Archive for category Money Laundering

trafficking news — the international dimension

1. France: drug money laundering linked to sports teams

A vast drug and money-laundering operation run by British gangsters which may have links to Premier League football transfers has been smashed by police in France’s Dordogne region.

Officers from both sides of the Channel raided a number of upmarket homes in two isolated villages favoured by British expatriates.

There they found drugs and thousands of pounds worth of used notes, along with luxury cars including Aston Martin DB9s and Mercedes SLKs.

There have been at least four arrests in connection with the enquiry, all of British nationals who claimed to have moved to France ‘for the good life’, said an investigating officer.

big meeting in mexico

1. well what have we here? clinton, gates, napolitano, blair and mullen all to visit mexico together? WHATEVER FOR? FIVE heavies? i would think this means something is definitely up or going down or coming unglued or something in mexico, because this Merida initiative is a device that COORDINATES the two countries on drug trafficking and organized crime

WASHINGTON – Drug-related violence blamed for last weekend’s death of two U.S. citizens in the border city of Juarez will be at the top of the agenda when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Mexico next week, Washington’s top diplomat for Latin America said Friday.

The situation in Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, “is very serious,” Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela told reporters at a briefing on Clinton’s upcoming trip.

Her visit will be the occasion for a meeting of the bilateral High Level Consultative Group to review the progress of the Merida initiative, a U.S.-funded regional plan to battle drug cartels and organized crime.

Mexico has received hundreds of millions of dollars in crime-fighting aid under the initiative.

Clinton will be accompanied to Mexico by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, Valenzuela said.

Lesley Ann Enriquez, an official at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, and husband Arthur H. Redelfs were killed last Saturday by gunmen who fired on their vehicle on a busy street in the Mexican city.

The couple’s baby, riding in the backseat, was not harmed.

Mexican citizen Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of another consulate employee, died in a similar attack minutes later.

Valenzuela called the killings in Juarez a “reminder of the challenges both countries are facing.”

Turf battles among drug cartels and the security forces’ struggle against the illegal trade have claimed nearly 19,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when current President Felipe Calderon took office.

Vowing to crush the cartels, Calderon has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police to the country’s most conflictive areas, yet the pace of drug-related killings has only accelerated, from 2,700 people in 2007 to 7,724 fatalities last year.

This year’s death toll has already topped 2,000. EFE

source

2. text of the Merida initiative (source) — the way the two countries cooperate to “fight” organized crime and drug trafficking, but somehow the pace of killings has doubled since this initiative went into play. weird huh? like it was less deadly *before* they started cooperating. wtf huh? hey wait a second….

Joint Statement of the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group

U.S. Department of State

Following is the joint statement issued by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Drug Control Policy of the United States and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of National Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Public Security, and the Under Secretary of the Navy of Mexico, who together with other senior government officials met December 19, 2008, as the Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group:

Begin Text:

Presidents Felipe Calderon and George Bush met in Merida, Mexico in March 2007 and reviewed the broad range of issues affecting our two countries. The Joint U.S.-Mexico Communiqué issued on March 14, 2007 recognized the threat posed by organized crime and drug trafficking to both nations and our shared responsibility to address this threat. Moreover, the Presidents reaffirmed the commitment of our two countries to establish a lasting partnership to expand and intensify cooperation in what we have come to call the Merida Initiative. The Merida Initiative High-Level Consultative Group held its inaugural meeting today to discuss progress to date on these critical issues, and to chart a course for future cooperation.

Since the 2007 Summit in Merida, the Government of Mexico has taken bold and unprecedented steps to confront organized crime and violence, often at great cost. As his administration enters into its third year, President Felipe Calderon has reiterated and clearly demonstrated his commitment to combat, head-on, drug-trafficking and organized crime. The Government of the United States has supported this effort by increasing the provision of information and technical assistance and by complementary steps to stop the trafficking of illegal weapons from the United States, impede bulk currency smuggling across our border, reduce the domestic demand for illicit drugs, and combat drug trafficking and organized crime in the United States.

To provide resources for an enhanced security cooperation partnership as set forth in the 2007 Summit, President Bush sought funding from Congress for the “Merida Initiative.” The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008, signed by President Bush on June 30, provided $400 million to fund training, equipment and other assistance under the Merida Initiative in Mexico, an initial installment of a multi-year, $1.4 billion program of support. On December 3, Mexico and the United States signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) making available the first $197 million of this package.

Even before the signing of the LOA, Mexico and the United States have taken steps to strengthen our law enforcement and security cooperation by accelerating existing efforts and by focusing previously agreed upon assistance in areas that will advance the objectives of the Merida Initiative. In this regard, we have already:

· Enhanced forensic capabilities, including the inauguration of a new forensics lab in Mexico;

· Strengthened ties to investigate cross-border financial flows and combat money laundering;

· Expanded collaboration to trace weapons and stop the illegal export of arms used by drug organizations;

· Developed technical requirements for the transfer of counter-drug aviation assets;

· Increased the number of fugitive apprehensions and extraditions;

· Deployed X-ray equipped vans and radiation monitoring technology; and

· Increased intelligence sharing on transnational drug trafficking organizations.


The breadth and depth of the cooperation between the United States and Mexico in confronting transnational organized crime and security threats requires new institutional mechanisms to ensure effective coordination, the timely use of operational intelligence, and the efficient use of resources. Our governments intend therefore to establish before the end of 2009, a bilateral follow-up and implementation mechanism in Mexico City where officials of the United States and Mexico will work together to carry out mutually agreed assistance projects, monitor results, and revise and update cooperative activities under the Merida Initiative.

In the meantime, we direct our agencies to convoke a bilateral working level meeting in Mexico City to discuss implementation over the next 12 months. This meeting should establish priorities and identify potential problem areas and specific solutions. This meeting should take place as early as practical in 2009 to ensure activities under the Merida Initiative unfold smoothly.

We intend to continue working on key issues that affect the national security of our countries and developing specific dialogue mechanisms with a view to strengthen cooperation and information exchanges.

Future meetings of the High-Level Consultative Group are important to provide guidance, chart the way forward, renew priorities, review accomplishments, and consider new or revised objectives. We recommend that the Consultative Group meet again during the second half of 2009.

We also recognize the importance of close engagement with the countries of Central America and the Caribbean in addressing the common threats emanating from organized crime. A successful Merida Initiative must have a strong regional and hemispheric component, and we intend to explore ways to ensure that our bilateral U.S.-Mexico partnership addresses this dimension.

Criminality and violence threaten the security and prosperity of both Mexico and the United States. Our success in confronting organized crime and narcotics trafficking depends on our continued cooperation and our ability to strengthen this new strategic partnership. The Merida Initiative reflects this spirit of renewed collaboration based on the principle of joint responsibility and provides us with a mechanism to ensure our cooperation is effective and successful.


The Merida Initiative is a first and important step towards a common strategy to confront transnational security threats. We are confident that it will serve as the foundation for deeper and wider cooperation on joint security challenges.

at large

Regarding child trafficking for the purposes of sex slaves, snuff films and organ harvesting, let me start by saying this really happens. This is huge business, and it’s protected business because it’s organized crime. Corrupt people on the inside make it possible: politicians, police, social workers, judges, military, doctors, coroners, religious organizations, corporations, etc. You cannot approach a problem like this by giving all these people the benefit of the doubt. You must approach it assuming that some of them are definitely dirty rotten scumbags, and see where news reports confirm that assumption.

NY Rep Eric Massa
No sir, you can’t grope your male staffers like the old days in the Navy. Sorry.
“I make no bones about it. The United States Navy in 1983 and 1984 was incredible bawdy. Incredible.” (TPM Muckraker)
On the Crossing the Line ceremony: “It looks like an orgy in Caligula. And anybody who’s been in the Navy knows it.” Also, Rahm Emanuel bullied him in the Congressional showers. (FOX News)

Unfortunately, when we turn on the teevee and hear about Jihad Jane we are distracted by ridiculous, manufactured news designed to highlight the phony, manufactured terrorism run by evil, corrupt intelligence agencies throughout the world, and we forget that this manufactured activity gets funded by illegal trafficking.

Furthermore, we tend to focus on drug trafficking, as though the drug trafficking network operates in a different universe from the human and child trafficking network. Not so. The organized trafficking networks serve multiple purposes. Corrupt people who traffic drugs will also traffic human beings. They don’t have a fit of morality over it. I don’t think they really give a shit. Guns, drugs, human beings — whatever. It all comes down to money.

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Jorge Puello, fugitive, claims a Dominican Republic military general helped Silsby with the border crossings.

Puello continues to claim no history with Laura Silsby prior to his introduction to her in jail. Instead, he claims, another high-ranking Dominican lawyer, and a Dominican military officer were helping her with documents and other help needed to bring Haitian children into their country. If his claims prove true, one of these named individuals has a past link with trafficking.

…According to Jorge Puello — con man extraordinaire, wayward son, Jewish convert, and wanted sexual trafficker – Laura Silsby and her colleague Charisa Coulter are innocent of trafficking – at least to the best of his knowledge. They were duped, they were played, he puts it simply. That doesn’t mean they didn’t get mixed up with bad people – they did. And he’s not talking about himself, though his emails to Sean Lankford reflect a man who couldn’t daven enough to say he’s sorry for all the trouble he’s caused them. He’s talking about the ‘Lady Lawyer’ behind the famous ‘letter’ Silsby was telling everyone she had – or was supposed to have - and the ‘General’ who was going to assist her in getting into the Dominican Republic with her busload of children.

In response to questions, Puello states that he was put in contact by Silsby with a woman lawyer. The name he provided matches that of a high ranking lawyer and provincial district attorney who is active in Dominican politics. He claims that he contacted this woman when he noticed her name on some legal documents connected to Silsby. When he talked to this lawyer, the women told Puello that Silsby was supposed to go to the border where “the papers were going to be there, ready.” But when the lawyer contact learned that Silsby had been detained, she “got nervous and hung up,” claims Puello. His statements about a ‘General’ helping Silsby also matched Silby’s original statements to me, the night of our meeting, about a Dominican ‘minister’ who was helping her, and had given her his personal assurance her group would have no trouble getting into the Dominican Republic.

So Puello remains at large, somehow, and he is talking to people, and in doing so he is explaining that there are corrupt officials in the Dominican Republic who are involved with human trafficking.

And sure enough, the US canceled some visas of some retired Dominican generals in connection with a drug trafficking ring.

Santo Domingo.- The United States will reportedly question Prisons director, retied general Manuel de Jesus Perez, for the hundreds of phone calls on drug trafficking operations allegedly made from Dominican jails, as the alleged involvement of some of the country’s generals in drug trafficking now focuses on “lists.”

News source 7dias.com.do reports that an investigator revealed that the United States will request nine generals in extradition for their link to the Quirino Paulino case and published a list of the senior military officers wanted in the U.S. for their involvement in drug trafficking….n a phone interview from Washington by CDN Radio, the source said the Paulino case involves 147 military, who have yet to be “touched” by anybody. “They haven’t even been pinched.”

And in other news, the drug money is laundered through real estate.

Arture del Tiempo, Torre Atiemar and 1200kg of cocaine sent from the Dominican Republic to Spain is the probably just the top of the iceberg behind the recent years construction boom in Santo Domingo. What’s more interesting is that President Lionel Fernandez has stated that this project was a model for foreign investments in his country….The Spanish authorities suspect a powerful international network of large drug shipments is behind the case and which launders money by investing in the construction of residences and apartments.

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So…. is Puello now some sort of a good guy for fingering these corrupt Dominicans? What is going on here? Isn’t Puello himself accused of trafficking? Why yes. Yes he is. But somehow he has managed to remain at large while staying in touch with reporters as he tries to clear his name.

Do you think if the authorities wanted to bring Puello in that they could? I think they could. It seems that they don’t want to bring him in. It seems that he is being allowed to remain at large and spread this information. Why?

What purpose does this serve? Is he running a limited hangout? Are a few people going to be sacrificed to protect the larger operation?

What is the larger operation?

What’s worse than drug trafficking and trafficking people across borders illegally for cheap labor or illegal adoptions?

How about using adults and children as sex slaves. How about killing adults and children in snuff films. How about killing adults and children for their organs.

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Mexican  children trafficked into rape camps in San Diego:

In one of several related cases, hundreds of Mexican girls between 7 and 18 were kidnapped or subjected to false romantic entrapment by organized criminal sex trafficking gangs. Victims were then brought to San Diego County, California. Over a 10 year period these girls were raped by hundreds of men per day in more than 2 dozen home based and agricultural camp based brothels.

A Latina medical doctor employed by a U.S. federal agency provided condoms to the victims for years, and was told by her supervisors not to speak out and organize efforts to rescue the victims. This doctor was ordered under threat of legal action to keep quiet about the mass victimization of children in “rape camps.”

Mexican children trafficked into brothels in Queens, NY:

Before the night is over, the girls of “Zona Rosa” - a notorious red-light district just a few blocks from the main tourist drag in this Mexican border town - will make as much as $250 each by selling sex. It’s cold-blooded sexual slavery - forced prostitution that began when they were kidnapped from their small towns in Mexico and Central America and smuggled through a dangerous corridor that leads into the United States. After they work their apprenticeships in Tijuana, many of the girls end up as sexual servants in New York’s illegal brothels.

As many as 17,500 sex slaves are smuggled into the United States each year, according to the latest federal statistics. One out of every three people trafficked into New York is forced into prostitution, according to Safe Horizon, a Manhattan-based human rights organization.

…During a recent trip to Zona Rosa, The News found dozens of cops standing by as hundreds of girls sold sex to strangers.

The Disappeared of Canada:

George Brown’s group documented a link between the disappeared women of the downtown eastside and the trans-pacific organ trafficking network based in China . According to sources within the network, at least a dozen women and men are abducted and murdered every month in Vancouver , their bodies disposed of in protected grave sites on the north shore, and their organs shipped overseas.

Most of the disappeared are homeless men, transient youth or sex trade workers.

unauthorized terrorist incident and worldwide tentacles of money laundering (hawala)

1. “terrorist” on a Dubai-bound plane incident in India brushed under the rug as a “family dispute” — sociopath son wants his dad’s property so pulls this stunt… oh that’s a little inconvenient for our war on terror. nevermind!!

That’s why Arif Khan laid the ‘terrorist on board’ trap for his father, who was on the same flight, say police; the latter has been detained

A son’s desire to see his father behind bars may have been behind the drama surrounding the Emirates flight yesterday. The Dubai-bound flight, with 356 passengers and crew on board, was grounded for four hours in Mumbai, after an anonymous phone call before takeoff warned about the presence of a ‘terrorist’ on board.

A businessman Shahbaz Khan and his wife Munira were detained. The MRA Marg police believe that the caller was none other than their son Arif, who is embroiled in a property dispute with them.

Sanjeev Kokil, senior police inspector, MRA Marg police station, said, “I am cent sure that the son has done this. If the Sahar police ask for our help, we will prove this. Arif, at regular intervals, comes out with a plan to frame his father, so that he can lay his hands on his property.”

Kokil added that when Shahbaz was contesting the Assembly elections in 2009 from Colaba “Arif made a call to the Election Commissioner, saying his father had a criminal background and should not be allowed to contest”.

Criminal record

Arif and his father are locked in a dispute over a flat belonging to Shahbaz, which is currently leased to a tenant. Arif was even sent to seven days’ police custody for stealing from the tenant’s home. Said Kokil, “In June 2009, he entered the tenant’s house and stole everything. He even put up his nameplate on the door, stating that he was the owner of the property.” When cops arrested Arif, he confessed.

The father and son have also registered a number of non cognizable complaints against each other.

“Shahbaz always helps the poor, helps them get treatment at local hospitals. His son has ruined him,” rued Kokil.

Neighbours say

When MiD DAY reached Arif’s house on Modi Street in Fort, a female family member said, “Shahbaz and Munira have gone to Dubai and Arif is not at home. When Arif returns, I’ll ask him to call you.”

A neighbour said, “Arif is stupid. All the people in the building are fed up of him. Wonder how the father is tolerating the son. He is always shouting at his father and disturbing the building.”

Another neighbour added, “Arif has not only given a bad name to his family, but also to the entire building.”

DCP Zone 8, Brijesh Singh said, “We cannot confirm any thing. Whether the arrested people are members of a  terrorist group or if the call was a hoax — everything is under investigation.”

A senior ATC official said, “We got a call from the airport manager around 9.55 am that a terrorist was on the flight and sent a message to the captain not to take off.”

An Emirates spokesperson said, “We handed over a passenger and his wife to the  police. We are cooperating with them.”

source: mid-day

2. India: IAS officer with 220 bank accounts, assets worth millions

An Indian Administrative Service Officer (IAS) in Chhattisgarh has been found to have a staggering 220 bank accounts and assets worth millions of rupees. This was revealed after the income tax department raided his residence here, official sources said on Saturday.

The IT department raided the houses of some IAS officers and businessmen in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the past two days. Chhattisgarh’s Bharatiya Janata Party government is waiting for a final report from the IT department about Agriculture Secretary BL Agrawal’s assets to initiate action against him. IT officials searched the residence of Agrawal as well as business establishments of his close relatives on Thursday. On Friday, the officials similarly raided his chartered account Sunil Agrawal’s house and came across documents suggesting that the IAS officer had amassed assets disproportionate to his known income.

The officer had at least 220 bank accounts, several of them opened on fake names and addresses, and a few in the names of his domestic helps.

Efforts to contact BL Agrawal failed. A man who answered his mobile telephone said Agrawal was busy in a meeting.

Income Tax department sources said they were analysing the documents and papers they seized. Some documents suggest he might be involved in hawala transactions, the sources said.

The Madhya Pradesh government had on Friday suspended a Bhopal-based IAS couple - women and child development department principal secretary Tinu Joshi and her husband Arvind Joshi, principal secretary of the jail and parliamentary affairs department. IT department found Rs three crore in unaccounted cash in a raid on their residence on Thursday. Brajesh Gupta, Director General of Investigations (I-T) for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, said bank notes stuffed in a suitcase were recovered from the residence of the couple.

source: mid-day

3. hawala transactions: part of money laundering
Hawala (also known as hundi) is an informal value transfer system based on the performance and honor of a huge network of money brokers, which are primarily located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and South Asia….In the most basic variant of the hawala system, money is transferred via a network of hawala brokers, or hawaladars. A customer approaches a hawala broker in one city and gives a sum of money to be transferred to a recipient in another, usually foreign, city. The hawala broker calls another hawala broker in the recipient’s city, gives disposition instructions of the funds (usually minus a small commission), and promises to settle the debt at a later date.

The unique feature of the system is that no promissory instruments are exchanged between the hawala brokers; the transaction takes place entirely on the honor system. As the system does not depend on the legal enforceability of claims, it can operate even in the absence of a legal and juridical environment. No records are produced of individual transactions; only a running tally of the amount owed by one broker to another is kept. Settlements of debts between hawala brokers can take a variety of forms, and need not take the form of direct cash transactions.

more @ wikipedia

also see: Interpol http://www.interpol.int/Public/FinancialCrime/MoneyLaundering/Hawala/default.asp

also see: IMF http://www.gdrc.org/icm/hawala.html

See? they know all about it.

4. India: SIFO (serious fraud investigation department) not all the serious — unlikely to get power to track funds parked abroad. that might impinge on the money laundering!

NEW DELHI: The government has said it is not considering to give the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) the powers to trail money stashed abroad by corporates.

A corporate fraud investigating body under the corporate affairs ministry (MCA), the SFIO has for long been seeking powers to carry out investigations abroad. The SFIO is one of the agencies probing the multi-crore Satyam scam on which it has submitted a 14,000-page report.
“Not just during Satyam, but even before that we have been asking the MCA to permit us to carry out investigations abroad. We cannot trail funds abroad, therefore, we could not completely probe the Satyam fraud,” an SFIO official said.

Set up in 2003, the government plans to give the SFIO more teeth in the new Companies Bill, which was tabled in Parliament last August. However, the government officials say allowing the SFIO to probe cases related to routing of money outside the country is not a part of the proposal.

When contacted, Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, “No, there is no proposal to allow the SFIO carry out investigations abroad. There is no point. We do not want duplication of work, as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are already equipped to do that job.”

Diversion of funds is a Companies Act violation, but when funds are hived off abroad it becomes a hawala transaction, and falls under the ambit of the ED, the minister explained.

The proposals to give the Serious Frauds Investigation Office more teeth for investigation, is mostly based on the recommendations of the V Vepa Kamesam Committee, Khurshid had earlier said. Giving the SFIO powers to trail money stashed away abroad is, however, not part of the committee’s suggestions.

The eight-member committee has suggested that the SFIO be given exclusive jurisdiction to probe and prosecute entities involved in financial frauds, besides also probing cases related erring entities/individuals like chartered accountants and company secretaries.

The committee is of the opinion that power of search and seizure, and attachment should be entrusted with the SFIO as available with the Income Tax authorities, Customs, Enforcement Directorate etc. It has also suggested that the SFIO be empowered to take up a case suo moto and even on a source-based information if a corporate fraud has been committed.

The committee has also called for the SFIO having flexibility to outsource the services of experts like chartered accountants, legal experts
etc and officers joining the investigating agency on deputation be ensured protection of their existing pay and allowances, sources said.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/SFIO-unlikely-to-get-power-to-track-funds-parked-abroad/articleshow/5546719.cms

5. 1/18/10: enough evidence to arrest hawala kingpin: Naresh Jain — linked to Dubai, Pakistan, Italy, Dawood Ibrahim

New Delhi: A Delhi court today said there was “sufficient material” with Narcotics Control Bureau to arrest alleged hawala kingpin Naresh Kumar Jain for his reported complicity in international drug trafficking trade.

“The accused has rightly been arrested. There is sufficient material to effect his arrest under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act,” additional sessions judge Sanjiv Jain said.

The court, which extended the judicial remand of Jain till February 1, trashed his plea that he has “wrongly” been arrested by NCB, that too at the instance of Enforcement Directorate (ED).

“The accused is involved in nefarious activities of drugs trade and money laundering… investigation has revealed that the proceeds of the drugs trade were being laundered through hawala banking,” Rajesh Manchanda, special public prosecutor for NCB, told the court.

Jain was being supported by Dubai-based Ahmed Parvez, a Pakistan national, who is now being prosecuted in Italy, in the hawala trade, the prosecutor claimed.

Besides NCB, ED has also filed a separate case against Jain under various provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for his alleged hawala transactions relating to proceeds of drugs trade.

Naveen Kumar Matta, special prosecutor for ED, had earlier informed another court that the probe into the money trail of Jain was at a “crucial” stage. Jain was arrested by NCB on December 6 last year for allegedly financing and transporting narcotic drugs.

The accused, who used to run M/s Kumar Trading Company in Dubai, was arrested there as well after it came to light that sale proceeds of drugs, running into several crores of rupees, were credited in the firm’s account, the ED had said.

The money was transferred into the account of the company from Europe, China and Africa, it said.

The accused was also under the surveillance of the US authorities which had confiscated $4.3 million from Jain in June last year, they added. It also alleged the accused had financed persons involved in drug syndicate in India and abroad.

He allegedly laundered money for global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and financed narcotic cells.

source: DNA india

6. 2/7/10: REMINISCENT OF HADJICOSTIS MURDER, gunmen kill Nepal media baron with alleged Dawood links in broad daylight near French, Indian and British embassies in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: Twelve years after Mirza Dilshad Beg, a controversial – and powerful – Nepali MP with links with Dawood Ibrahim and the ISI, was gunned down on a public road in Kathmandu by a rival gang, a Nepali media baron, also rumoured to have the same connexions, shared the same fate.

Jamim Shah, a Nepali of Kashmiri origin who headed the Space Time Network, was gunned down in broad daylight near the French Embassy in Kathmandu’s crowded Lazimpat area on Sunday, close to the Indian and British Embassies. Police told TNN two masked men on a motorcycle fired at Shah’s car around 2.55 pm, hitting both him and his chauffeur, Mathura Man Malakar. Shah, in his 40s, was shot in the chest and died while being treated at the nearby Teaching Hospital. Malakar has been hit in his left thigh.

Though police were informed about the number of the motorcycle, no arrests had been made till the time of writing this report. Shah ran the Channel Nepal television station that in 2000 instigated anti-India riots when it falsely reported Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan as saying that he hated Nepalis. Four people died in the violence that followed and scores of Indian shops and businesses came under attack. Though the channel was banned for some time, it was lifted once the furore receded.

Shah also ran a newspaper, Space Time, that carried anti-India propaganda. In 2004, he came under the ire of the Indian government who asked Nepal to freeze the assets of Space Time Network, alleging that it was funded by Dawood. Shah is also believed to have had ISI links. However, he had stoutly denied both allegations.

Shah’s killing comes after the arrest of Yunus Ansari, son of former Nepal minister Salim Miya Ansari. Ansari was caught recently after Nepal police busted a fake Indian currency network that ran from Karachi. Yunus Ansari is currently behind bars.

source: times of india

7. f**k India group on Facebook may be banned, complaint lodged with President’s office

Youtube videos belonging to India or Pakistan have been a favourite ground for warring groups from the two countries to vent their ire.Going by the war of words, one can easily imagine the fate of track two diplomacy. It shows that if such groups are let loose they will wage a bitter war than what the armies from both sides could achieve.
F**k India - a group on the social networking website, Facebook - has solicited a similar response.
The web page that shows “F**k India” written in the middle of the national tricolour says Pakistan Zindabad in its description.

But, as the anti-group is getting stronger with the membership going up by leaps and bounds, the web page may soon be banned.

Naresh Kadyan, an animal rights activist, has written to the President of India on February 7 demanding an immediate ban on the site, and has recommended corrective measures to the department concerned.

Forwarding the url link to the objectionable website, Kadyan, has written in his complaint : “I have seen many hate material on the web about India and our beloved leaders. Few years ago, I moved a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High court, seeking removal of vulgar content from Youtube. Following my plea, the controversial Gandhi pole dance was also removed from the Internet.”

“There are many communities on Facebook that spread hate against India, violating National Flag Code of India as well. Hence, you are requested to look into the matter for concerned authorities to take legal action against offenders and promoters. Both Orkut and Facebook may also be directed to filter such content,” the letter to the President read.

more @ source: mid-day

8. Africa: Atiku deals with the Mafia

Three months after his re-election as Nigeria’s Vice President, in August 2003, Atiku Abubakar was the guest of Domenico Gitto, who anonymous risk consultants and media sources say is a member of the Italian mafia clan Provenzano and owner of Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited. The meeting was held at Mr. Gitto’s home in Sicily, Italy.

This revelation, based on NEXT’s ongoing investigations into the connections between foreign interests and Nigerian politicians, also shows that a major fallout of Mr. Atiku’s visit was a significant jump in the fortunes of Gitto Construzioni which subsequently earned contracts worth over N100 billion from different tiers of government in Nigeria.

Mr. Atiku was accompanied on that trip by his wife, Jennifer Douglas Abubakar; two of his political associates, Boni Haruna, then governor of Adamawa State, and Musa Adede, a former senator; as well as two Italian business associates, Gabrielle Volpi, and Angelo Perucci, believed to be members of a different mafia family.

Garba Shehu, the former Vice President’s media officer told NEXT when contacted on this matter that “Atiku has always wanted more world renowned companies to compete for construction business in Nigeria” and that “When Gitto made an entry into the country, Intels of which he (Atiku) is a shareholder bought 5% stake. Intels became unhappy with Gitto at certain stage and decided to divest. That ended the relationship.”

The Gitto revelation further puts Mr. Atiku in a negative spotlight at a time when he is under harsh scrutiny for money laundering by congressional investigators in the United States.

Last Wednesday, the United States Senate’s permanent sub-committee on investigations, which is affiliated to the committee on homeland securities and intergovernmental affairs, stated in its report that “from 2000 to 2008, Ms. Douglas (Jennifer Abubakar) helped her husband (Atiku Abubakar) bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd.”

more @ next

ye poor olde unwitting money launderers

PROBLEM: MASSIVE SYSTEMIC AND ORGANIZED CORRUPTION BECOMING OBVIOUS.

REACTION: OH SHIT.

SOLUTION: ADMIT TO SOME OF IT AT MID-LEVEL (RULE OF LAW!!) AND TRY TO MOVE ON.

1. US report details money laundering

A suitcase containing $1 million in shrink-wrapped bills, hand-carried into New York by the former president of Gabon for his daughter to buy a Manhattan apartment. Purchases of a stretch Hummer H2 armored limousine and C-130 Hercules military transport planes for a civil war in Angola. And a shell company named Sweet Pink used to funnel millions of dollars into the United States from Equatorial Guinea.

These and other deals and money transfers took place in recent years because of inadequate controls on money laundering at large American banks and unregulated American lawyers, real estate agents and lobbyists, according to a Senate report released late Wednesday, Lynnley Browning reports in The New York Times.

The 325-page report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which will conduct a hearing on Thursday, sheds new light on how banks like Citigroup, Wachovia and Bank of America unwittingly shifted hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of African politicians, their relatives and associates.

…The report details how Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea, used lawyers, bankers, real estate agents and escrow agents, all Americans, from 2004 through 2008 to move more than $110 million into the United States, including $100 million through Wachovia and Citibank.

Mr. Obiang, the subject of a criminal investigation into charges of money laundering, bribery and extortion, also employed Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, a law firm now known as Sidley Austin, to help him buy a $38.5 million Gulfstream G-5 jet in 2005, the report says.

Janet Zagorin, a spokeswoman for the firm, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The report says two American lawyers, Michael Berger and George Nagler, helped Mr. Obiang circumvent controls at the banks by setting up accounts for shell companies with names like Beautiful Vision, Unlimited Horizon and Sweet Pink, named on honor of the rapper Eve, Mr. Obiang’s girlfriend at the time.

more @ nytimes

2. Atiku, of Nigeria, in money laundering scandal

Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Vice President, and his wife Jennifer Douglas, received and laundered over six billion naira in corruption money through several American banks, the United States Senate announced yesterday in Washington DC.

The revelation was contained in a 330-page report of the U.S. Senate’s permanent sub-committee on investigations, a part of the Homeland Securities and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee which investigated the use of offshore companies to bring what was called “dirty money” into the United States.

According to the report, in the eight years that Mr. Abubakar was vice president, “from 2000 to 2008, Mr. Abubakar and Ms. Douglas used a network of accounts at U.S. financial institutions to bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, through multiple wire transfers supplied by offshore corporations located in Germany, Nigeria, Panama, the British Virgin Islands, and Switzerland.”

A Munich court in 2007 found Siemens guilty of paying bribes to top Nigerian government officials in order to obtain four telecommunications projects, and fined the company $248million.

The report detailed the profile of a totally clueless Ms. Douglas, cast merely as a money guzzling machine which had no notion of the sources and the health of the money she so enthusiastically helped to launder into the United States financial system.

“When her banks asked about these corporations, Ms. Douglas consistently told them that she was unfamiliar with the nature of the offshore corporations sending her money.”

When the banks became suspicious of her activities and decided to close her accounts, the former vice president’s wife simply closed the accounts and opened new ones in different banks, the committee found out. “Over time, as each financial institution began to ask questions about the offshore corporations sending her funds and decided to close her accounts, she opened new accounts at other financial institutions, at times with the assistance of her U.S. lawyer, Edward Weidenfeld.”

more @ next

3. HSBC, BOA moved “suspect”  Angola funds, study says

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Bank of America Corp. didn’t raise enough questions about how an Angolan arms dealer now in prison moved millions of dollars in “suspect” funds to the U.S., says a Senate report on corrupt foreign money entering the country.

HSBC Holdings Plc also gave an Angolan bank, Banco Africano de Investimentos, “ready access to the U.S. financial system” during the past decade although the bank failed to identify all of its owners and couldn’t provide written anti-money-laundering policies, the report said. Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria, has a history of corruption.

The report described weaknesses in the U.S. anti-money- laundering system that requires banks to raise red flags when foreign officials and their relatives and associates move money. It analyzed how such “politically exposed persons,” or PEPs, from four oil-rich African nations circumvented safeguards. One was Pierre Falcone, the Angolan arms dealer now in prison in France.

…BAI resisted repeated attempts by HSBC in the past decade to determine the exact ownership structure of the bank, according to the report. In all, HSBC couldn’t determine the owner of 19.5 percent of BAI’s shares, according to the report.

“HSBC takes compliance matters very seriously,” said spokeswoman Juanita Gutierrez in an e-mailed statement. “HSBC’s record demonstrates a commitment to vigorous enforcement and continuous enhancement of anti-money-laundering policies and practices.”

HSBC also conducted a business venture with Falcone in Angola through their joint ownership from 1997 to 2004 of Triang Ltd., a trucking operation that transported fuel for the Angolan diamond industry, according to the report.

more @ bloomberg


while you were out

Joint Statement on Nigeria by the US and the EU, January 30, 2010

We express our deep regret at the recent violence and tragic loss of lives in Jos, and extend our sympathies to the bereaved and injured.

We urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria.

We call on the federal government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice and to support interethnic and interfaith dialogue.
Nigeria is one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a member of the UN Security Council, a global oil producer, a leader in ECOWAS, a major peacekeeping contributing country, and a stabilizing force in West Africa. Nigeria’s stability and democracy carry great significance beyond its immediate borders.We therefore extend our support to the people of Nigeria during the current period of uncertainty, caused by President Yar’Adua’s illness. We extend our best wishes to the president and his family, and join the Nigerian people in wishing him a full recovery.
Nigeria has expressed its resolve to adhere to constitutional processes during this difficult time. We commend that determination to address the current situation through appropriate democratic institutions. Nigeria’s continued commitment and adherence to its democratic norms and values are key to addressing the many challenges it faces, including electoral reform, post-amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, economic development, inter-faith discord and transparency. The gubernatorial elections in Anambra on 6 February will be a milestone in the journey towards electoral reform and a signal of Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of democracy.
We are committed to continue working with Nigeria on the internal issues it faces while working together as partners on the global stage.

Signed: US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton; British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband; French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner; EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, London, United Kingdom

Translation: You are going down. Make it look believable. Kiss kiss hug hug, your friends at the NWO. Our motto: One big happy family!

^^^^^^^

First let’s review what our esteemed leaders cite as the CAUSE of Nigeria’s problems: Yar’Adua’s illness.

As reported in The Guardian on January 8, 2010, Nigeria’s president has literally been missing for 45 days (now 68 days). Allegedly he went to Saudi Arabia for treatment of a health problem, without telling anyone, and he hasn’t been heard from since. Just up and left, he did. His absence has paralyzed the Nigerian government at a time of severe crisis. A constitutional crisis at the worst possible time, dragging on interminably. Nobody seems to have any power to unstick the problem.

How convenient is that? I suggest that it is exceedingly convenient for some people — who you might guess would be the sorts of people who like chaos and instability — while being impossibly inconvenient for Nigerians.

After all, Nigeria is a critically important country in West Africa, and West Africa is a critically important component in various contrived narratives driving our world to the brink of destruction. One need only look at the joint US and UN statement to realize that if Nigeria falls apart politically, it becomes a blow-up doll for the NWO mind-fuckers. That is why Hillary and friends very properly encourage the Nigerians to cross every democratic t and dot every democratic i, and color within the lines at all times please (rule of law rule of law), while they hope and pray for Yar’Adua’s “full recovery.” Surely they have also heard that:

President Umaru Yar’Adua is seriously brain damaged, is not able to recognise anyone, including his wife Turai, and can no longer perform the functions of the office of the president, according to multiple sources who have spoken to NEXT on Sunday.

That was two weeks ago. For all we know he may not even be alive.

But nobody wants to talk about that. They might loosen the log-jam. And the log-jam happens to be useful because it breeds chaos.

^^^^^^^

Yesterday in Nigeria, a militant group called MEND called off a truce with the paralyzed Nigerian government. I guess that was to be expected, given the log-jam.

The main militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta called off its cease-fire with the government Saturday morning, dealing a potential death blow to a presidential amnesty program aimed at ending violence that has crippled production in the West African nation.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta issued a statement saying it would no longer abide by the unconditional Oct. 25 cease-fire President Umaru Yar’Adua had negotiated with the group. The militants warned oil producers with pipelines and personnel working in the creeks and swamps of the Delta that it would wage an “an all-out onslaught” against them.

The MEND “warns all oil companies to halt operations as any operational installation attacked will be burnt to the ground,” the statement read. “Oil companies are responsible for the safety and welfare of their workers and will bear the guilt should any harm come upon their staff in the event of an attack.”

The group added: “Nothing will be spared.”

Militants in the Niger Delta have attacked pipelines, kidnapped petroleum company employees and fought government troops since January 2006. They demand that the federal government send more oil-industry funds to Nigeria’s southern region, which remains poor despite five decades of oil production.

In response, Shell has decided to sell off some assets in the Niger Delta. Chevron announced that 20,000 barrels of oil per day had been shut in due to sabotage threats.

According to Reuters:

The rebel group [MEND] was severely weakened after its senior leaders and thousands of others accepted clemency and disarmed under a presidential amnesty which ended last October. It is unclear who is now running the group.

Candidates include:

Ateke Tom: A former gang leader in Rivers State in the eastern Niger Delta for around a decade, Ateke Tom set up the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV), one of several groups to enjoy strong backing from politicians who used them to help rig elections….Security sources say he was also heavily involved in oil bunkering, a lucrative trade in industrial quantities of stolen crude smuggled onto the international market.

Farah Dagogo: Also based in Rivers state, Dagogo started out as a top commander loyal to former militant leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, whose Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force turned over thousands of weapons in return for amnesty in 2004.

Government Tompolo: He was responsible in particular for attacks on Chevron and thought to be a major oil bunkerer. Security forces used helicopters and gunboats to attack his camps around Warri, capital of Delta state, last May.

Well, it was awfully good of those chaps to give such clear and menacing warnings so that the oil company people can get out of the way. Let’s give credit where credit is due. I mean, *some* terrorists would just go right in there and start firing away, bombing wedding parties and marketplaces, and killing a bunch of innocent people. You know what I’m saying?

All the same, Something Must Be Done.

^^^^^^^

Actually, there was a peculiar incident last week in the Niger Delta. (map from wikipedia, click to enlarge)

A helicopter flying from Bonny to Port Harcourt crashed on Tuesday afternoon at Isiokpo, near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, killing all four persons aboard….The zonal coordinator of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Emenike Umesi, said the four occupants comprised two pilots and two engineers, said to be of Lieutenant Commander Rank.

The NEMA chief, in charge of the south-south zone, said the aircraft took off from Bonny, which is home to the Liquefied Natural Gas plant….Security agents at the accident scene however said naval personnel recovered “some vital documents” at the scene.

Vital documents?

Addressing journalists on the incident, Naval spokesperson, Commodore David Nabaida, said the names and identities of four dead naval officers were the Pilot of the Helicopter, Lt Commodore Ahmed Tijani Yusuf with official number NNL/2071; Co-Pilot, Lt Commodore Ahmadu Yahaya; Lt Commodore Mailafia Ibrahim, who is the Base Intelligence Officer, Delta and Seaman Illiya Uyuhili, the aircraft’s technician.

…He said the aircraft was on a routine patrol, to investigate a case of illegal bunkering around Akasa and had left from its Warri base and after carrying out its surveillance, was to go to Port Harcourt Airport to refuel before returning to its base but crashed a few kilometers to the airport.

Asked whether there was any connection of the crash with the remnant of militants still operating in the creeks, Nabaida said: “Absolutely not; as I told you, we were at the site of the aircraft accident, the President’s amnesty programme has been working, beside, there is nothing that shows that the crash is connected with anything militancy”.

Riiight. So even though two of the three possible suspected candidates who might be running MEND have been involved in oil bunkering in the past, there’s absolutely no reason to suspect that a naval helicopter investigating oil bunkering would be shot down by said militants, a couple of days before they called off their truce no less.

^^^^^^^

In February 2007, National Geographic published a piece about the Niger Delta.

Nigeria had all the makings of an uplifting tale: poor African nation blessed with enormous sudden wealth. Visions of prosperity rose with the same force as the oil that first gushed from the Niger Delta’s marshy ground in 1956….
Everything looked possible—but everything went wrong.

Dense, garbage-heaped slums stretch for miles. Choking black smoke from an open-air slaughterhouse rolls over housetops. Streets are cratered with potholes and ruts. Vicious gangs roam school grounds. Peddlers and beggars rush up to vehicles stalled in gas lines. This is Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub, capital of Rivers state, smack-dab in the middle of oil reserves bigger than the United States’ and Mexico’s combined. Port Harcourt should gleam; instead, it rots.

Beyond the city, within the labyrinth of creeks, rivers, and pipeline channels that vein the delta—one of the world’s largest wetlands—exists a netherworld. Villages and towns cling to the banks, little more than heaps of mud-walled huts and rusty shacks. Groups of hungry, half-naked children and sullen, idle adults wander dirt paths. There is no electricity, no clean water, no medicine, no schools. Fishing nets hang dry; dugout canoes sit unused on muddy banks. Decades of oil spills, acid rain from gas flares, and the stripping away of mangroves for pipelines have killed off fish.

Nigeria has been subverted by the very thing that gave it promise—oil, which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s export earnings and 80 percent of its revenue.

The sense of relentless crisis has deepened since last year, when a secretive group of armed, hooded rebels operating under the name of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, intensified attacks on oil platforms and pumping stations, most operated by Shell Nigeria.

With each disruption, the daily price of oil on the world market climbed. According to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, escalating violence in a region teeming with angry, frustrated people is creating a “militant time bomb.”
Isaac Asume Osuoka, director of Social Action, Nigeria, believes that callousness toward the people of the delta stems from their economic irrelevance. “With all the oil money coming in, the state doesn’t need taxes from people. Rather than being a resource for the state, the people are impediments. There is no incentive anymore for the government to build schools or hospitals.”I can say this,” Osuoka said firmly. “Nigeria was a much better place without oil.”

Well, that’s just it. The poor people happen to be in the way, from the perspective of the very important people who would like to go about extracting Nigeria’s natural resources in peace and quiet, thank you very much.

No one can deny the sheer technological achievement of building an infrastructure to extract oil from a waterlogged equatorial forest. Intense swampy heat, nearly impenetrable mangrove thickets, swarming insects, and torrential downpours bedevil operations to this day. But mastering the physical environment has proved almost simple compared with dealing with the social and cultural landscape. The oil firms entered a region splintered by ethnic rivalries.

Ahh, yes, the impossible to please poor people and their interminable “ethnic rivalries.” That’s always a good justification. That way when the oil companies go in there to take over the natural resources and make life next to impossible for people who lived off the land, without providing any consolation prizes like electricity or clean water or schools or medicine, those damn poor people are bound to get all uppity and start causing trouble. Happens every time.

Who could have predicted??

“After 50 years, the oil companies are still searching for a way to operate successfully with communities,” says Antony Goldman, a London-based risk consultant. The delta is littered with failed projects started by oil companies and government agencies—water tanks without operating pumps, clinics with no medicine, schools with no teachers or books, fishponds with no fish. “The companies didn’t consult with villagers,” says Michael Watts, director of the African Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley. “They basically handed out cash to chiefs. It wasn’t effective at all.”

A fifty fucking years learning curve? How about they know exactly what they’re doing. How about they do this on purpose. It’s a critical part of the business model to make the land inhospitable so that the people die or leave. The People Are In The Way. OK? That’s what’s going on. And everybody involved knows it. That’s why Hillary Clinton had to complain about all the corruption in Nigeria just this last week. It’s UNBELIEVABLE she says, making sure to mention patsy underpants. Yes, those corrupt Africans. Where do they get off?

^^^^^^^

Well, it’s like this. Those corrupt African leaders hook up with corrupt leaders from The West. One big happy family. Even Lev Leviev.

1. Former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo came under fire for selecting Yar’Adua, knowing him to be sickly. He vehemently denied this. Perish the thought.

2. But, last May US investigators asserted that Obasanjo and others took millions of dollars in bribes from American and European contractors, including Halliburton, to allow the companies to build a liquid natural gas plant in Bonny. This scandal goes back years and ensnares various countries and Important People of The West.

3. Another of the accused in that very scandal, Sani Abacha, has been fighting Swiss authorities for ten years over an estimated three billion dollars misappropriated from Nigeria and stashed in Swiss bank accounts. The money laundering case has dragged on for so long with the help of people in London and elsewhere (see time line here). The Swiss authorities ordered $350 million to be returned to Nigeria last week. An unnamed person in Monaco has been charged.

4. France would like to invest in Imo state (look at the map), to help Nigeria branch out from their dependence on oil and gas. More like a twig than a branch…

5. Nigeria and Angola vie for top petroleum producer spot, and Angola has been able to pull ahead in 2009 due to the violence in Nigeria. Lucky break for the Angola investors.

6. Angola hydrocarbon sector investors: Lev Leviev, China, India…

7. To insure that all these deals will go along smoothly, Angola’s parliament prepares to expand the powers of the president, making him head of state, head of government, and head of the armed forces. The new constitution eliminates the position of prime minister and adds a vice president. VPs are always very useful. And the president may serve two five year terms. All of which contrasts markedly from the situation in Nigeria.

So it looks like Nigeria will be violently dismantled and reassembled somewhere down the road, after the “militants” take over the place and wreck havoc, and tie into some drug smuggling or terrorist operations against The People of The West, justifying some military intervention or something.

And Angola will go on to a brighter future, perhaps marred by the occasional terrorist incident but otherwise firmly in the grip of a sponsored dictatorship.

That’s how it goes in the big happy family.

tracing a twisting, snaking tentacle

Architecture plays a role in how we perceive the world. As does art. You could say that public art and architecture set the stage. Or maybe it’s a table. Or maybe an altar.

Architectural exhibits in Millennium Park designed by London-based Zaha Hadid and Amsterdam-based Ben van Berkel of UNStudio emphasize the importance of boldly imagining a better future for all. Both are intended to echo the audacity of the 1909 Burnham Plan, which proclaimed, “What we as a people decide to do in the public interest we can and surely will bring to pass.”

Architecture for the rich is booming business, especially in Asia. Evidently wealth has been flowing to Asia for years.

Tucked away from the noisy, choked traffic on Sukhumvit Road near Ekamai, Mr Bensley’s office is flooded with work commissioned by kings, governments and tycoons. He says there has been no slowdown since he set up shop here [Thailand] 20 years ago. From the 1997 Asian crisis through to the collapse of Wall Street last year, there has not been a minute of stoppage at his shop. “In fact, the opposite is true,” says the towering figure.

Important new art comes onto the world scene regularly, like this week even.

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present two important sculptures by Richard Serra. Related in both form and scale, Blind Spot (2002-2003) and Open Ended (2007-2008) entail similar concentric structures, each consisting of six weatherproof steel plates. Open Ended was recently exhibited at Gagosian Gallery in London in 2008. The upcoming exhibition brings both sculptures together for the first time.

Opening reception: Tuesday, October 27th, from 6 to 8pm, Gagosian Gallery 522 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011

Ha, they sort of look like eyes. Probably just a coincidence. (wink wink wink)

But sometimes antiquities gets stolen. Thank goodness the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement “is committed to working closely with foreign governments to find and return stolen works of art and antiquities to their rightful owners.”

Investigating officials have identified a large smuggling organization that appears to have moved items out of Italy to other locations in Europe from which they were smuggled into the United States. Typically, the items were then sold through antiquities galleries in the United States to obscure their origins before introducing them into major auction houses. The illicit proceeds of the sales were then laundered back to the source countries. The trail of these two seized items started in Italy, moved to Geneva, and then, according to the evidence uncovered so far, arrived in Beverly Hills. The gallery involved in the sale of these items has been associated with other looted materials that have ultimately been repatriated to their source countries.

Hmm. Money laundering through antiquities. OK well, there are several galleries in Beverly Hills. They seem to be specialized. This one specializes in Asian art, and business is booming. Lucky huh? Must be because of the booming Asian economy that keeps Bensley so busy.

I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers is a family owned and operated auction house based in Beverly Hills. Run by Asian Art expert Isadore M. Chait, with over 35 years of experience. Due to the high demand of clients, I.M. Chait Auctions has expanded from solely Asian art auctions into fine art, paintings, modern art, European and American furniture, jewelry, and even natural history while still maintaining the same stellar reputation and expertise that clients have seen for so many years.

I wonder if this is the same unnamed gallery that ICE says has been “associated with other looted materials that have ultimately been repatriated to their source countries.” ?? Nah. This looks like a big shop, very prestigious. Prestigious family owned businesses don’t get involved in things like money laundering and looting, and even if they did, the authorities would catch them and stop them, RIGHT? Right. The ICE knows the gallery in question, and this gallery is still up and running, so they can’t be the same gallery. I mean, that would be…like…corruption, you know? Nah.

But, kind of weirdly, a person named Isadore M. Chait became the President of the Cult Awareness Network back around 1997. Do you think there’s another person named Isadore M. Chait milling around? Hmm. That’s kind of strange seeing as Isadore M. Chait is a world-renowned Asian art expert. Or is it the same guy (or woman)? Cult awareness? That’s a totally different pail of worms we’re talking about mind control. What on earth would an Asian art expert know about mind control? It can’t possibly be the same person.

Well anyway, this Cult Awareness Network (CAN) got into some trouble and had to come under new management. (scroll down to Scientology)

Shortly after the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, the Cult Awareness Network, which has long battled cults, sent reporters a list of “experts” on the subject. One of them, J. Gordon Melton, is considered by many cult foes to be an apologist for the groups. Melton, who has written extensively on cults and religions, has come out in defense of Aum, the Japanese cult linked to the gassing of a Tokyo subway in March 1995 that killed twelve people, and the Church of Scientology has asked him to testify in court on its behalf. What’s more, Melton, whom CAN identified as “executive director, Institute for the Study of American Religions, University of California, Santa Barbara,” is not a professor at the school; he works in the library.

Why would CAN list someone known to be a sympathetic to these groups? “We have a different philosophy here now,” says Isadore Chait, CAN’s new director. “We’re an information source on religions.” He adds that Melton has written “the authoritative book on religions in America.”

Chait was appointed after CAN lost a recent lawsuit, went bankrupt, and saw its name, logo, and hot line bought by a Scientologist.

“We figured this would happen,” says a source. “The foxes are guarding the henhouse.” Brief news item. Esquire, Jun ‘97, p20.

Um, o-kay. Mr. Source doesn’t seem too impressed with the CAN. So Chait came in to reform the CAN but maybe they have a little mission-creep there. The cult awareness network is now an information source on religions. ??? That seems to put cults and religions into one big bucket called ‘it’s all good.’ Hmm. I’m not so sure about that, it seems a little conflationary to treat all cults as religions. Well let’s just see what they say in their new first newsletter back in 1997.

http://www.cultawarenessnetwork.org/update/001.001.html

The old CAN, after being fined $1,000,000 for their part in the deprogramming of a Pentecostal Christian (rather than make any reparation for the harm they had done), voluntarily declared bankruptcy in June of 1996. The name CAN and its hotline number went on the auction block that October. At the sale were CAN’s former Executive Director and an attorney representing diverse individuals and groups. Apparently abandoned by their financial backers, CAN stopped bidding at one point and the attorney walked away owning the name and hotline. He has since licensed the use of the name and hotline to the Foundation for Religious Freedom, a non-profit public-benefit corporation run by a multi-faith Board.

The new CAN provides factual information about religions of all kinds [even cults! - ed.] and reconciles families. Read on to get briefed on some of the new CAN’s results.

Reading on…a letter from the management:

Dear Friends, This past year has been a true success! We’ve had over 4,000 hotline calls from all over the US and as far away as Germany, Denmark, Japan, and Venezuela; dozens of reconciliations and mediations; 2,000 visits to the CAN website; hundreds of new members; and many dozens of professionals agreeing to act as qualified referrals for the new CAN.

Now that the Cult Awareness Network is in the hands of the Foundation for Religious Freedom, people are being encouraged daily to get factual information, stay in communication and reconcile family situations. And this is why we’re here: to stop the hate between people over religious reasons. In this newsletter, you’ll find some examples we felt were worth sharing.

After all, America was built on religious freedom and everyone has the right to their own choice of faith.

We intend to spread this message further in 1998.

Sincerely,

Rev. George Robertson
Chairman of the Board
Foundation for Religious Freedom

Isadore M. Chait
President
Cult Awareness Network

Oh who can argue with stopping hate. Don’t you want to stop hate? Yes of course everyone should just stop fighting over religion! There’s nothing wrong with Scientology for instance. If your child wants to join the “church” of Scientology you should be supportive not hateful and judgmental, bitch, and if you’re having some trouble with that just call the CAN and they’ll talk you through it, ‘kay sweetie? Not sure why but the CAN newsletter is written in that phony cloying happy-talk style, totally condescending, which means either they’re idiots or they think their readers are. But not to worry because CAN works with professionals, and professionals aren’t idiots as proven by the plaques on their walls.

In November, religious scholars met in San Francisco for their annual conference. A CAN representative also visited one of the meetings and briefed scholars on the latest activities at CAN. Some of the many scholars she met with (in addition to several of those mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter) included: Catherine Wessinger of Loyola University, Constance A. Jones of the California Institute of Integral Studies, Judith Linzer, a Ph.D. and Rabbinical scholar, and Robert Ellwood of the University of Southern California. Each of the scholars she briefed were very happy and willing to agree to act as professional referrals for the new CAN!

…To handle over 4,000 calls in less than one year, concerning nearly every religion imaginable, CAN has created a network around the country of over 100 true religious experts to whom we refer callers. These experts help individuals and families by providing factual [emphasis in original] information to help them understand each other’s beliefs.

Yeah. Ok. Kumbaya we’re all one big happy family I guess, right? Right. Hey and if you kids don’t stop fighting over religion dad will pull the car over and take all your religions away, and you’ll just have ONE religion, the one dad likes, and that will teach you to fight over religion. Here take your toy weapons and go back to playing jihadis against the crusaders. Damn kids.

Anyway, getting back to Scientology and the CAN, evidently some CAN members in charge of “deprogramming” were also Scientologists, and they got in some legal trouble and had to be disavowed by the CAN.

Members of Cult Awareness Network (CAN), responding to the widespread public concern over planned kidnappings in the Du Pont trial, have publicly apologized to all victims of CAN-related “deprogrammings” and declared their determination to bring reforms to the organization.

The reformers, who number over 288 CAN members from around the country say they are shocked at the support and encouragement given to criminal deprogrammers by CAN executives. In their public statement, they warn that “deprogramming involves violent kidnapping, physical and mental brutalisation, brainwashing, denial of food and sleep, enforced drugging and sexual abuse to force another to abandon deeply held beliefs.”

In the ongoing criminal trial, E. Newbold Smith, Don Moore, Galen Kelly and Bob Point are accused of plotting to abduct Smith’s 36-year-old son Lewis du Pont Smith, and his wife. The plan was lure the son away using a woman, kidnap him and then “deprogram” him away from involvement with the Lyndon Larouche organization.

A secret tape played in court by the prosecution has linked the alleged conspirators with Cult Awareness Network. In one tape, defendant Moore admitted that he was working for CAN.

Cynthia Kisser, CAN’s national director, has publicly stated that defendant E. Newbold Smith is a member of CAN. A third defendant, Galen Kelly, was CAN’s security officer and was employed by them during the period he committed several recent kidnappings and helped to plan the Du Pont one.

In their public statement, the CAN reform members state that “No man or woman has the right to deprive another of liberty and then seek, through harassment and brutality, to enforce his repudiation of deeply held beliefs. Therefore, to those whose mental and/or physical health has been destroyed by hired thugs called deprogrammers, who pocket thousands of dollars in exchange for wrecking, often forever, the lives of innocent people and their families, we express our profound regret.”

The statement concludes with a determination to “to reform Cult Awareness Network so that it disavows criminal actions, dismisses from its staff all those who continue to support deprogramming, and embarks on its lawful program to educate the public on their religious rights and responsibilities.”

The California Superior Court in Los Angeles yesterday found that ei? (eight?) of the reformers, who are also members of the Church of Scientology, had “acted as a catalyst in changing the unlawful conduct of defendants (CAN).” Spokesman for the reform group, Glenn Barton said today, “Cult Awareness Network has already come under investigation by the FBI for its connections to the deprogrammings.”

“Five-time convicted felon Ted Patrick, the founder of deprogramming had a profound influence on CAN. Currently deprogrammer Joe Szimhart is awaiting trial in connnection with a kidnapping in ??ise, (Boise?) Idaho. During the Network have keen arrested for their violations of the law. These include Szimhart, Randall Burkey, Mary Alice Chrnalogar and Karen Reinhardt. This kidnapping-for-profit ring is actively supported and encouraged by Cult Awareness Network executives.”

Barton said the reformers are prepared to use the the media, the co? and the public to bring about Meaningful refom of CAN.

Oh, wow. Nice organization, whose cloying language targets vulnerable people having family conflicts, aiming to suck them in and give them the “support” of “professionals,” who may or may not be felons or Scientologists, and who may or may not attempt kidnappings and violent “deprogramming” operations on their loved ones.

Let’s pause. So far we have traced a single tentacle from the rarefied atmosphere of the elite art world in Asia and New York, to money laundering via stolen antiquities in Beverly Hills, to the Cult Awareness Network and its legal troubles, to the ordinary world of struggling people looking for help with family problems over cults — I mean “religions.” And what do we find here but some thugs caught plotting to kidnap Lewis DuPont Smith and his wife — heirs to the DuPont family fortune — to deprogram them from the Lyndon LaRouche “cult” using violent deprogramming methods bequeathed from five-time convicted felon Tim Patrick. Allright?? I’m sorry, this is just how it turned out. I wasn’t planning such a crazy post and I’m not sure I have this all straight, I’m just following along.

http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/religious-experts/false-experts/ted-patrick/

Patrick worked to make kidnapping and assault appear socially acceptable. As long as the crime was directed against individuals whose beliefs could be made to seem odd or unusual to the rest of society, any common thug could earn substantial sums simply by billing himself a “deprogrammer.”

Patrick’s past reveals that he comes from a background which made him no stranger to crime. Patrick’s father opted for the lucrative profession of pickup man for local mobsters running the numbers racket. Patrick began earning his living as a professional kidnapper and hired thug, targeting members of various religions for violent “deprogrammings.”

Patrick has asserted that religions recruit members by hypnotizing them on the spot with “beams” emanating from the knees and elbows and other parts of the body. This to Patrick classified a potential victim as a “mindless robot” and fair game for violent tactics.

But wait there’s more. This is from a website highly critical of LaRouche:

http://dennis-king.org/aids.htm

LaRouche worked out his ideology and tactics in the late 1970s, in a series of books and articles with such titles as The Case of Walter Lippman, The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites, and A Machiavellian Solution for Israel. In these tracts and in writings by several of LaRouche’s top lieutenants, history was depicted as a struggle for the true human race to assert itself against the degenerative influence of assorted subhumans such as Jews, gays, Freemasons, witches, Jesuits, and (most recently) the Slavs behind the Iron Curtain.

The subhumans, according to LaRouche and company, are led by an “evil species” outside the human race: the “Zionist-British organism.” To defeat this ancient enemy and save humanity, LaRouche taught, it is necessary to have a “grand design” in the spirit of Alexander the Great, Frederick Barbarossa, and other conquerors who marched East. His own grand design included setting up a dictatorship in America, purging the “Jewish lobby” from public life, and preparing for “total war.”

It was classic neo-Nazism, but even disguised in code words and metaphor it could hardly be sprung directly on the public. LaRouche began to experiment with ways to inject it indirectly. He launched a “war on drugs” which appeared legitimate until you read the fine print and saw that it was really a war on rich Jews and Zionists (controllers, in LaRouchian mythology, of the world drug traffic). He launched a campaign for “beam weapons.” but when you examined this one closely, you saw that the messianic rhetoric and call for trillion-dollar programs had little to do with President Reagan’s “Star Wars” program, being more akin to the old Hitlerite formula of total mobilization for total war.

Aha, we are deep in the rabbit hole now, but, perhaps you can see why Lewis needed to be rescued. After all, the DuPonts have a long family history and they can’t have their heirs going off the reservation.

Sitting down to write about the du Pont’s reminded me of two other families. Recently, John Coleman, a researcher on the elite, commented to me that when he had researched the Queen of Denmark he had discovered that the royal Danish family was slipping away secretly from everyone and they were going to Satanic rituals. It is also noteworthy that 5 modern kings of Denmark have been the leaders of Freemasonry in Denmark, and the Danish royal family, princes etc. have been active Masons. John Dale wrote a book The Prince and The Paranormal which goes into the secret occult activities of the British royal family, especially Prince Charles, but also many other royal family members too. Besides the secret occult activities of the British Monarch, they have been openly leaders of Freemasonry ( see the Appendix of Be Wise As Serpents for a detailed chart on this.) The du Ponts are similar to these families in that they too are a dynasty, they too have a very public image, and they too have a totally hidden life. In fact, the du Ponts have better control over the press’s coverage of them than the British Royal Family.

One of the clues that the family is a top Satanic family are the frequency of marriages between relatives of the du Pont descendants. Few people are aware of the immense importance bloodlines play in the upper levels of Satanism. Blood is believed to carry the occult power. Unless a person has the correct blood he or she will not rise to the highest levels of Satanism. The du Ponts have intermarried with the Balls and the Gardners. These other families are known to be involved with the Illuminati and Satanism. For instance George W. Ball is on the important permanent steering committee of the Bilderbergers and has attended the Bilderberger meetings that I know of starting with the original first meeting in 1954, plus in 1955, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1975. George W. Ball is also a member of CFR and the Trilateral Commission. Eliza Cazenove (Gardner was a sister to a du Pont.) Iorsey Cazenove (Gardner was a distant cousin. Will Gardner and Bessie Gardner duPont were cousins of the duPonts. John W. (Gardner is a 60 Illuminatus and in charge of the Rockefeller Bros. Fund. I have found the (Gardners in the thick of Satanism and witchcraft.)

I’ll leave it there for now.