Bribery & Corruption

Latin America Round-Up: November 30, 2001

Investigator finds links among different cases of corruption in Argentina The head of an anti money laundering commission in Argentina, Legislator Elisa Carrió, has linked apparently unconnected cases of corruption that have occurred during the past 15 years in a

St. Vincent: Money Talks and Nano Walks

A claim by St Vincent &the Grenadines that it is serious about combating financial crime was dealt a blow on November 22 when it allowed suspected money launderer Thierry Nano to avoid an arrest warrant.Nano flew from the island on

Latin America Round-Up: October 31, 2001

September 11 side effects on already slowing regional economy The attacks on the United States on September 11th will have profound economic effects, further slowing a world economy already growing at its lowest rate in a decade and speeding up

Meridian Investment Bank has license revoked in Grenada

Meridian Investment Bank, whose principals include a plumber and an officer with the Canadian Space Agency, has become the latest bank in Grenada to have its license revoked amid allegations of fraud.MIB's banking license was revoked effective September 4, 2001

Offshore promoter Yank Barry convicted of bribery and money laundering

Not even the courtroom presence of boxing legend Muhammad Ali could save offshore investment promoter Yank Barry from being convicted of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering in Texas. Barry, 53, who resides in the Bahamas and also spends time in Grenada, faces up to 70 years in prison and a fine of $2 million when he is sentenced, which is scheduled for November 19, 2001.

Antigua Government refutes claims about Eurofed Bank liquidation

Last month's lead article about the fight for the assets of Eurofed Bank prompted a representative of the Antigua government to send a letter of complaint to OffshoreAlert.Wrenford Ferrance, Antigua's Director of the Office of National Drug Control and Money Laundering Policy, has denied that the liquidation of Eurofed is being carried out in secret, as we have been told.

Latin America Round-Up: July 31, 2001

COLOMBIA: Secondary mortgage firm; COSTA RICA: Brotherly love; MEXICO: "Towelgate"; PANAMA: Ocean Disgrace I; PERU: Montesinos saga continues; and REGIONAL: Black market peso brokers; US bank downsizes in Latin America.

Antigua Gov’t tries to seize Eurofed Bank assets

In secret court hearings held in Antigua, the island's government has been trying to seize all or most of the $76 million of assets recovered so far in the liquidation of Eurofed Bank Ltd., we can reveal.The government is claiming the assets under its anti-money laundering laws on the grounds that they are the proceeds of criminal activity by former Ukraine Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, 48.

Switzerland: Vladimiro Montesinos

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Switzerland into Vladimiro Montesinos Torres, James Stone, Ilan Weil Levy, Zwi Sudit, Yury Khozyainov, Fernando Carulla, Rony Lerner and Mordechai Mintzer for alleged money laundering, bribery and embezzlement.

Incriminating FIBG documents

In the public interest, we have posted two new documents on our web-site about the First International Bank of Grenada, which can be downloaded from   Both documents are emails that were sent last year, one from FIBG founder Van Brink to Tai Hastey on March 28, 2001 and the other from British barrister Lawrence Jones to Brink on June 8, 2000.

Latin America Round Up: May 31, 2001

Panama is on a new "black list" Getting genuine and trustworthy information vital if one wants to make smart investing decisions is going to be harder from now on in Panama. Eight journalists have been convicted of criminal libel in

India: Ashok Kumar Aggarwal

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in India into Ashok Kumar Aggarwal for alleged corruption while serving as Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi.

Latin America Round Up: April 30, 2001

Argentina Finally, Argentinean Central Bank boss Pedro Pou was replaced on Wednesday, April 25th, by Roque Maccarrone, former President at Banco de la Nación and Banco Río. The move followed a parliamentarian investigation that found irregularities in the way Pou

Insider Talking: April 30, 2001

Attorney David Hampton Tedder, 54, who has spent much of his career involved in offshore finance, including several dubious ventures, is no longer licensed to practice law in the United States. Records kept by the State Bar of California, where

Mathewson claims Cayman politician asked for pay-off

Former banker John Mathewson claims that a member of the Cayman Islands government once asked him for a pay-off of $250,000, plus shares in an offshore bank that Mathewson controlled. Mathewson, who owned and managed the now defunct Cayman-registered Guardian Bank & Trust, made the allegation on the first of three days of United States Senate hearings into money laundering.

Pakistan: Admiral Masur ul Haq

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Pakistan into alleged corruption by Admiral Masur ul Haq when he was Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy.

Belgium: Melchior Wathelet

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Belgium into Melchior Wathelet for suspected forgery and bribery.

SEC files lawsuit against Wellington Bank & Trust

Thirteen months after being exposed by OffshoreAlert as a scam, the SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Grenada-registered Wellington Bank & Trust, its principals and affiliates. The lawsuit was filed at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on February 27, 2001.

Pakistan: Admiral Mansur ul Haq

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Pakistan into Admiral Mansur ul Haq for alleged corruption.

Offshore criminal activity continues unabated in Grenada

Regulators in Grenada are continuing to allow banks belonging to the First International Bank of Grenada group to operate on the island despite FIBG's massive insolvency, we can reveal. The National Commercial Bank of St. Vincent, which is government-owned, is also continuing to provide banking services despite having its UK assets frozen recently over the FIBG fiasco.

Marc Harris gets temporary reprieve after being closed down

After months of ignoring blatant illegalities, Panamanian regulators finally acted against The Harris Organization financial services group this month and suspended its business operations. However, an Order by La Comisión Nacional de Valores (National Securities Commission) was itself suspended by the Panamanian Supreme Court following an application by The Harris Organization.

Grenada licenses new FIBG and blocks FBI investigation into fraud

Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell is being lined up as a potential defendant in a civil fraud lawsuit following the collapse of the First International Bank of Grenada. Depositors have vowed to take action against Mitchell after his government announced that it had granted a license to a new bank called First International Bank of Grenada 2000 Ltd.

FIBG victims obtain $373 million asset freeze order

Depositors of the First International Bank of Grenada have obtained an order from the Grenada Supreme Court that allows them to freeze up to $373 million of the bank's worldwide assets, if they can find them.The creditors are calling upon all depositors to join the lawsuit as co-plaintiffs and are seeking contributions of $1,000 each to cover costs.

Switzerland: Semyon Donskoy et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Switzerland into Semyon Donskoy, Arik Kislin and Semyon Kislin for alleged bribery and money laundering.

FIBG put into receivership, more amazing revelations from Grenada

After allowing tens of millions of dollars to disappear and the crooks to flee the island, Grenada's government finally took over the First International Bank of Grenada this month. Government accountant Garvey Louison was appointed Receiver of FIBG on August 1 and immediately started preparing to liquidate the bank and all of its sub-banks.

South Africa: Dr. Wouter Basson

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner for a criminal investigation in South Africa into Dr. Wouter Basson for alleged fraud, murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of prohibited substances (Cocaine, Mandrax and Ecstasy) and "defeating the ends of Justice".

FIBG chairman calls for ‘positive energy’ to turn bank around

On July 4, 2000, not long before Adrian Ball's audit of the First International Bank of Grenada was completed, the bank's chairman, Richard Downes, sent an extraordinary letter to FIBG's depositors.In the 10-page letter, Downes acknowledged that FIBG was "experiencing a severe cash-flow problem" and asked clients for their "forgiveness".He then called on depositors to help to overcome the problems through "the flow of positive energy" in order to "reverse the polarities" of the "negative energy" surrounding the bank.

German police investigate Marc Harris

The Panamanian authorities have received yet another request for assistance from a foreign agency investigating alleged crimes involving The Harris Organization financial services group. La Prensa, which is the main newspaper in Panama, reported in June that Interpol in Wiesbaden, Germany, had submitted a written request for help to their counterparts in Panama on March, 8, 2000. According to La Prensa, the Germans are investigating an alleged fraud committed in Germany and Switzerland and allegedly involving Heinz Richard, 52, someone called 'Hintermeier' and a company named Victus Commerz AG.

Argentina: Juan Pedro Schaerer

Complaint for the arrest of Juan Pedro Schaerer and extradition from the USA to Argentina to face charges of fraud and corruption arising from when he served as the Minister of Public Health for the Corrientes Province of Argentina.

Grenada regulator Michael Creft is ‘apparently corrupt’, says FIBG auditor

Grenada's Registrar of Offshore Financial Services, Michael Creft, was described last year as being "apparently corrupt" by the first accountant who attempted to audit the books of the First International Bank of Grenada. In a letter to Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Lauriston Wilson wrote that Creft's actions relating to FIBG were "suspect and lead to the inescapable conclusion that he is apparently corrupt".

Ukraine: Pavel Lazarenko et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Ukraine into Pavlo Ivanovych Lazarenko, a former Prime Minister; Myckola Ivanovych Agafonov, Petro Myckolayiovych Kirichenko and Igor Olexandrovych Polozhentsev for alleged fraud, embezzlement and corruption.

Argentina: Roberto Fionna et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Argentina into Roberto Fionna and others.

Harris Organization moves closer to collapse

There are increasing indications that The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama is edging closer to collapse. Several of the group's clients have contacted Offshore Alert recently to complain that their requests to redeem all or part of their investments have been ignored.

Wellington Bank & Trust – same scam, different name

Offshore Alert has uncovered another highly dubious Grenada-registered bank that is owned by a former bankrupt. Wellington Bank & Trust, which was incorporated on July 27, 1998, is owned by John Edward Brinker Jr. and Gary Joel Bentz, who are both based in Ohio.

Latest on massive Grenada banking fraud

Offshore Alert can this month reveal further disturbing details about the massive financial fraud that is being committed on the island of Grenada in what appears to be a joint effort between the island's government and the private sector. What is currently taking place in Grenada mirrors what happened in Montserrat in the late 1980s when approximately 300 'paper' banks established with phantom capital defrauded foreign clients of tens of millions of dollars before eventually being closed down by the UK police in 1989/90.

FIBG hooks up with Alexander’s World (Or could it be Wayne’s World)

Two more companies have listed on the sham Grenada-registered World Investors' Stock Exchange, bringing the total number of listed issuers to approximately 20. They are Bahamas-registered Alexander Development International Corporation and St. Vincent-registered Molecular Waste Technologies Inc.

OffshoreAlert Awards For 1999

Annual OffshoreAlert Awards for: Worst Regulator, Worst Regulated Jurisdictions, Lie of the Year, Coward of the Year, Crooks of the Year, Jurisdiction in Most Need of a PR Make-Over, Most Small-Minded Decision, Most Arrogant Jurisdiction, Most Stupid Comments, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Award, and Most Responsible Regulators.

IDIC moves to Grenada after being closed down in two jurisdictions

Grenada regulators have allowed the sham insurer known as IDIC to incorporate on the island after regulators in Nevis and Dominica closed down the company, we can disclose. IDIC was closed down by Nevis regulators on January 27, 1999 and, the following month, was shut down in Dominica, where it had moved.

Eurofed Bank goes into receivership

Antigua-registered Eurofed Bank Ltd. has been placed into receivership by the island's regulators over its suspected involvement in money laundering. Eurofed, which also has a banking license in Grenada, went into receivership on or around November 15 after being implicated in a scandal involving Pavlo Lazarenko, a former Prime Minister of the Ukraine.

FIBG latest: Dodgy share offerings and more ‘paper’ firms list on sham stock exchange

The latest phase of what is turning out to be one of the most extravagant offshore frauds ever involves the sale of shares over the Internet, supposedly to finance a 120-room luxury resort hotel in Grenada and an on-line casino. Investors in the resort project are "guaranteed" annual dividends of between 25-30 per cent, depending on the amount invested, even before anything has been built, while shareholders of the casino venture are promised 35 per cent annually.

La Prensa newspaper charged over Harris Organization stories

La Prensa newspaper in Panama and some of its journalists have had a criminal libel brought against them after several articles on The Harris Organization financial services group.La Prensa has alleged improper links between The Harris Organization, the Attorney-General, José Antonio Sossa; and a Panamanian attorney, Carlos Jones; allegations which have been denied by the subjects of the articles.

FIBG ‘auditor’ has no CPA licence, co-owner indicted in US

Offshore Alert can this month report further disturbing revelations about the First International Bank of Grenada that make a mockery of the island as a legitimate financial centre.One of the most shocking discoveries is that the annual financial statement filed recently by the bank with regulators was signed by a former bankrupt with a criminal record who is passing himself off as a CPA.Nevada-based accountant Kenneth Nelson Craig had his CPA licence revoked in the US in 1996 after committing an appalling number of offences, including swindling three clients out of $81,000.Equally disturbing is news that one of FIBG's owners, Roger V. Cagle, has been criminally indicted in New Jersey on charges of racketeering, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Harris Organization appeals libel decision

The Harris Organization financial services group of Panama has served official notice that it will appeal its loss of a recent libel lawsuit against Offshore Business News & Research Inc., which publishes Offshore Alert. The grounds for the appeal were not known at press time.