Friday, January 31, 2020
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, (ICPAC) the professional association for accountants in the Republic of Cyprus, has issued an Advisory to its members, warning them that applicants for CBI passports are to be considered high-risk clients, and specifically calling for an increased level of accountant scrutiny upon such individuals. The ICPAC document goes on to state that Citizenship by Investment, by definition, carry a risk of legalizing money coming from corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, due to the nature of the applicant group that they attract, high-risk individuals.
The advisory goes on to note:
(1) The source of an applicant's wealth, and his finds, must be verified by audit, and in the event that citizenship is refused by regulators, the reasons should be substantiated and addressed.
(2) The purpose of these guidelines is to insure that anti-money laundering legislation is not circumvented when CBI services are provided to applicants.
(3) Particular attention should be paid to addressing all risks of possible money laundering, as well as reputational issues associated with the CBI program.
(4) Uniform Due Diligence checks should be performed when accounting services related to CBI are provided, whether to new or existing clients.
(5) Members must ascertain whether the applicant has participated in any other Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) programs in other jurisdictions.
(6) Members should check the framework behind the applicant's CBI investment, to confirm that it will actually assist in improving the overall national economy.
These guidelines, while directed to accountants in Cyprus, provide a roadmap for any professional whose clients have applied for Citizenship by Investment passports in any jurisdiction.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Caribbean watches are focusing upon Grenada of late; the status of its CBI programs have taken a beating recently, in the aftermath of the Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture fiasco, which remains unbuilt, notwithstanding the investment of an estimated eighteen million dollars in the project. rumors that Government will soon bring criminal charges against GSA project CEO Soren Dawody have surfaced in the last two months. When will Grenada act against Dawody, whose failure to honor investor requests for reimbursement, has gone unanswered ?
Apparently, the negative press about the GSA scandal has affected sales status of a number of pending Grenada CSI-real estate linked projects, the most prominent of which is being built by Range Development, a regional CBI developer who has finished projects in St Kitts and in Dominica. If Grenada fails to act swiftly, investors and CBI passport applicants will surely seek out other East Caribbean states who have CBI programs, so criminal charges are likely.
Posted by Kenneth Rijock at Thursday, January 30, 2020
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
HAVING SPREAD DISINFORMATION FOR DOMINICA AND ST KITTS ELECTIONS, CBI CONSULTANCIES SEEK TO MANPULATE UPCOMING ST LUCIA CONTEST
Building upon the success they enjoyed in the Dominica national elections, and their ongoing efforts to fix the upcoming St Kitts & Nevis national contest, behind-the-scenes operators being financially supported by CBI Consultancies have moved on to the St Lucia elections, and are seeking to influence the outcome.
St Lucia-born Melinius Alphonse, a self-styled "journalist' who writes exclusively on behalf of anything that benefits the bottom line of CBI consultancies, is zealously touting an Opposition candidate in St Lucia, raising the presumption that the election will result in additional marketing opportunities for CBI consultants not presently qualified in St Lucia, but who would be allowed to participate in selling St Lucia CBI/CIP products, when Mr. Pierre is elected to office.
According to published reports, multiple articles, critical of the sitting government, including misstatements of material fact,about its senior officials holding office, designed to inflame the voters about their purported corruption, have been placed in a number of websites. We call this "checkbook" journalism, and trust that readers will see through those fiiings, and made an educated decision regarding the "facts" appearing within these "sponsored" ( e.g. paid) articles, appearing in the half dozen Caribbean online media who accept paying contributors.
Monday, January 27, 2020
Sunday, January 26, 2020
|Opening ceremonies, Abu Dhabi UAE|
The Commonwealth of Dominica has announced the opening of its Embassy, in Abu Dhabi, United Emirates. While diplomatic news usually does not generate much interest, this action could have far-reaching consequences, due to the fact that Dominica's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program has accepted more career white-collar criminals, international sanctions evaders, and organized crime figures, than any of the other East Caribbean states offering CBI passports, and this new embassy, in a country which has zero international commerce with Dominica, will surely facilitate the issuance of Commonwealth of Nations member passports to dangerous and unsuitable applicants.
Let's survey the possible ways a Dominica embassy in the Emirates could facilitate money laundering, sanctions evasion, and terrorist financing:
(1) Iranian nationals, including government procurement agents, military and intelligence officers, and hackers performing industrial espionage, many of who already reside in the UAE, will find it infinitely easier to obtain Dominica CBI and diplomatic passports, which can be issued at the embassy, and records of these actions not transmitted to the capital in Roseau.
(2) CBI deposits, which are in US Dollars, can be delivered right into the embassy, and avoid being wired to banks in Dominica, whose transit through the New York banking structure, automatically confers jurisdiction upon US Federal Courts for money laundering charges. Now, the greenbacks, whether cash or in electronic form, will evade the Western Hemisphere altogether, and remain in the Middle East. Influential CBI consultancies will find a way to exploit the embassy's secrecy and immunity, resulting in an increase in the issuance of CBI passports to individuals who pose a clear and present danger to the West, and especially the US.
(3) The actual signup of dodgy CBI clients, by the international consultancies which have the ability to attract such traffic, could take place inside the embassy, in a protected diplomatic location, away from thye prying eyes of both law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
(4) Corrupt senior Dominica officials could stockpile the bribes and kickbacks paid to them outside Dominica, inside embassy grounds, where it would remain hidden. That capital might end up in the hands of global terrorist organizations, a cash-poor Iranian Government, or who knows what other criminal entity Dominica's anti-American and pro-Socialist officials choose to finance or fund. All this would enjoy diplomatic protection from law enforcement investigation.
Will the new embassy become a hotbed of criminal activity ? We cannot say, but given the sordid history of Dominica's sales of CBI and diplomatic passports, it would be prudent to assume that the new facility in Abu Dhabi will be engaged in conduct that results in the criminal elite acquiring identity documents in the privacy of the embassy, and using them to perpetrate white-collar crime, sanctions evasion, and terrorist financing.
The days when one could access one or more of the leading commercial off-the-shelf databases for high-risk individuals and entities, and be reasonably assured that you were not onboarding a new bank client who was sanctioned, or otherwise unsuitable due to criminal or corrupt activities. Now, due to the combination of modern technology and widespread governmental corruption, you may be presented with official identity documents that present the client with an alias, but which pass each and every enhanced due diligence test for authenticity.
Take the Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) programs currently in place in five East Caribbean states; successful applicants receive not only the prized passport, but back-up documents, including but not limited to birth certificates, drivers' licenses, proof of residence, titles to local real estate, utility bills, and everything else that a diligence New Accounts officer at a bank would require. Oh, and by the way, the name on the passport is a clean alias, and the listed place of birth shows that the holder was born there.
The individual will pass any traditional due diligence inquiry, although under his real name he may be subject to OFAC sanctions, be a terrorist financier, a convicted transnational criminal, or worse, an actual terrorist. His authentic identity documents generally will not be questioned.
If the applicant cannot, for some reason, avail himself of the CBI method, perhaps he can find a totally corrupt government official in his home country to issue a bogus, though real, passport and supporting evidence, for the right amount of money. The passport is properly issued, and cannot be found to be counterfeit, because it is real.Therefore effective Customer Due Diligence cannot be accomplished. True identities cannot be obtained using traditional compliance procedures.
Does technology provide a solution ? Yes, but it appears to be currently unavailable, Facial recognition technology solves the problem, BUT facial recognition software requires access to a complete, passport-quality, photo library of images, to check your targets against, and to date, such a database has not been created nor made commercially available. It probably does not yet exist, even as a classified asset.
Is there an alternative ? We cannot find one, which means that until facial recognition technology, coupled with an adequate image library, comes along, you must fall back upon your transaction monitoring to catch your money launderer, terrorist financier or transnational criminal. You are going to have to unwittingly admit unsuitable clients, through ignorance, and rely upon your effective transaction monitoring software to identify bad actors, Therefore, it is humbly suggested that you insure that it is not only effective, but that it gives you real-time information, and is constantly monitored by competent, experienced staff, with the authority to shut down suspected money laundering.
Eventually, the marketplace will result in the creation of the combination of facial recognition technology, with adequate image resources, and customer identification procedures will return .
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Friday, January 24, 2020
This is Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs Francine Baron, a career politician, and the daughter of a former politician. She is the self-appointed guardian of Dominica's list of foreign holders of Dominica Diplomatic passports, what some have called "The List of the Damned," as it reportedly includes Iranian government officials, Russian organized crime members, and assorted career white collar criminals. Many have since been arrested, convicted and imprisoned for their crimes.
Minister Baron has zealously kept the identities of hundreds of diplomatic passport holders from the people of Dominica, arrogantly stating in public:
"It [the Government of Dominica] remains opposed to the idea of divulging the
information on all appointees in a forum that is essentially public in nature, and
to which the entire world has access."
The public cannot know who their diplomats are ? Dominica has only a handful of bona fide diplomats, and they maintain only a small number of embassies and missions. So where in the world do all the hundreds of "other diplomats" serve, Ms. Baron ? How much cash was paid in, literally under the table, to facilitate the issuance of diplomatic passports by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to whom ? We cannot say, but the citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica deserve to see who their "diplomats" are, minister. You serve the people, not the Prime Minister and the Labour Party.
|World Wise victims seek their money back|
If you read our recent article, Denied US Citizenship, Jamaican $260m Ponzi Schemer & Fraudster, Wanted in Kington, Lives Openly in the USA, you know that Noel Strachan used World Wise Partners as his investment entity. What you don't know is that fraudsters typically employ a number of techniques to lull the victims into trusting them, and placing their hard-earned money in the hands of a criminal.
World Wise was most likely chosen by Strachan because it is deceptively similar to the same name as a number of well-established, legitimate corporations operating around the world. To avoid charges of corporate identity theft, Strachan cleverly separated the title into two parts. The other, prior users of the name use WorldWise or Worldwise.
|Not World Wise but Worldwise|
We continue to ask aloud why Strachan has not been deported by ICE to face the music in his native Jamaica. The Statute of Limitations is not a defense, as the fraudster has remained outside the jurisdiction, which tolls the operation of the Statute, in my humble opinion. Justice, obviously has not been served yet; but the story is not over.
|Not Strachan's World Wise|
National elections in the five East Caribbean states, which can result in the seating of an Opposition Party, whose new-elected prime minister can change which CBI consultancies are authorized to participate in that nation's lucrative Citizenship by Investment passport sales program, generally result in a major media campaign by affected CBI consulting firms. Those that have the territory act to preserve their fiefdom, and those who want entry take extraordinary steps to gain access.
These firms accomplish their ends by engaging, at great cost, media figures who publish on those Internet regional news sites visited by locals, articles that are slanted to favor the chosen candidates; most often they contain disinformation, negative news, misleading stories that often verge upon libel, accusing their favored candidates' opponents of corruption, voter fraud, vote buying, and other crimes. These articles, which should be regarded as propaganda, are accepted because payment is made for their placement.
According to reliable sources, there is a powerful disinformation campaign in progress, regarding the upcoming elections in the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis, orchestrated in large part by the self-styled "journalist," Melanius Alphonse, who hails from St Lucia, and is a citizen of Canada. He has been labeled the Minister of Propaganda by those who are familiar with his work. Alphonse has directed his venom against sitting Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, to insure that he is not reelected. The reason for this is the favor upon which the CBI consultancies look upon the Opposition Leader, Denzil L Douglas, who they believe will approve dodgy applicants, and those from high-risk countries, without any significant due diligence.
Alphonse's funding is reportedly coming from Anthony Haiden, the CEO of CBI consultancy Montreal Management Consultants, which is located in the Emirates, notwithstanding its corporate name. Alphonse's task at this time is to place massive amounts of disinformation about Harris, ahead of the upcoming election.
Alphonse recently churned out multiple articles, on the Caribbean News Global webpage, ahead of the national election in the Commonwealth of Dominica. These stories portrayed the Leader of the Opposition in a corrupt, criminal light. The sole purpose of the articles was to present sufficient negative news about the candidate for prime minister, to guarantee a successful outcome for the incumbent PM and his Labour Party.
So long as local media accepts money to run propaganda and disinformation, sponsored by CBI consultancies determined to hold on to their obscenely lucrative CBI passport business, these misleading articles will skew future elections in the region, and negative impact democracy in the East Caribbean states.
NEWS ON BIRTH TOURISM REMINDS US THAT CORRUPT CHINESE AND RUSSIAN OFFICIALS EMPLOY IT TO MOVE PROCEEDS OF CRIME INTO USA
News about efforts of the United States Government to curtail so-called "birth tourism, " whereby affluent foreign nationals send their very pregnant wives to stay in America until they give birth, which makes their child a US citizen under our laws, should serve to remind compliance officers that such actions later support the transfer of the proceeds of corruption into America. Most of the individuals arriving in the US specifically to give birth and leave are Chinese and Russian nationals. They are paying up to $80,000 for such services, which include board until birth, medical services, and legal services.
Most are suspected of being the wives of government officials, and they are coming from two countries known for rampant corruption. Once the "anchor baby" reaches legal maturity, he or she can be a means of facilitating the transfer of the proceeds of their parents' corruption into US bank and securities accounts. Eventually, the corrupt officials themselves acquire Permanent US Residency, which allows them to exit China or Russia before the authorities catch them taking bribes and kickbacks.
Since birth tourism has been going on for decades, compliance officers would be well advised to examine any unusually large accounts of young ethnic Chinese or Russians who are US citizens. Through enhanced due diligence, you can ascertain whether they are the children of senior foreign PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons). Note that some are registered under aliases while attending our colleges and universities to prevent their fellow students from learning that their classmates' father is a human rights violator or murderer or corrupt official.
Many of the young Chinese students are found to hold substantial financial and real estate assets that they would normally not ever have at their age; others are registered in dodgy school situations where they are not actually attending classes at all, but show up in the educational system. You are urged to take a hard look at your young, affluent clients; you might uncover something you were not aware of.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
A number of suspicious factors regarding the Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture (GSA) $18m scandal leads us to ask the most critical question of all: was the GSA money used for terrorist financing purposes ? The singular lack of answers, regarding the disposition of the construction funds paid by investors, which were never applied to the unbuilt project, forces us to objectively raise that issue.
First of all, GSA owner Soren Dawody, of Iraqi Kurdish origin, chose to operate his sales facility in the United Arab Emirates, where transfer to a number of designated Middle East terrorist organizations can be accomplished without fear of discovery by the authorities. Second, Dawody has a long history of working with Iranian nationals. Third, Neither his subsequent venture, the Antigua Sustainable Aquaculture project, or any other venture visible to the public, has benefited from the approximately eighteen million dollars he looted from GSA investment capital.
Therefore, inasmuch as Dawody is studiously avoiding not only his investors, but all other GSA creditors as well, we must ask: where did all that money go, and did it end up in Iran, or in the hands of a global terrorist organization that used this CBI project for financing of its operations ? Give the complete lack of information from GSA Ltd., we must resume it was a fraud from the start, but who or what was the intended beneficiary ?
Posted by Kenneth Rijock at Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Monday, January 20, 2020
Colombia & Honduras announced, at this week's Third Hemispheric Ministerial Conference to Combat Terrorism in Bogotá, that they have designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Colombia has adopted US & EU lists of terrorists and terrorist organizations.
Argentina and Paraguay have previously sanctioned Hezbollah; they are the only other Latin American nations to have taken that step.
Eduardo Ulloa, the Attorney General of the Republic of Panama has concluded that the country's disgraced former president, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, can face the multiple criminal cases pending against him. Martinelli has been charged with corruption, money laundering, embezzlement, and stock manipulation.
The issue arose due to the fact that the Doctrine of Speciality, which governs extradition, prohibits an extradited defendant from being tried for any charge other than the specific crimes he was originally extradited for. The AG applied for, and received, an opinion from the US State Department Office of Foreign Affairs. Thomas Heinemann, a Counselor at State, in a written opinion received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,, noted:
(1) Since Martinelli was acquitted on the charges he was extradited for, he has been free to travel outside Panama since September 15, 2019. He has remained in the country.
(2) Therefore, the Doctrine of Specialty does not apply. He may stand trial on the other pending cases.
Martinelli was acquitted of illegal wiretapping of over 150 Panamanians and foreigners, on August 9, 2019. The matter has been appealed by government prosecutors.
DENIED US CITIZENSHIP, JAMAICAN $260m PONZI SCHEMER & FRAUDSTER, WANTED IN KINGSTON, LIVES OPENLY IN THE USA
This is Jamaican businessman Noel Rosswell Strachan, whose unregulated investment scheme, World Wise Partners, promised to pay 200% annual return, but later abruptly collapsed, owing an estimated $260m to 100 victims. Strachan, who has held Permanent Resident status in the US since 1977, lives openly in South Florida, notwithstanding the massive Ponzi scheme he allegedly operated and looted. Why has the Government of Jamaica never sought his extradition ? Allegations that he is under the protection of senior officials in the Government of Jamaica have repeatedly surfaced, and charges of corruption have been made by his victims.
it appears that he bought several properties in the Broward Count area, including an expensive primary residence; which is inconsistent with an earlier eviction notice served upon him, before he opened World Wise Partners. Where did all that wealth come from ?
The Financial Services Commission of Jamaica Cease and Desist Order, against both World Wise and Strachan, individually, appears below.
Strachan should not be living in the United States; it was later determined by the US that he concealed criminal activities, including an arrest for 150 pounds of marijuana, a suspended license arrest, and a Child Support Enforcement Order from Jamaica, on his Naturalization application, which was denied.
Sunday, January 19, 2020
From time to time, this blog exposes foreign nationals whose presence in the United States constitutes a clear and present danger to national security, and who, for some unexplained reason, have not been removed by the appropriate government agencies who are responsible for enforcing the law.
This is RICARDO MONTIEL RONDON, a Chavista and known close associate of Raúl Gorrín Belisario, ICE Most Wanted Fugitive from Justice. For those readers who are not familiar with Mr. Gorrín, he faces ten counts of money laundering and one of violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). His ICE Wanted Poster appears below.
As for Sr. Montiel, his Visa to enter the United States expired five years ago. So why is he still living and working illegally in Miami ? If his boss, Gorrín, is a Most Wanted, why hasn't ICE deported Montiel back to Venezuela ?
Given the high-profile nature of the Gorrín Belisario corruption case, we are questioning why Immigration & Customs Enforcement has not detained Montiel, and started deportation proceedings against him.
Donville Inniss, the former Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament in Barbados, was convicted, on January 16, 2020, of three counts of money laundering, in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Inniss, who was a permanent resident of the US, and divided his time between Tampa, Florida and Barbados, used a dental firm in New York to launder bribes paid to him to steer over $100m of insurance upon government property located in Barbados.
Innis, who received approximately $36,000 in illegal compensation, now faces sentencing on two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. We have previously covered his case, in an article entitled Who says the United States is not Going After Corrupt Caribbean Officials for Bribery* ? filed August 9, 2018.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
HM Treasury's Office of Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has extended its asset freeze and terrorist designation against the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah, the so-called "Party of God," to the entire entity, including all divisions besides the Military Wing. A comprehensive asset freeze has been issued for the UK's financial system. Hezbollah's so-called "Political Wing" has been operating openly in the UK for several years.
The terrorist group's Jihad Council, and External Security Organization are also sanctioned, as are all other units. The legal authority for this action is said to be the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act of 2010. UK banks and non-bank financial institutions must now check their accounts for any possible Hezbollah assets, and freeze them forthwith.
Friday, January 17, 2020
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Readers who regularly access Dolartoday to ascertain the unofficial exchange rate between the Bolivar and the US Dollar can now check the Lebanese Pound (Lira), which is also extremely volatile of late. the statistical site is www.lebaneselira.org
As you can see, the exchange rate, which is officially fixed at 1500, has ballooned to 2550 to the Dollar recently, has apparently settled somewhat. Today's rate is reported to be at 2100/2050 Buy/Sell.with a negative outlook. Lebanon's economy faces multiple problems, which is reflected in the move towards to Dollar, and away from the Lira. Banks in Lebanon are limiting US Dollar currency withdrawals or transfers by customers to $1000 per month, which has resulted in payment problems for a large segment of the population. Beirut banks also report that high value Lebanese currency is in short supply.
Compliance officers at international banks in Europe and North America should be alert for any suspicious transactions in which large quantities of greenbacks are requested, from customers who do not ordinarily place such orders, given existing US sanctions against terrorist organizations and leaders, who may wish to profit from Lebanon's demand for US currency.