I never thought the tangled Rangers web could link a sacked Rangers director to the deposed President of Haiti, recently questioned in court concerning inquiries into a journalist’s murder.
But it looks as though the theory that any person on the planet is connected to any other person through a chain comprising no more than five acquaintances lives to survive another day as the Bears hold their breath waiting for audited accounts.
One thing for sure is that the more I slid down the rabbit-hole the more I realised what a clever move Wee Craigie made by claiming the film rights to the movie – what a blockbuster it will be!
However let’s trace the steps which begin when I failed to find Putney Holdings Ltd which is shown in the TRFCL board minutes of 31 October 2012 as holding 1,000,000 Rangers shares. Putney Holdings sounds as English as cricket, the boat race and warm beer but it isn’t listed at Companies House.
A Google search revealed RM poster ‘In the know’ posted a Rangers share list in October 2012 noting ‘Putney Holdings Adrian Corr – 600k’. This wasn’t common knowledge so I was surprised at how aptly-named ‘in the know’ actually was although at the time his identity wasn’t known. On 24 April 2013 Rangers Board Member Imran Ahmad was outed for allegedly posting sensitive and confidential club information on Rangers Media by Rangers Standard and one of his log-ins was said to be ‘In the know’.
I did have a laugh at a Rangers poster commenting on the share list: ‘Tims will be all over this list 1000 times more so than any Rangers fan’. Never a truer word said and perhaps one day you might come out of hibernation and recognise why.
Companies House revealed no trace of Putney Holdings Ltd and the only Adrian Corr listed as a director was a solicitor in the now liquidated Albany Systems International Ltd from February to December 2001.
An internet search threw-up Northern Ireland born Adrian Corr, a staunch Spurs fan, who qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales in 1990 before moving to the Turks & Caicos Islands three years later and joining Miller Simons O’Sullivan where he ended-up a partner and became well-versed in corporate and regulatory matters. Interestingly Timothy Patrick O’Sullivan was an old friend having also been a director in the liquidated Albany Systems International from April 2000 to April 2002.
A few more names into the Google cement mixer left me gobsmacked when details of a 2005 Florida civil court claim emerged involving the Republic of Haiti and state-owned national telecoms provider (Haiti Teleco) attempting to recover money allegedly stolen from the people and government of Haiti by former President John-Bertrand Aristide and others allegedly acting in concert with him.
The former President was further accused of abusing his power as well as deceiving and betraying the Haitian People by directing and participating in fraudulent schemes to loot the public treasury and launder illicit proceeds to encourage, protect, participate and profit from illegal drug trafficking in and through Haiti. It was further claimed that Aristide and his alleged accomplices converted to their own use millions of dollars of public funds through a pattern of criminal racketeering activities.
Very serious and wide-ranging allegations are made against all of the named defendants in the above document but it must be remembered the allegations weren’t proven in court as the complaint was dropped before it was served possibly through lack of funds and perhaps a wish by US Authorities to take control and pursue matters. In any case none of the named defendants required to file answers and therefore the allegations should be treated accordingly. Corr is reported as subsequently stating he has never acted for Aristide nor set up any shell companies to siphon money for him.
The Mont Salem Management Ltd involvement is spelt out in the service agreement between a major US Telecoms provider and Haiti Teleco which identifies Adrian Corr as the Mont Salem contact at: Po Box 260, Butterfield Square, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.
The document was provided on a confidential basis following a request by the chief of the International Bureau of the US Federal Communications Commission but was later made public. It revealed payments from the US provider went to Mont Salem and not Haiti Teleco and that the rate payable was below that required. The original 2005 Haiti civil case paperwork stated Jean René Duperval had falsified the books to show Mont Salem was the telecom carrier dealing with Haiti Teleco and not the American one.
The Turks and Caicos Mont Salem incorporation papers show registration in June 2000 with $5,000 capital and the registered agent as Timothy O’Sullivan of Miller, Simons and O’Sullivan. The share owner was given as “M&S Nominees Ltd” (presumably Miller and Simmons) listed at the same Turks and Caicos address. Asked to identify the actual Mont Salem owners, Adrian Corr reportedly stated: ‘I don’t want to answer any questions about this. I have lawyers retained; It’s better you speak with them.’
The government of the desperately impoverished and earthquake-hit island of Haiti dropped the 2005 case but the involvement of giant US telecoms companies in what became known as the ‘Haitian Kickback Scandal’ as well as leading Democrat and Republican Politicians has led to a continuing series of court and regulatory action which, as recently as May 2012, saw Jean Rene Duperval – the former Haiti Teleco boss – jailed for 9 years by a US Court for laundering bribes between 2003 and 2006, paid to him by two US telecoms companies, using a cloak of shell corporations and fake invoices. Duperval had been named a defendant in the original dismissed 2005 case.
Others involved in the Haiti bribe and commission kickback scandal dealt with by American Courts are: Joel Esquenaz (15 years jail October 2011); Carlos Rodriguez (84 months jail October 2011); Juan Diaz (57 months jail July 2010); Robert Antoine (48 months jail June 2010); Antonio Perez (24 months jail April 2009); Jean Fourcand (6 months jail May 2010).
US Assistant Attorney General Breuer stated ‘We will hold accountable corrupt foreign officials when they seek to launder the proceeds of that bribery through the US financial system’ and warned they would face ‘serious consequences.’ He added: ‘Duperval’s money laundering scheme was an attempt to conceal the payment of bribes to foreign officials to obtain an unfair business advantage in the marketplace.’
Under US law apparently, American telecom companies had to pay a minimum price per minute to Haiti Teleco for its services in completing telephone calls from the US to the island but allegedly Haiti Teleco offered cut-price deals with kick-backs to certain telecom companies.
It’s a precedent-setting case with The Justice Department using the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which normally deals only with bribe-givers) not only to charge companies and individuals doing business in the United States but, for the first time, to pursue foreign officials who received bribe money and laundered it. A number of others involved in Haitian drug smuggling have also been dealt with and heavy sentences, including life imprisonment, imposed by US Federal Courts.
The strong US Fed reaction is explained IMO by the claims in the original 2005 court papers that in exchange for bribes and kickbacks Aristide and his accomplices provided safe passage for trans-shipments of illegal drugs to the US and appointed drug traffickers to important posts in Haiti’s security services and law enforcement to ensure the safety of their trafficking operations. Things had become so bad in Haiti that by 2004 around 20% of US cocaine came through the island which was a fourfold increase during Aristide’s time in office.
I’m sure my readers are familiar with Nova and Orlit and Messrs Chan Fook Meng and Nazim Khan who were both rumoured to be members of the original Rangers consortium fronted by Green in May 2012.
Both men are also directors of Tricor Plc and in March 2013 Adrian Corr joined the Tricor Board as a NED and this was noted in an AIM announcement. But I have been unable to see any mention of that appointment against Tricor at Companies House – but we all know how it can be with Companies House paperwork.
The AIM announcement notes: ‘Adrian is currently a director of M&S Trust Company Limited, a licensed trust company/company manager, and its affiliates Aincorp Ltd, M&S Directors Ltd, M&S Secretaries Ltd, M&S Nominees Ltd and IMM Management Ltd. He is also a director of Global Insurance Managers and Actuaries and within the last five years was a director of West Indies Protectors Ltd.’ I would assume that if he was a director of Mont Salem Management Ltd it was more than 5 years ago. It would also appear that he isn’t a director of Putney Holdings Ltd and, of course, I should make it clear that that company has not afaik ever been mentioned in connection with Haiti or any alleged illegal activities.
Whilst on the subject of the Turks & Caicos Islands I will mention in passing that another major Rangers shareholder may well be an offshore company registered on the Island viz Margarita Funds Holding Trust with a reported 7.7% shareholding in Rangers. I remember my jaw dropping when Rangers was publicly quoted as stating they thought the shareholding company might be based on the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Och it’s OK I’m sure. The SFA know who they are as Green has publicly stated that the SFA has been made aware of the identity of all the shareholders so they must be kosher. I wonder if the SFA know who Putney Holdings Ltd are?
The whole fascinating Haiti story is way beyond the scope of this post but a lot of it is told in a series of articles at this link.
The role of a sacked telecoms whistleblower and his subsequent ‘problems’ will interest many posters I reckon and info on that can be found here.
Posted by Ecojon