The local scammers are only puppets on a string, the puppet masters are the Eastern European criminal dons with interests in everything from weapons' smuggling to drug peddling, finds LAWRENCE SERETSE
Have you ever heard of EurexTrade? It is a company registered in 2004 in Panama and owned by three companies - Ireland & Overseas Acquisitions Ltd, Milltown Corporate Services Ltd and Inhold Ltd.According to an investigation published in 2009 by the Small Arms Survey (SAS) in Switzerland, Mike Lewis, the author of the SAS report, revealed that Milltown Corporate Services and Ireland & Overseas Acquisitions Ltd were British Virgin Islands-registered companies. He mentions that these two companies play a role in many different cases and are always associated with Latvians Erik Vanagels and Stan Gorin, as president and treasurer.
The full extent of the money laundering international Vanagels Connection have been reported in Economic Crime Intelligence to have extensive dealings with several East European countries like Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania and Russia, covering everything from illicit arms exports, Internet piracy, oil/gas/electricity related corruption, financial frauds, counterfeit pharmaceutical products, massive cyber criminality, drug peddling and some of their customers include Asiatic Hoa Le Duc's Mafia or the Mexicam Sinaloa drug cartel.
Online archives list Vanagels and Gorin as president and treasurer of two other Panamanian companies called Systemo AG and Cascado AG. Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reveals that Cascado AG's president was the Latvian proxy Vanagels and the treasurer was fellow Latvian proxy Gorin. Systemo AG had the same two proxies only with their titles reversed.These two companies have been reported to own another Panamanian company, Waterlux AG, which officially owned a ship that was intercepted by Somali pirates in September 2008 carrying weapons. The ship was on its way from Odessa to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the reports have said.
The ship carried 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns and five containers of AK47 assault rifles. This unofficial arms consignment was destined for the rebel government of South Sudan. Sudan was then under the EU arms embargo.Vanagels and Gorin, who own the company that owns Eurextrade, signed the contract for this consignment.
"The people behind EurexTrade appear to be gun-runners." Consumer Rights activist and Mmegi columnist Richard Harriman had said.It also appears that the same two companies were behind a defunct Ponzi scheme called Rockford Funding that the US Securities and Exchange Commission claimed had stolen over USD10 million from "investors" and transferred to banks in Latvia. They've also been involved
The Mysterious Vanagels and Gorin
An investigation by OCCRP revealed in their publication that Gorin, Vanagels, and Vitman are linked as directors and shareholders for hundreds of companies in the UK, New Zealand, US, Ireland, and Cyprus as well as companies in classic offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands and Panama. The companies they control in turn serve as the directors or shareholders of hundreds or perhaps even thousands of more companies.The omnipresent companies are involved in dozens of lower level import-export invoice fraud and sub-invoicing cases in Russia and other CIS countries. Typically these are tax evasion cases that sap state budgets of revenues and leaves public employees - teachers and doctors - impoverished, and infrastructure crumbling, OCCRP reported.
Rockford Funding Ponzi Scheme
They are also present in cyberspace - in particular in pyramid investment scams such as High Yield Investment Plans (HYIP). In December 2009, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cracked down on a Latvian Ponzi scheme called Rockford Funding, run by Latvian-born 32-year-old Genadi Yagodayev, The SEC alleged it had defrauded investors of over US$11 million in nine months.The companies listed by the SEC as processing the funds included British companies set up by Vanagels' Milltown Corporate Services and Gorin's Ireland & Overseas Acquisitions, and a Panamanian company set up by Cascado, Integri and Systemo.
Cherry Shares Ponzi Scheme
Another HYIP pyramid scheme that collapsed in December 2010 - "Cherry Shares" - was traced back to New Zealand companies listing Latvian Inta Bilder and Vanagels as directors. Money from the Ponzi scam was wired to accounts at Latvian banks Rietumu Bank, Regional Investment Bank, Trasta Komercbanka and JSC Multibanka, according to the investigation. The site also went offline in December 2010 to the despair of its investors. The site was owned by New Zealand-registered Brooksell Universal Limited, which was under a Inta Bilder and Vanagels directorship.Harriman says, "If you want to help finance the illegal running of guns, extortion and corruption, then yes, you should give your money to EurexTrade."Not only EurexTrade, but this string of mushrooming Ponzi schemes has proved to be deceitful, too good to be true, unlawful and run by dangerous rich mafias who are probably prominent figures hiding their identities through false company directorships.