defrauded a Malaysian investor in his phantom businesses in Dominica, but he is not your garden-variety while collar criminal. We need to look deeper.

1. The circumstances of his arrest and return to Iran suggest that he possesses information that Iran would go to any length to keep him out of the hands of American law enforcement. He was transported, via Havana and then Moscow, to Tehran. This indicates that he was not to transit any US airspace en route. Who other than those who have information critical to the national security of Iran would be taken upon such a circuitous route ?

Babak Zanjani

2. Notwithstanding his arrival and presumed detention in Iran, one year ago, he has neither appeared in court, to face the charges which are certainly pending against him, nor even mentions in Iran's state-controlled press. His co-defendant. Babak Zanjani, faces the death sentence for his crimes. His partner, Reza Zarrab, pled guilt in the United States. Where is Monfared in the Iranian legal process, or has he been quietly accepted back into the Iranian intelligence world ?

PM Roosevelt Skerrit & Monfared
 
3. Monfared had a close personal relationship with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, whom he reportedly paid millions of dollars, in cash, for the diplomatic passport, amd CBI passports for his entire family. Did Monfared extract valuable information from Skerrit that he bartered with Iran, to save him from forthwith execution ? Or was it that Skerrit subsequently issued Dominica diplomatic passports to additional Iranian agents, on Monfared's request, and those acts  kept Monfared from meeting the hangman ? We cannot say, but we shall continue to inquire.








IN CUSTODY, MARTINELLI SEEKS A SPEEDY RESOLUTION OF HIS BOND REQUEST



Although he appears to be in no hurry to have the appeal of the Court's denial of his Habeus Corpus petition resolved, the fugitive ex-president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli certainly wants to accelerate the time-line on his pending petition to be released on bond. The court file may be essentially sealed, but the docket sheet shows that Martinelli's attorneys filed a motion to expedite the Briefing Schedule on the bond request.

We wonder: why can't the fugitive be as diligent in moving his appeal forward, by filing a Notice of Appeal early on, rather than wait until the entire 14-day period granted by the Court, has elapsed .

Monday, January 29, 2018

MARTINELLI CONTINUES HIS DILATORY TACTICS TO DRAG OUT EXTRADITION PROCEEDINGS



The attorneys for former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli, who were given two weeks to appeal the denial of their client's Habeus Corpus petition to address an unfavorable extradition ruling, have not even filed their Notice of Appeal, after one full week, demonstrating their intent to pursue dilatory tactics, delaying the outcome as long as possible. If the appeal had any merit at all, they would have wasted no time in sending in the short Notice to the Eleventh Circuit. We predicted this course of conduct.

Will the outcome of the appeal be artfully delayed, until the 2019 Panamanian Presidential Election ? We cannot say, but given the that requests for extension of time, to file briefs are routinely granted, and supplemental filings, requests for Oral Argument, and other dilatory tactics, could be tools employed by counsel to accomplish that goal, stay tuned, to see just how many years this bogus appeal is pending.  




MILLION DOLLAR BILL FROM NORTH KOREA



What were the counterfeiters in North Korea thinking, when they created a USD$1,000,000 note ? Who would accept such an instrument, lend against it, change it, or accept it for any purpose ? You've gotta love the use of the George Washington One Dollar as the base, covering over the spelled-out "One" on the face, and using (again) the Series 1928 issue. Where are the commas, please ?


Even in Inner Mongolia, no banker is going to take this bill, and it could alert them to reject offerings of the Supernote, from the same fraudsters. Who would approve the creation of such an obvious fraud ? 

SPANISH PROSECUTORS CITE BOGUS ARMS TRAFFICKING CHARGES AGAINST KOKOREV IN CONTROVERSIAL CANARY ISLANDS CASE



Prosecutors in Spain's Canary Islands, seeking to justify the jailing of Russian-Spanish businessman, Vladimir Kokorev, for more than two years, are alleging in media his reputed involvement in arms trafficking. Kokorev's illegal detention in 2015, on a spurious material witness warrant, has become a human rights issue among certain Members of the European Parliament.

The alleged evidence includes financial transfers said to be for weapons, armor and equipment purchases, by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. Kokorev, who was solely involved in maritime matters, was not an arms trader or facilitator, and these allegations are believed to be made to allow the Court, said to be notoriously anti-Russian, to continue to hold Kokorev, without legal justification, which is a major violation of EU law.

More than a decade ago, Spanish investigators closed their case, regarding possible money laundering of funds from Equatorial Guinea, but Canary Islands prosecutors improperly reopened the case, reportedly upon orders from affluent Spanish & Italian interests, who have coveted oil contracts from Equatorial Guinea, now held by American firms. They want the present EG government to fall, so that they can place their own candidate, an expat living in Spain, in place of President Obiang. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

MARTINELLI FILE REMAINS SEALED: IS IT BECAUSE OF FILMS OF TRUMP'S SEXUAL TOURISM OR AMERICAN COVERT OPERATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA ?



Attorneys for Panama's fugitive former president, Ricardo Martinelli, have requested that he be released on bond, pending his appeal of the denial of his Habeus Corpus petition, seeking to avoid extradition to face criminal charges in Panama. Unfortunately, we cannot supply the details of their motion, because the entire file remains essentially sealed by the Court, which has restricted access through an effective maneuver that denies it to all, without actually sealing the pleadings.

According to knowledgeable sources within the Republic of Panama, and other resources with close access to the international intelligence community, there are two principal reasons why all of the filings remain sealed:

(1) Martinelli has threatened to expose law enforcement sensitive, as well as classified, covert operations conducted by agencies of the US Government, and its military forces, in Latin America & the Caribbean, which if exposed, could seriously affect diplomatic relations with countries in that region, who are extremely sensitive about violations of their national sovereignty. Martinelli's illegal electronic surveillance activities are believed to have uncovered such information, while trolling for blackmail evidence that Martinelli used against his political enemies, and to obtain sexual favors from females fearing exposure of their infidelity to husbands and boyfriends in Panama.

(2) Martinelli reportedly has made it known that he has ample video evidence of sexual escapades, allegedly committed by President Donald Trump, in a number of Panama bordellos, including but not limited to, Club Miami, Le Palace, and Club Bahama. he has allegedly threatened to release such tapes if he is extradited. are some of those tapes now in the hands of Russian organized crime, and is this connected to the Special prosecutor's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election ? Given the power of Russian organized crime in Panama, this is a bona fide concern.

Did the US  Secretary of State, or Attorney General, both of whom are Trump appointees, order the file sealed ? We cannot say, but we will be closely monitoring all filings in the Eleventh Circuit appeal, and if any made are available to the public, (which is doubtful), we will update our readers forthwith.
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* ©2018 Kenneth Rijock. Contributed by Kenneth Rijock.




Friday, January 26, 2018

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE ?



This instrument appears to be a Series 2006 USD$10,000 note, notwithstanding that the United States has not issued any such bill since the end of the Second World War. and Benjamin Franklin has never been pictured therein. It is represented to be a "gold-backed US bond," in the Republic of Korea, and the wrapped total of 100 bills is one million dollars. if these were truly bonds, where is the maturity information ? What about interest on the obligation ?

Astute readers will note its similarity to the Series 2006 US one hundred dollar bill, the same series that has recently shown up in Seoul* as a possible new version of the North Korean "Supernote, " the best counterfeit US currency ever produced. How anyone would expect a knowledgeable banker to accept it, for any purpose, especially loan collateral, is beyond my comprehension. The original $100 serial number has not been changed, nor have all the other indicia of a one hundred dollar bill.

For example, US currency always uses commas, and this note has none, in the sections showing value. One the front, there is no spelled-out value, center bottom. as appears on all America currency. The fonts (typeface) used to denote value differs from the rest of the instrument. Finally, "Certification of Payment" has been added to the standard clause regarding the validity of the currency as a method of payment.

Obviously created on a superior printing press, in North Korea (DPRK), as a part of that rogue country's desperate need to acquire hard currency, through fraud, or any other means, it represent a clear and present danger to international banks careless enough to accept it as a means of securing customer debt. Someone needs to, once and for all, disable, capture or destroy that intaglio press, so that the Supernote, and its progeny, no longer appear in global financial markets.

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* Is new North Korean "Supernote" Counterfeit USD$100 in General Circulation ? January 24, 2018.

© 2018 Kenneth Rijock; contributed by Kenneth Rijock.












This purports to be a US ten thousand dollar bond

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

DOMINICA-FLAGGED TANKER DELIVERS OIL TO NORTH KOREA



The Japanese Navy has reported that it witnessed the Dominica-registered oil tanker, YAK TUNG, meeting a UN-sanctioned North Korean tanker, in the East China Sea, under circumstances that generally indicate an illegal transfer of oil between the two vessels. A photograph, taken when the two ships were encountered on the high seas, is shown above. There are serious questions about the circumstances under which the Yuk Tung was registered, whether bribes and a clearly excessive registration fee were paid, and whether the entire Dominica vessel registration program is hopelessly corrupt, and in violation of international maritime law.

Dominica-flagged oil tankers have been used to illegally transport sanctioned Iranian oil, as part of an illicit sales program operated by Reza Zarrab, Babak Zanjani. and Alireza Monfared. Monfared, who is in Iranian custody, had a diplomatic passport issued illegally by Dominica. Zanjani was convicted, and faces the death penalty in Iran.



The United States has been ignoring disturbing years of similar events in the English-speaking countries of the East Caribbean, and the widespread misuse of governmental powers by senior members of the Commonwealth of Dominica can no longer be classified as minor. Facilitating oil shipments to the renegade regime in North Korea is a major threat to world peace, as well as being a violation of international law. How many other Dominica-flagged oil tankers, previously assisting Iran in its oil sanctions evasion scandal, are now traveling  towards North Korea ? 

IS NEW NORTH KOREAN "SUPERNOTE" COUNTERFEIT USD$100 IN GENERAL CIRCULATION ?



A disturbing report from the Republic of Korea, regarding the latest iteration of the infamous North Korean counterfeit US one hundred dollar bill, known as the "Supernote," raises the question: Is it in general circulation in the United States, and abroad, and why have no warnings been posted ?

The December discovery of a counterfeit Series 2006 A USD$100 note in Seoul has raised alarms in Asia, but curiously, not in the United States, which is the generally accepted target of any North Korean attack upon the American economy. One of these notes was found at a branch of South Korea's KEB Hana Bank, and a team of forgery experts within the bank have reportedly concluded that it is a next generation version of the dreaded Supernote. The North Korean regime, short on hard currency, has in the past created these counterfeits, using paper and printing presses that are the equivalent of those use by the US Bureau of Printing and Engraving, to create a counterfeit that passes even close scrutiny by banking staff.



All the media reports on the Supernote seem to come from South Korea, Europe, or currency collector websites, but none can be found from major USA media sources.We trust that the Secret Service will be educating the American business community, sooner, rather than later. The counterfeits are rough to the touch, like the originals, and the color changes, when viewed from an angle. They do not pass muster when the victims attempt to deposit them into a US Automated Teller Machine (ATM). They bear the signatures of Anna Escobedo Cabral, .and Henry Paulson. Serial numbers start with "KA." Have you seen one ?
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©2018 Kenneth Rijock; Contributed by Kenneth Rijock.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

FEDERAL JUDGE IN MIAMI DENIES RICARDO MARTINELLI'S HABEUS CORPUS PETITION


 A  District Judge in Miami has denied the Habeus Corpus petition filed by Panama's fugitive former president, Ricardo Martinelli, after another Federal judge ordered his extradition, to face the music in the Republic of Panama. Given the back story however, whether he ever sees the inside of a Panama City courtroom remains questionable.

The Court denied his petition, but allowed him a fourteen day stay, so that his defense team could file an appeal of the decision. It also retained limited jurisdiction, for the purposes of entertaining any bond proposal he might file. Martinelli, who it was rumored wanted to flee to the Dominican Republic, is in custody. Whether he will be allowed bond, pending his appeal, is an open question.

Curiously, the entire court file, including all the hearing notices, has been unavailable since the petition was filed, and the consensus of opinion in Panama is that Martinelli's petition alleged certain classified and possibly very embarrassing, information about covert US activities in Latin America. Was the United States Attorney's Office ordered to keep that information away from media and the public, without having the Court seal the file, which would attract major media attention ?

Remember, Martinelli's illegal electronic surveillance program allegedly spied upon the US Embassy, and could have acquired classified information that might set back diplomatic relations with the nations where operations were conducted, without the knowledge of their governments.

If you are unfamiliar with appellate practice and procedure, it is relatively easy to obtain extensions of time on the filing of briefs, and this matter could be delayed in this manner for several months. Martinelli's attorneys have inrterposed several procedural defects in the extradition documents, and a reversal of the extradition order might seem supported by existing law, deflecting questions about whether such a decision is correct, and Martinelli might end up living in Miami, and cheating justice one more time.

EIGHT JURISDICTIONS REMOVED FROM EU BLACKLIST



Eight countries and territories have been removed from the Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions List maintained by the European Union. Several of these countries have recently engaged in extensive lobbying, endeavoring to show why their placement on that list was either in error, or that the circumstances regarding their international cooperation efforts had changed, since their initial naming to the list, and the EU has responded.

Removed from the:"Blacklist" are:

(1) Republic of Panama.
(2) Republic of Korea.
(3) Macao Special Administrative Region, China.
(4) Mongolia.
(5) Tunisia.
(6) United Arab Emirates (UAE).
(7) Barbados.
(8) Grenada.

In February, several Caribbean jurisdictions, previously exempted from the Blacklist, due to hurricane damage, will be included, unless they cooperate and meet EU standards. It is not known which ones, if any, have met the minimum requirements at this time. The EU list doesn't quite have the impact and effect of the old FATF NCCT list, but it is forcing the named & shamed jurisdictions into line.

Monday, January 22, 2018

SPOILING FOR A FIGHT, LEBANON'S PRO-HEZBOLLAH PRESIDENT CONTESTS ESRABLISHED BORDER WITH ISRAEL



The risk of yet another armed conflict, between the State of Israel, and the global terrorist organization, Hezbollah, which was elevated recently when Hezbollah objected to Israel building a fence between it and Lebanon, has been further elevated, thanks to bogus territorial claims, made by the country's pro-Hezbollah president, Michel Aoun.

The President of Lebanon has publicly stated that his country has objections to twelve areas of the international frontier with Israel. That border, known as the Blue Line, which was designated by the Treaty of Sevres in 1923, and was further mutually affirmed in 1949, 1978, and most recently in the year 2000, is NOT in dispute. This is simply a pretext, a bogus premise, to increase tension, but it could very well end up starting a bloody military action. which would certainly damage, or even destroy the Beirut banking industry.

Israel has made it very plain that, if Hezbollah starts another war, it intends to level Lebanon's infrastructure, via aerial attacks. Lebanon's banks are the economic glue that confers prosperity upon the nation. Should they be closed, when their brick-and-mortar facilities are damaged, Lebanon would certainly be seriously damaged, economically.

Therefore, playing war drums along the Blue Line, will only end up causing severe damage to Beirut's banks, and thereby inflict a serious blow upon the people of Lebanon. Scale down the rhetoric, please, Mr. President. Otherwise you may destroy Lebanon's best asset.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

ARE COCAINE ARRESTS BEING STAGED IN JAMAICA BY LAW ENFORCEMENT ?



Recently, we saw the latest in a series of arrests for possession of substantial amounts of cocaine in Jamaica. Akim Loctor, a 25-year old dishwasher, off a cruise ship in port, was taken into custody after allegedly attempting to board the vessel with a pound of cocaine. The seizure took place at Falmouth Pier in Trelawny.

 Loctor, a native of St. Lucia, has been charged with cocaine possession, cocaine trafficking, and attempting to export cocaine. The curious circumstances of the case, involving an individual with no reported prior criminal history in his country, and of minimal financial capability, when paired with a number of repeated rumors of drug arrests created by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, are disturbing. Are individuals within Jamaica law enforcement setting up narcotics arrests, and drug seizures, to make JCF enforcement look good, especially to the United States  ?



Rumors about individuals who were entrapped, or intimidated into participating in staged arrests, have appeared from time to time, in Jamaica. These are apparently not bona fide arrests, but were allegedly created to build statistics favorable to Jamaica law enforcement, which would be useful ammunition in its relationship with the US, which has been critical of Jamaica's drug interdiction program.

This arrest, as well as other suspiciously similar cases, requires scrutiny, by an outside law enforcement agency that does not report to the JCF, to determine whether there is a factual basis to these rumors.  


  

HAMAS TERRORIST OPERATIONS FROM NEW LEBANON BASE INCREASES RISKS ON BEIRUT BANKS



Hamas' new operational presence in Lebanon has consequences for international banks in the West. While there were previously only a token number of Hamas agents in Beirut, a newly-arrived substantial contingent of terrorists, whose mission is to conduct offensive operations in Israel, is a game-changer for international financial institutions who have regular business with Beirut's banks.

Remember, while the US Treasury has aggressively cautioned Lebanese bankers about any transactions with Hezbollah, it has not yet caught up with the fact that Hamas is now there, on the ground, seeking to commit terrorist acts in Judea & Samaria (the "West Bank"). Beirut's banks have not been "scared straight" about Hamas, and as a result, the lucrative business it offers will most likely have at least a couple of takers. Treasury should talk bluntly to the Association of Banks in Lebanon.

Bankers in the European Union, and Latin America would be wise to increase their monitoring of charitable entities sending funds to Lebanon, especially those who have no prior history of wires to Beirut. They should also look at transfers from countries where Hamas has operational detachments in place, such as Turkey, and the UAE. Hamas agents in Lebanon who are recruiting and paying West Bank sympathizers require operational funds, and the4 money has to come from somewhere, and end up in Beirut; Watch for it.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

JUDGE IN REZA ZARRAB TRIAL WANTS DETAILS OF CONTACTS BETWEEN ATTORNEYS AND TURKEY


The trial judge in the Iran Oil-for-Gold sanctions evasions case, where gold trader Reza Zarrab entered a plea, and Halkbank deputy CEO Mehmet Atilla was found guilty, has made a special request to all counsel of record. He has demanded specific details of all contacts between counsel and both the Turkish and the American governments, where not attorney-client related.

The complete text of the order follows:

                   "In connection with the upcoming sentencings in this case, and the Court's 18 USC  §3353 (a)*  analyses, the parties are directed to include in their written submissions a description of all non-attorney client privileged contacts  (i.e. meetings, calls, texts, emails, etc.)  by all counsel, including Turkish counsel, with any officials or the United States and/or Turkish governments, and relating to the prosecution and/or disposition of this case. Please include 1) the date of such contact(s); 2) t   the names of those present, or otherwise involved or copied; 3) the purpose of the contact. and; 4) the outcome of such contact." Order entered January 18, 2018.   

Is the Court going to take the actions of defense counsel's "outside consultants," the former US Attorney General and the former Major of the City of New York & ex-US Atty., who met with Turkish government officials, seeking a possible political solution to a Federal criminal case ? We cannot say, but expect the unexpected at the time of sentencing, and it may prove costly for the defendant.

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* The factors involved in sentencing determinations.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

COMOROS ISLANDS REVOKES 170 SEMLEX PASSPORTS, CANCELS ALBERT KARAZIWAN'S DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS

 
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Comoros Islands, Souef Mohamed El-Amine, has revoked and cancelled 170 Comoros passports, all issued by Albert Karaziwan's Semlex Group, to foreign nationals, on the grounds of abuse. Additionally, he has cancelled Karaziwan's diplomatic passport, which names Karaziwan as a traveling Ambassador and Counselor to the President of the Comoros Islands. as well as all those passports issued to his wife and child.

El-Amine, whose announcement was carried on public media of the Comoros Islands, also cancelled all appointments of Honorary Consul, Vice Consul, and Investment Counselor, that were illegally conferred by Karaziwan and Semlex Group, his company, which printed and sold the passports to foreign nationals, including the brother of Iran oil sanctions evader, Reza Zarrab, who recently pled guilty in US District Court in New York.
Albert Karaziwan, owner of Semlex Group

All revoked passports were cancelled of record as of January 15, 2018. The Government of the Comoros Islands has demanded further information, from Semlex, on 158 passports it issued and delivered to foreign clients. It is not known whether criminal charges will be brought.

We recently published an article detailing Karaziwan's dark past, and the fact that a large number of bribes and kickbacks have been reportedly paid, by Semlex, to obtain lucrative passport and ID card business in several countries in Africa. Many of the passport applicants in countries where Semlex operated reported clearly excessive fees being charges to consumers, with little of those fees ending up in the treasuries of each country that granted Semlex the contract.

We wonder whether the Commonwealth of Dominica will now cancel its massive ID card project with Semlex, due to this new development. It is suspected that a very large bribes or kickbacks were paid to insure acceptance of the contract, and we are curious about who in Government signed that contract.


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© Kenneth Rijock 2018. Contributed by Kenneth Rijock.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

PASSPORT AND ID FIRM ENGAGED BY DOMINICA LINKED TO BRIBES AND KICKBACKS



Semlex Group, the Belgian biometric passport and ID card firm that is currently working for the Commonwealth of Dominica, and whose goal is to create ID cards for all citizens there, has a dark reputation in Africa, where it vends passports, and provides other ID services. Simply put, it pays substantial bribes & kickbacks to government officials, to obtain the business.

Additionally, it intentionally charges individuals in those countries for whom it is manufacturing passports clearly excessive fees, and then passes on only a small fraction of its profits to the countries that it services. Some of the passport charged are so exorbitant that they are not affordable to the average individual.

We have previously detailed the scandal in the Comoros Islands, involving Semlex, and its owner, Albert Karaziwan, a Syrian national who is believed to have funds the company's startup operations through an extended period of criminal activity, a decade ago, where he sold counterfeit diplomatic passports in Europe.


Albert Karaziwan

Some of the illegal countries where bribes & kickbacks, or other illegal acts of Semlex Group,  are  known to have taken place:

(1) A $700,000 bribe paid by Karaziwan, to get the government passport business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(2) Collecting such clearly excessive fees, from passport applicants, in Mozambique, that the contract was terminated. The citizens could not afford the fees.

(3) Bribes paid in Guinea-Bissau.

(4) Excessive passport fees charged in Madagascar.

(5) Bribes paid in Chad.




We wonder exactly how much  Semlex, through Karaziwan, is kicking back to individuals in the government of Dominica, and whether ID cards will end up for sale to foreign nationals, at high prices, to establish a bogus identity.
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©2018 Kenneth Rijock; contributed by Kenneth Rijock.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

MALTA CAUGHT SELLING PASSPORTS TO OFAC-SANCTIONED IRANIAN



Malta's problems with the backgrounds of the dodgy characters to whom its scandal-ridden leadership is selling EU citizenship continue to damage its already tawdry reputation. Recently, an Iranian national gained entry into Canada, on the strength of his Maltese CBI psssport, where he sought to purchase a property containing six residences. Enhanced Due Diligence was performed on this individual by the bank, in connection with the sale, and it was learned that the person was on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.

Shortly after he was exposed as a designated OFAC national, the "Maltese citizen" abruptly left Canada. Why did the citizenship consultancy, the due diligence firm responsible for vetting applicants, and lastly, the Government of the Republic of Malta, on this compliance malpractice ?



If this is an example of the quality of applicants accepted by Malta for its passports, which carry Schengen Zone privileges, then ALL Maltese passport holders, whose place of birth is shown to be outside the country, should be subject to Enhanced Due Diligence investigation, by compliance officers, as well as customs & immigration officers when they seek entry to The United States and Canada. Perhaps Malta should suspend its CBI program, until they clean it up.


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© 2018 by Kenneth Rijock; contributed by Kenneth Rijock.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

WHO IN ANTIGUA HIRED A PROMINENT HACKER ?



Insiders in Antigua have alleged that unknown government parties there have engaged a prominent international hacking firm, which ostensibly will check Antigua's online security levels. Given the fact that a number of sitting governments in the East Caribbean have been accused of using hackers to attack their Opposition,  reports of additional covert acts must be taken seriously, noting that the ongoing corruption matters have given many other East Caribbean states a black eye, in the view of many North American-based compliance officers.

 Some Antiguans are concerned that government-funded Internet manipulation and anonymous attacks upon individuals that anyone considers a threat to elected officials might be employed to damage opposition leaders, and impact their effectiveness as whistle blowers of misconduct. There are persistent rumors that the hacking firm is not only protecting websites for clients, but is also engaged in illicit activity, as ordered by a number of their government their clients, and that this is the true nature of their engagement. This has not yet been confirmed.

It is not known what the response will be when Antiguans are fully informed about such questionable activities, it is expected that they will voice their concerns to government.Who really hired the hackers ?

Last year, we reported on similar covert (and illegal) Internet projects, targeting Opposition figures and parties, in the Commonwealth of Dominica. That illicit program is believed to be still in operation there.

Friday, January 12, 2018

COUNTRY RISK FOR DOMINICA NOW AT HIGHEST LEVEL



Compliance officers at international banks know that a major component of Country Risk calculation is a country's court system. Will a foreign financial international institution, or its clients be able to trust a nation's courts to follow the Rule of Law.  Is justice consistently served there regarding bad actors, financial criminals, or corrupt officials who break the law, in the event a civil suit, or criminal action becomes necessary to protect interest, or recover losses ?

We regret to report that, in an action in the Commonwealth of Dominica this week, a sitting judge released criminal proceeds, previously frozen at the request of the US Securities & Exchange Commission, in a case against the prominent international fugitive and fraudster, Spanish national Pedro Fort Berbel. Berbel, who operated a major Ponzi scheme in Florida and Spain, has been literally hiding out in Dominica, having fled there to evade justice, after defrauding investors of $38m. He is now protected by the corrupt local government, which has repeatedly given safe harbor to career criminals on the run, most recently international sanctions evader, the Iranian Alireza Monfared, whose case permanently gave Dominica a black eye.

Ponzi schemer Pedro Fort Berbel
  Monfared is believed to have been an intelligence agent of Iran, who went rogue, and stole billions in illicit oil profits from his country, with Reza Zarrab and Babak Zanjani. Monfared had an illegally-obtained diplomatic passport, in violation of a United Nations treaty on diplomats. There are an estimated five hundred such illicit Dominica diplomatic passports in the hands of financial criminals, Middle Eastern terrorists, and Chinese & Russian Organized Crime members.

The SEC, which has a major civil suit* pending against Fort Berbel, in US District Court in Miami, sought to recover funds for investor victims, by obtaining an order from the High Court of Justice, without notice, to freeze funds in several accounts in Dominica banks.**The funds had apparently been hastily transferred to accounts of Fort's local attorneys, including Kondwani Williams, whom we have covered in earlier articles. Williams allegedly represents fraudsters who own Inter-Oceanic Bank of the Caribbean, a virtual bank whose headquarters is actually located within Williams' seedy law offices in downtown Roseau. The bank closed up its website as soon as we reported on its activities; it was seeking investor capital of a minimum of USD$100,000, but it appears to also be a Ponzi scheme.

The judge in Dominica, who by reputation is closely associated with the corrupt local government of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, unfroze the accounts, in clear disregard for the massive amount of incriminating evidence, and the Rule of Law. The claims of Dominica attorneys linked to the regime, that the SEC failed to controvert self-serving affidavits, filed by Williams and others, is merely an attempt to justify what was truly a political ruling, intended to favor the sitting government, who has reaped lucrative profits, by its relationship with Fort, who allegedly holds both CBI and diplomatic passports from Dominica.

PM Roosevelt Skerrit & Attorney Kondwani Williams
 
The action of the Court is not only a setback for the SEC enforcement and collection action, it demonstrates that the judiciary, as we have seen repeatedly in Venezuela, an ally of Dominica, acts according to the demands of government officials, and not pursuant to the Rule of Law. What subsequent action the United States takes, including but not limited to OFAC sanctions, passport restrictions on Dominica passport holders, or criminal indictments, is not known at this time, but expect some blowback to the unexpected, and utterly corrupt, court decision.

Judge Birnie Stephenson


Since we cannot trust the court system to be fair and impartial, and to follow decisional and statutory law, we must now raise Country Risk to its highest level, into the plateau where no financial transactions should be either initiated, or even contemplated, due to the clear and present dangers present in Dominica at this time.
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*Securities & Exchange Commision vs. Pedro Fort Berbel, et al, Case No.: 17-cv-23572-FAM (SDFL).
**  All the banks that accepted Fort's Ponzi profits were subsidiaries of Canadian banks:  Nova Scotia Bank, First Caribbean International Bank, and Royal Bank of Canada. Serious questions have been raised by compliance officers familiar with the region, as to how these banks allowed funds from a known Ponzi schemer to be accepted, and why the attorneys accounts were not closed.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

WILL THE UNITED STATES DECLINE TO EXTRADITE MARTINELLI TO PROTECT ITS SECRETS ?


 Don't be surprised if Panama's extradition request for Ricardo Martinelli is further delayed, or even declined, on procedural, rather than substantive, grounds, later this month. Rumors flying around Panama state that the fugitive former president has classified information about US operations in Latin America, the public disclosure of which could severely damage diplomatic relations between America and several Central & South American nations.

 Keeping those secrets is apparently more important than letting Martinelli face Panamanian justice; Panama's reformers will be unhappy, especially since Martinelli allegedly has incriminating evidence against the country's current president, Juan Carlos Varela, who was Vice President, and Minister of Foreign Relations under Martinelli.

There were a number of defects, ostensibly under Panamanian law, that Martinelli's attorneys have asserted could provide the legal basis for a Federal Court ruling rejecting Panama's extradition request. Most legal observers in Panama City has opined that they are without any merit, but it may provide some cover for a ruling. Did he have diplomatic immunity from extradition, due to his contrived appointment in the Latin American Parliament ?

Exactly how did Martinelli acquire this classified information is not known, but his illegal electronic surveillance program reportedly included the US Embassy in Panama City. There's got to be a violation of US law in there somewhere. Why hasn't he been charged in the United States, where he has been living since Panamanian justice starting making a move against him ? Perhaps he was a Confidential Informant for a US agency after all.

DOMINICA'S INTER-OCEANIC BANK TAKES DOWN ITS WEBSITE AFTER OUR ARTICLE APPEARS



Readers who have accessed our recent article Alert on Dodby Brass-Plate Bank in Dominica offering "Investments," might be interested to know that, right after our article appeared, the bank took down its entire website. It seems that these fraudsters could not handle being exposed. I wonder if they have fired their sleazy Dominica attorneys, who are now Persons of Interest to the US Securities & Exchange Commission, due to their representation of the fugitive Spanish fraudster, Pedro Fort Berbel ?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

ALERT ON DODGY BRASS PLATE BANK IN DOMINICA OFFERING "INVESTMENTS"




An investor from Singapore, who has inquired about placing his money into Inter-Oceanic Bank of the Caribbean, Inc., an offshore bank organized and reportedly operating in the Commonwealth of Dominica, has exposed a newly emerging* financial entity, but one with more Red Flags than compliance officers will ever be comfortable with.


This is the principal office of the bank, as listed on its website, which is quite professionally done, but which tells the visitor absolutely nothing about the bank, its officers and directors, history or correspondent affiliations. There is no sign, or other indication that there is a bank on the premises, meaning that it is what we used to call a brass-plate, and now designate a virtual, bank. There is a sign there, as you can see below, but it is not a banking sign.


the Shingle at 24 Hillsborough



It is the chambers of a local law firm,  Williams & Horsford; Partner Kondwani Williams has been in the news of late, as the reputed lawyer of the fugitive international fraudster, and SEC target, Pedro Fort Berbel. Readers who are unfamiliar with that case may wish to access this article: Kondwani's Neck in the Noose.

Roosevelt Skerrit & Kondwani Williams


The property, by the way, fronts on two streets, and also has an address of 30 Great Gorge; the tyre store appears to come back to Lennox Lawrence, a lawyer known to represent the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, whose sins & transgressions have appeared on this blog many times,

Does this look like a bank??
 
 Getting back to the bank itself, there is no information available as to the identity of Inter-Oceanic's beneficial owners, but reliable Panama sources assert that it is Russian Organized Crime, and point to its deceptively similar cousin, Inter-Oceanic Bank of Panama, a fraudulent institution whose banking license was revoked. The Panama bank, now defunct, was owned and controlled by Russian Organized Crime.

The UK telephone number listed on the bank's slick website betrays the fact that it is a virtual bank, run from the United Kingdom, by person or persons unknown, and therefore immune from prosecution. This is a bank that is asking foreign investors for $100,000 minimums, paying interest only for two years, with the entire principal to be returned at that time. Can anybody say Ponzi scheme ? Risk levels are through the roof, if not in the Stratosphere.

Should anyone be foolish enough to risk their capital by investing at Inter-Oceanic Bank of the Caribbean, given this information ? Caveat Emptor.

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* The bank was reportedly organized and incorporated in 2015, but never listed on the government website until recently. Was this a shelf bank, incorporated earlier, and sold by Williams' law firm in 2018 ? Aged entities are used by many fraudsters to confer legitimacy upon very new operations.

Monday, January 8, 2018

IMPRISONED, BUT ARROGANT, PONZI SCHEMER ILLARRAMENDI CONTINUES WITH BOGUS POST-CONVICTION APPEALS



Remember Francisco Illarramendi, who ran two unregistered hedge funds in Connecticut, which soon became massive Ponzoi schemes that cheated PDVSA pension funds out of millions ? Convicted, even after he changed lawyers more often than anyone in recent Federal memory, he still takes up the Court's time with filing totally devoid of legal merit except now he does it Pro Se.

Readers may recall his port-conviction  §2255 petition, his quest to vacate  his sentence and conviction. In that filing, he sought to be released from custody, into Supervised Release, which is a form of supervision, akin to parole, that Federal inmates must serve after they complete their incarceration. It is not available for any other purpose, other than to keep tabs on former inmates, lest they re-offend.

As expected the Court denied Illarramendi's motion, holding " The Court has no authority to grant Supervised Release to a sentenced inmate," on December 22, 2017. Illarramendi then took an Interlocutory Appeal*, claiming, his 2255 petition was in a nature of a Habeus Corpus, as he is contesting his sentence and conviction, and therefore, the Court had the inherent right to release him.

Illarramendi's jailhouse attorneys are either seeking to create new law, in good faith, or merely pacifying a "client" who simply will not accept the finality of his sentence & conviction.In any event, they appear to be wasting the Court limited resources. Are sanctions applicable here ?
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* An appeal from a non-final order or judgment; can only be taken from certain specific orders.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

HOW MANY OF THESE BANNED NGOs ARE FUNDED BY HAMAS ?



The list below comprises the non-governmental organizations, chartered associations, nonprofits, and unincorporated associations whose members have been banned from entering, and conducting any activities in Israel. This is due to the fact that these entities are engaged in BDS operations, which attempt to discourage foreign firms from transacting business with Israeli companies, or the Government of the State of Israel.

Inasmuch as the funding sources of many of these entities is suspect, compliance officers should treat all of them as high risk for account opening, international wire transfers, letters of reference, or any other purpose which will expose the bank to potentially lethal levels of risk. This due to Hamas, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organization (OFAC SDGT), which is funded by Iran, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Proceed to conduct business with any of these banned entities at your own risk, due to the clear and present danger of terrorist financing.

Note carefully the use of abbreviations identified with many of these organizations, which serves to further anonymize them in the eyes of the legitimate financial world.

AFPS -  ASSOCIATION FRANCE PALESTINE SOLIDARITE'
BDS FRANCE
BDC ITALY
ECCP -  EUROPEAN COORDINATION OF COMMITTEE AND ASSOCIATIONS FOR PALESTINE
FOA -    FRIENDS OF AL-AQSA
IPSC  - IRELAND PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
NORGE PALESTINAKOMITTEE  -  THE PALESTINE COMMITTEE OF NORWAY
PGS PALESTINGRUPPERNA  - PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
PSC - PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
WAR ON WANT
BDS KAMPAGNE
AMP - AMERICAN MUSLIMS FOR PALESTINE
CODE PINK
JVP - JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE
NSIP - NATIONAL STUDENT FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
USCPR - US CAMPAIGN FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS
BDS CHILE
BDS SOUTH AFRICA
BNC - BDS NATIONAL COMMITTEE

 

 

IS THIS THE REASON MARTINELLI'S EXTRADITION REMAINS IN LIMBO ?



If you have been following the extradition proceedings of Ricardo Martinelli, you know that they appear to have been unnecessarily delayed a number of times. We have reportedly on the repeated rescheduling of Oral Argument, the failure of the Attorney General to order extradition, following the Magistrate Judge's order, and the painfully long time it took to actually take Martinelli into custody, when his location in Miami was well known. See "Yet another Delay of Martinelli Extradition Hearing Points to Trump, "January 6, 2018, available here.

New Panamanian sources allege that Ricardo Martinelli, who reportedly maintained a stable of call girls, for VIPs he wanted to cultivate, had one of his sons escort Donald Trump, then a private citizen, to the Le Palace Nightclub, more than once. If these sources, who allege that they were physically present, are being truthful, then the rumors that Martinelli is threatening to expose that story, should the US Government proceed with his extradition to Panama, may have a basis in fact. Whether there are video recordings of Trump is not known.



Again, we ask that Martinelli's Habeus Corpus petition, and the rest of the court file, be released to the public, so that there rumors can be put to rest, once and for all.