Poland: Alexei Bragontchuk

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Poland into Alexei Bragontchuk and for alleged fraud and money laundering regarding the proceeds of weapons trafficking.

Aaron Day, Arnold Goldstein and two non-existent Bahamas companies

Nine months after threatening to sue us for alleging that he promoted the services of The Harris Organization of Panama, Florida-based attorney and offshore author Arnold Goldstein has written to thank us for calling his attention to a dubious web-site that promotes his products and services.

Details of alleged fraud against Bahamas attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle

Bahamas attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle is facing a criminal investigation into an alleged attempt to swindle clients of UBS (Bahamas) Limited out of $2.2 million. Police have been asked to look into the matter following incriminating evidence that was unearthed during the execution of an Anton Piller order issued by the Bahamas Supreme Court last month as part of a civil action brought by UBS.

Bahamas company may be committing illegal acts in the US

Bahamas-registered Global Investments Inc. appears to be selling unregistered securities in the US in which investors are investing on the belief they are likely to get high rates of return. Some investors in Alabama have been putting their life savings into the scheme and some have even borrowed against their pensions, OffshoreAlert has been told.

Investors allegedly defrauded of $5 million in Bahamas/Florida bond scheme

The SEC has obtained a federal court order against a Bahamas-registered IBC, a Florida company and businessmen in the United States who participated in an allegedly fraudulent bond sale and prime bank note scam that earned nearly $5 million. According to the SEC's complaint, the bonds offered for sale were historical bonds, including those issued in the 19th Century by now defunct railroads and allegedly backed by gold.

UBS (Bahamas) obtains an Anton Piller order against attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle

UBS (Bahamas) Limited has obtained a seldom-granted court order allowing its representatives to enter a Bahamian attorney's premises without notice and take away documents and other movable assets. The order - known as an Anton Piller order - was granted by the Bahamas Supreme Court on December 11 against attorney Leslie Vernon Rolle, who operates from Nassau, and Esson Securities and Investments Ltd. and Weybridge Properties Ltd.

Insider Talking: November 30, 1998

Apart from The Harris Organization of Panama, other financial services providers promoted by Florida-based attorney and offshore author Arnold Goldstein have less than distinguished records over recent years, OffshoreAlert can disclose; After responding to an advertisement in the International Herald Tribune that invited readers to call a Bahamas telephone number for details about obtaining an offshore banking licence without any qualifications, we were faxed details of various licences available; The Bahamas Government appears to have changed its mind about how it should privatize the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation; The Securities Industry Bill, which will, inter alia, provide for the establishment of a Bahamas International Stock Exchange, was introduced to the House of Assembly this month; and the liquidators of First Cayman Bank try to collect $1 million from former Cayman government minister McKeeva Bush.

Insider Talking: October 31, 1998

A funny thing happened a few days after our expose of The Highlander Club in last month's Offshore Alert. I received from them a spam letter - sent a week before we published - stating "Congratulations You have been approved

State of Florida v. John McGarrity et al: Criminal Indictment

Criminal Indictment alleging racketeering and securities fraud in State of Florida v. John McGarrity James T. Staples, Joseph Monaco, James Deas, Francis Clarkson, John McGarrity, John Manion, Jeff Mann, Rich Mann, David Trotter, Steven Schaefer, Jeno Koch, and Julie Gilvary at Florida Supreme Court.

Global Currency Trust shuts down

Global Currency Trust, which has claimed at various times to be based in Nevis and the Bahamas, although it may not be registered anywhere, appears to have closed for business, leaving behind at least one angry investor.

Insider Talking: September 30, 1998

Receivers of the Florida Employers Safety Association Self-Insurers Fund sue David Sanz, share price of Stirling Cooke falls to new low on NASDAQ, Elite International Services offers dubious offshore products, Marc Harris on the move, prison inmate Ronald Williams apparently continues to rip people off during his day-release program, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham puts both feet in his mouth during press conference for murder of foreign national.

Equity Management Group’s unhappy clients

Complaints from investors in several countries have been made against the Equity Management Group, a firm of stockbrokers based in the Bahamas. Several clients, including those from Spain, France, Switzerland and South Africa, have accused the company of misappropriating their funds, according to sources.

PaineWebber fires broker, closes offshore brokerage accounts

PaineWebber this month fired long-serving broker Terry Cross and terminated its relationship with Bahamas-based financial and corporate services company International Trade & Investments Limited over fears of becoming implicated in a possible tax evasion scandal. PaineWebber took this aggressive action after being tipped off that Cross, who worked at its San Francisco office, had allegedly promoted tax evasion during a speech he gave at an offshore seminar held two months ago in Nassau by ITI.

Insider Talking: June 30, 1998

Offshore regulators apparently uninterested in scams exposed by OffshoreAlert; NimsTec's 3-D cameras offered for sale as "collector's items" over the Internet; Marc Harris has t-shirt with the slogan: "David Marchant is alive because killing him would be a crime"; As General Election looms, Progressive Labour Party tipped to win power in Bermuda for the first time; Dominion of Melchizedek offers a variety of fraudulent products and services; and Little Switzerland contemplates legal action after proposed purchase of Colombian Emeralds International falls through.

Bahamas News Briefs

Mutual Fund stats; Central Bank suspends Socimer International Bank; and National Debt grows.

Insider Talking: April 30, 1998

David Walsh, the former head of Bre X Minerals, tried to close a bank account in the Bahamas and take out his entire deposit of $25.3 million two weeks after an audit revealed concluded that the supposedly rich Busang gold

Gulf Union (Bahamas) finally goes into permanent liquidation

After a hearing that lasted half a day, the Bahamas Supreme Court officially placed Gulf Union Bank (Bahamas) into liquidation on March 26 but deferred a decision on whether to appoint the current provisional liquidators as permanent liquidators. The court first ruled on two preliminary legal issues regarding the competence and appropriateness of the National Insurance Board, which is a government agency, in being allowed to petition for the winding-up of the bank.

Insider Talking: February 27, 1998

Buyers of luxury property in Bermuda in 1997 include John Deuss, Reg Grundy, Britons Michael Butt, David Brown, and Ernest Stempel, First Cayman Bank liquidators defend size of fees, Ken Dart turned down for permanent residency in Cayman Islands, John Tugwell wanted to be Bank of Butterfield's Chairman, as well as CEO, say sources; Bermuda Sun newspaper to start publishing twice a week, Thomas Azzara's 'Tax Havens of the World' book contains several inaccuracies, nearly half of all births in Bermuda in 1996 were out of wedlock.

Battle to stop Bahamas government controlling liquidation of Gulf Union Bank

A fierce battle has been taking place behind closed doors in the Bahamas over the last month to prevent the government from controlling the winding-up of Gulf Union Bank (Bahamas) Limited.Depositors are concerned that a government-controlled liquidation will lead to a whitewash of the regulatory role in the bank's collapse of the Central Bank of the Bahamas.

Bahamas firms part of prime bank securities scam

Bahamas-based Loomis Ltd. has been ordered to pay $874,515 following a default judgement against it in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.Loomis and other companies, including fellow Bahamas-registered Comcar International Ltd., fraudulently obtained more than $2.1 million through a scheme involving fictitious ‘prime bank' securities.

Insider Talking: January 30, 1998

OffshoreAlert's unblemished track record when it comes to publishing exposes, despite letters threatening litigation; human cloning group touts Cayman and Bahamas as potential domiciles, who is disgrunted ex-Bank of Butterfield employee who criticized recently-retired chairman Sir David Gibbons?, Richard Black and Mike Cascio look to form new Bermuda insurance facility, possible bribery in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority MD Neville Grant accepts no responsibility for collapse of First Cayman Bank, Global Private Banking magazine causes mirth by describing closure of FCB as an example of regulators "acting tough on miscreants", Cayman-based Oxford Advisors opens up office in Bermuda, 18 luxury homes in Bermuda sold for a total of $72 m in 1997, and what effect, if any, will the death of Charles Collis have on Bermuda Fire and Marine Insurance litigation? 

Bahamas accounts used to pay share ramp bribes

Bank accounts in the Bahamas was used to bribe brokers who were paid to ramp up the share prices of small companies by promoting them to their unsuspecting clients.Details of the scheme emerged this month after two men pleaded guilty to various offences in the US, including conspiracy, wire fraud, commercial bribery and securities fraud.Leonard Ruge, a 40-year-old Canadian living in Florida, and Theodore Heitzman, 51, of California, each face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Russian banks banned from the Bahamas, says Central Bank Governor

Reports by a newspaper in The Bahamas that a Russian bank has been approved for a bank licence are inaccurate, said the governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas, Julian Francis.The Punch newspaper had reported that the Alpha Bank had been given permission to set up in the Bahamas.But Francis said there had been no change in the Central Bank's position that Russian banks will not generally be allowed into the Bahamas because of difficulties in adequately regulating them.

Insider Talking: December 30, 1997

Former 'Acting CEO' of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange applies to head Bahamas International Stock Exchange, Bermuda Government wants a Bermudian, not British, Governor' Cayman judge rebukes attorney F. Lee Bailey, First Cayman Bank liquidators may want to look at two properties in Florida that belong to the Quraeshi family, further evidence emerges of Cayman Islands Government incompetence in collapse of First Cayman Bank, the hypocrisy of Bermuda's Home Affairs Minister Quinton Edness, Euro Bank Corp. receives Class 'A' banking license in Cayman.

Caribbean hotels insurer goes into run-off

The Caribbean Hotel Association Insurance Company Ltd., which hit financial trouble soon after it started, has stopped writing new business after just two and a half years in business. The news comes after many member countries of the Caribbean Hotel Association, for whom the company was specifically set up to insure, failed to put their money where their mouths were and buy insurance from CHAIC.

USA v. Lorne Banks et al: Criminal Indictment

Indictment in USA v. Lorne Banks, Michael Bell, Howard Bidloff, Kevin Bregman, Russell Bronson, Charles Courville, Howard Dick, Walter Fantin, Michael Hamley, Joe Kelley, Thomas Laquer, a.k.a. Wayne Arnold, a.k.a. Wayne Donaldson; Steve Millgram, a.k.a. Steve Louis; Gordon Orwin, a.k.a. Gordon Thomas; Marshall Alexander (Sandy) Reid, Martin Seagal, Marvin Simon, Walter Smolarek, a.k.a. Bob Winters, a.k.a. Walter Shaw; Victor Tomasicchio, a.k.a. Victor Thomas; Brian Wilson, John Doe #1, a.k.a. Andrew Barrington; John Doe #2, a.k.a. Bill Crandall; John Doe #3, a.k.a. Gordon Sinclair; and John Doe #4, a.k.a. Andrew Noble, at the U. S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

Battle for right to take BaTelCo private

An announcement is expected any day now on the winning bid for the lucrative contract to privatise the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation.The thirteen original bidders for the BaTelCo contract down was whittled down to four earlier this month.

Bahamas stock offerings cancelled by regulators

Regulators in the Bahamas acted this month to prevent two public offerings from going ahead due to regulatory breaches by the companies selling the shares.Perhaps the most embarrassing postponement involved Caribbean Health & Fitness Ltd., the major developers of Gold's Gym in the Caribbean.

Werner Rey loses extradition appeal in the Bahamas

The Bahamas Court of Appeal this month upheld a lower court's decision to extradite businessman Werner Rey to face embezzlement charges involving millions of dollars in his native Switzerland.

Canadian kidnapped in the Bahamas

A 31-year-old Bahamian businessman has been charged with 25 offences following the kidnapping and robbery of five Canadian men in Nassau on October 13.

Gulf Union’s bank license suspended in the Bahamas

The Bahamian authorities have suspended the banking licence of the Gulf Union Bank (Bahamas) Ltd. following problems at the bank's financially troubled parent and sister companies in the Cayman Islands.Regulators are investigating allegations that suspiciously large amounts of money have flowed from the Bahamas bank to its Cayman affiliates and possibly on to foreign entities over the last few months.

PLP lose Pindling seat in Bahamas

The ruling Free National Movement party gained another seat in the Bahamian parliament when it won a by-election in the South Andros constituency, which the opposition Progressive Liberal Party had held for 41 years.The seat had been vacated by former Prime Minister and PLP leader Sir Lynden Pindling, who had represented South Andros for 30 years before retiring from politics after his party's humiliating defeat in the March 14 general election.

Ansbacher fires its New York correspondent bank

Ansbacher (Bahamas) Ltd. has fired its New York correspondent bank for providing confidential information about its account to the IRS without notifying the offshore bank first.And Ansbacher itself has been reprimanded by the Central Bank of the Bahamas for failing to inform the body quickly enough that the IRS was seeking information about its clients.

First Cayman Bank and Gulf Union in financial trouble

The future of First Cayman Bank and its parent, Gulf Union Bank, which also has a Bahamas subsidiary, has been subject to speculation over the last month after the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority blocked the appointment of a new general manager, forced through its own choice and alluded to "problems" at First Cayman.

US Security Alert on Bahamas is lifted

A US Security Alert warning Americans of the dangers of being in The Bahamas was lifted after several days, much to the relief of the tourism industry.

Bermuda jeweller ‘steals’ name of Caribbean jeweller

In an extraordinary move, a Bermuda jeweller has set up an operation in the name of a leading Caribbean jewellery chain in an apparent bid to disrupt the chain's attempt to muscle in on its territory.The action by HS & JE Crisson Limited is likely to lead to a complicated dispute with Bahamas-based Colombian Emeralds International, which had not trademarked its name in Bermuda.

Werner Rey hearing postponed

The Bahamas Appeal Court has postponed a hearing into the appeal by Swiss businessman Werner Rey against his extradition to Switzerland. Proceedings had been scheduled to begin on May 26.Rey is appealing a Bahamas Supreme Court decision in April to extradite him to his homeland, where he is wanted on charges of fraud, forgery and bankruptcy offences in connection with the Omni group, which collapsed in 1991 with losses exceeding SwFr1 billion.

Bahamas ditches Taiwan for China

The future of Taiwan's economic link with the Bahamas has been jeopardized after the Bahamas broke its eight-year diplomatic relationship with Taiwan in favour of China, the Nassau Guardian reported.The policy shift followed the opening of an $80 million container port in Freeport, in which Hutchison Port Property, a subsidiary of Anglo/Sino firm Hutchison Whampoa, has a 50 per cent stake, reported the Guardian.

Bermuda gains telecommunications edge over offshore rivals

Bermuda has gained a significant competitive edge over rival offshore domiciles in the Caribbean by ending the telecommunications monopoly of Cable & Wireless and introducing a second long-distance carrier.International rates from Bermuda were already the lowest of rivals such as the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Barbados, according to a survey conducted by Offshore Business News & Research, which publishes Offshore Alert.But, since Bermuda's government granted a second international licence in January to TeleBermuda International - which has yet to begin offering a service, Cable & Wireless has answered the threat of competition by lowering rates to many countries, some by almost a third.

Bahamas telecommunications nightmare

Featrure on State of Bahamas Telecommunications IndustryIf you like hissing noises, line echoes, unreadable faxes, disconnected conversations and high rates, the Bahamas is the place for you.E-mail has been known to take three days to arrive, telephone lines can take several months to be installed and you may well be restricted in the number of lines you can have, even in the business centre of New Providence.

Lynden Pindling quits politics

Sir Lynden Pindling has announced he is stepping down as leader of the opposition Progressive Liberal Party after 32 years, including 25 as Prime Minister, and is also quitting politics following his party's comprehensive defeat in the Bahamas General Election on March 14.Pindling was one of only six PLP MPs to keep hold of their seats as Hubert Ingraham's Free National Movement party won a record 34 of the 40 seats available. The PLP will meet soon to elect a replacement.

Interamerican Asset Management Fund allegedly used in multi-million dollar fraud

A Bahamas-based mutual fund was used by one of Ecuador's best-known business families to defraud investors and the Central Bank of Ecuador out of approximately $160 million, it has been claimed.And the scandal has extended to the United States where the Federal Reserve Board has taken steps to safeguard the financial position of the Pan American Bank, in Miami.Both the Bahamian mutual fund - the Interamerican Asset Management Fund Limited - and the Pan American Bank were set up by the powerful Ortega family of Ecuador.

Cayman banker Syed Bilal Ahmed still missing

Cayman Islands resident Syed Bilal Ahmed, the vice-president of Cayman-based Gulf Union Bank Ltd. and First Cayman Bank Ltd. is still listed as missing in the Bahamas after he disappeared from the Radisson Cable Beach Resort in Nassau on September 5, 1996.
Happening NowOffshoreAlert vGlobal

The platform for this week's OffshoreAlert vGlobal FREE virtual conference is now open, and it's not too late to register to watch sessions and participate in networking. vGlobal is a neutral platform where participants in high-value international finance around the world can learn, meet, and conduct business.

If you haven't done so already, register now - for FREE - at