Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, February 24, 2018

ARE DOMINICA'S TIES TO NORTH KOREA EXPANDING ?



While spin masters, working for the present leaders of Government of Dominica, try to deflect blame for a number of illegal contacts between the Commonwealth and North Korea, the facts  remain:

(1) A Dominica-flagged oil tanker is intercepted on the high seas, near the Korean Peninsula, with a  North Korean tanker, under circumstances that clearly suggest that illegal transfer of oil to the DPRK has occurred.

(2) A Chinese national, based in Hong Kong, acting as an agent for a UN sanctioned North Korean bank, and holding a Dominican passport, is involved in major UN sanctions evasion.

(3) Dominica's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francine Baron, continues, without legal cause, to refuse to disclose the names and assignments of the individuals holding diplomatic passports, which may exceed 500, given the serial numbers seen on diplomatic passports, given to foreign nationals who subsequently were arrested, accused of international criminal conduct, or UN sanctions evasion. How many North Korean nationals have purchased Dominica CBI passports for huge sums of US Dollars ? We cannot say, but we know that they exist, according to reputable sources in Dominica. North Koreans had ready access to Dominican officials, and CBI consultants, at events held in China.

Are there any North Korean nationals inside the Chinese Embassy in Dominica, and if so, what are they doing there ? The embassy is believed to be an electronic listening post on US military & civilian communications traffic in the Caribbean, as well as within the Continental United States (CONUS)North Korea has had a covert relationship with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, since Hugo Chavez was president, and Dominica's current Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, is a rabid supporter of Venezuela's radical regime.

Now let us put it together; North Korean agents are known to have posed as Chinese when stationed inside Venezuela. Given that it is doubtful anyone in Dominica, except an academic, can distinguish between a Chinese national, and one from North Korea, who is in the embassy ?

Friday, February 23, 2018

IS GRENADA'S CBI PROGRAM OUT OF CONTROL ?

Coat of Arms of North Korea
Grenadian sources are reporting that the country's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program has approved citizen applications for nationals of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK), more commonly known as North Korea, most of whose leaders, agencies, banks and government-controlled corporations are sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in addition to massive United Nations sanctions. Has Grenada no understanding of its international obligations and responsibilities ?

It is also alleged that Kaisha Ince*, who commands the CBI program, and who is ultimately responsible for all decisions on applications,  personally approved the North Koreans. Given that Ince is a known paramour of the (married) Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, and the PM has ultimate authority for the CBI program, he can be considered strictly liable for any program misconduct, or illegal acts Ince commits, in the name of the Government of Grenada.

It is humbly suggested that a responsible, nonpolitical entity confirm that North Koreans do now hold CBI passports from Grenada, by independently reviewing the records of the program, and making public its findings. If there is a factual basis for these allegations, then the voters of Grenada had best take steps to replace PM Mitchell at the next election, lest they find Grenada leaders abruptly blacklisted by OFAC, their travel to the United States severely restricted, or even banned, and their banks cast adrift, losing correspondent relationships with American financial institutions, and the country's reputation stained by its links to North Korea, a national security risk.
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*We have previously detailed Ince's misconduct, while in office, on this blog, and provided evidence in support thereof. She was recorded asserting that she would have the article removed from this blog. They remain online, attesting to her malfeasance in office, and rampant corruption.




GRENADA OFFERS BACK-DOOR ENTRY INTO USA FOR HIGH-RISK FOREIGN NATIONALS



Even if you think you know the ins-and-outs of the five East Caribbean countries offering Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs to foreign nationals, there's one feature that Grenada has which is unique, and which is being heavily promoted in online articles designed to direct prospective applicants to make a beeline for the Spice Island alone, when choosing where to obtain a economic passport. Unfortunately, it could also be used by organized crime figures, terrorist financiers, war criminals, and other of the usual suspects who want to find refuge in America.

As its promoters are fond of mentioning, Grenada is the only country in the world that offers both a CBI program, and has a treaty with the United States, whereby Grenadian citizens can obtain an E-2 Investor Visa. If you are a Russian organized crime figure, Syrian army colonel accused of Human Rights violations, or Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorist financier, this alternative is extremely attractive, because neither Russia, nor Syria or Iran participates in the E-2 Visa program.

Given that the full name of such suspects is in a non-Latin alphabet, transliterating it into English provides  an opportunity to illegally alter the identity of the applicant, forever burying his or her dark past, and creating a new profile not linked to disqualifying conduct. With a little work, the new identity is documented in sufficient detail to pass muster in the United States, as an E-2 Treaty Investor.  Now do you see the possibilities that the Grenada CBI passport offers to the dodgy applicant ?

 
What I do not get is the bold marketing of the USA  E-2, piggybacked upon the Grenada CBI passport, as a solution for nationals from high-risk countries. Do these CBI consultancies not see that it could thereafter result in the generation of undesired international law enforcement attention, visited upon all legitimate Grenada passport holders, as well as enhanced Customs & Immigration queries, upon arrival at an airport of entry in North America ? That could be the unintended consequences of the abuse of the E-2 program by unsuitable, but cleaned-up applicants, who find themselves in later trouble in the United States. Grenada might want to pay close attention to that little detail.




Thursday, February 22, 2018

RICARDO MARTINELLI HABEUS CORPUS FILE REMAINS MYSTERIOUSLY SEALED


 The fugitive former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, may have lost his Habeus Corpus petition, but the court file remains sealed, through a loophole not designed to hide the truth from the public and the media, but employed in a deceptive manner nevertheless. Martinelli, whose illegal video surveillance of Panama's elite resulted in major criminal charges being filed against him, has still not been extradited, although he has lost twice in the Federal court system, and he should be on a night flight to face Panamanian  justice, he's still in Miami. Wonder why ?

We cannot tell what his grounds were for filing the Habeus petition, after a Federal Judge ordered him deported, because the relevant pleadings are curiously not available, as we do not have "permission" to view them. This is not some secret plea agreement, where some law enforcement agent's undercover identity needs to be protected, nor is it a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSIR). The file is not sealed, just strangely made unavailable to all of us, thanks to someone's wishes.  Don't you wonder what embarrassing information Martinelli placed in his petition ? Law enforcement misconduct ? Trump's Panama hi-jinks at a bordello ? Covert US operations in Latin America ?

Somebody needs to let us in on the joke, because we are not amused.

WILL THE NORTH KOREAN USD$100 SUPERNOTE ENTER THE US THROUGH CHINA'S EXPANDING EAST CARIBBEAN FOOTPRINT ?


Korean bank technician examining Supernote
 If you follow the world of financial crime, you probably know that the so-called "Supernote," the North Korean-manufactured USD$100 bill, has recently resurfaced, this time in November, 2017 in South Korea, where a virtually flawless new version appeared in Seoul. Its status as a counterfeit was only confirmed after a team of bank experts closely examined the bill, and determined it to be bogus. This is the first known sighting of a previously unknown variation, and it is extremely troubling.

This iteration of the $100 note, of the old 2006 Series, which cleverly does not include the additional anti-counterfeiting features included in subsequent modifications. If you are not familiar with the 2006, it features the signatures of Ana Escobedo Cabral, as US Treasurer, and Henry M Paulson, as Secretary of the Treasury.

Given that the Series 2002 and Series 2003 version of the Supernote were distributed through North Korean Embassies, to tourists visiting North Korea, and extensively through banks and businesses in the Peoples' Republic of China, you can expect that similar methods will be employed in 2018 or 2019.  Given China's expanded presence in the English-speaking republics of the East Caribbean, with unusually large embassies(which appear to be electronic surveillance listening posts), and economic programs directed at providing developmental aid to those countries, there is a well-founded fear that it will assist its DPRK ally in covert distribution of the counterfeits.

For political and diplomatic reasons, China was not identified or criticized for its role in Supernote distribution, but the involvement of its financial sector was a major factor, and it must be assumed that it was with government approval and support.

It is not known precisely how many Chinese nationals hold CBI or Diplomatic passports from the East Caribbean countries, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia & Grenada, but they represent an alternative method of placement of the counterfeits in the region. One Chinese holder of a Dominica diplomatic passport is known to be a major trading agent for North Korea, operating out of Hong Kong, and it is estimated that there are others not heretofore identified. Due to the opaque nature of the various diplomatic passport programs, it is not known how many North Korean agents presently hold Dominica, St Kitts or Grenada CBI and/or diplomatic passports, especially if they hold themselves out to be Chinese, Taiwanese, or South Korean nationals.

Chinese Embassy, Dominica

Given the fact that the new Supernote appears to have passed the usual, perfunctory checks, it could appear in the casinos, or even as payment for CBI passports, without being immediately discovered, and end up in the economy, including local banks, and enter the US without prior warning. I have not seen any alerts from the US Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over counterfeit currency investigations, but there has not been any news of this Supernote being seen in the United States.

It might be prudent, however, for US bankers to be alert for any deposits of $100 bills, where the majority are Series 2006, in uncirculated or mint condition. If there are any other reports of this bill surfacing, we shall promptly notify our readers.

 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

PETRO - VENEZUELA'S NEW CYBERCURRENCY



Compliance officers who wish to learn about Venezuela's new oil-backed cyber currency, PETRO, might want to read the 22-page White Paper on the subject here. A note of caution: This is a Venezuelan government document.


ORAL ARGUMENT TAPE ON WAKED OFAC APPEAL IS AVAILABLE ONLINE



It has been a month since the DC Circuit held Oral Argument in the Waked appeal of the unfavorable judgment in the OFAC case we have been reporting on, but still, no decision has been filed. If curiosity has gotten the better of you, you may listen to the hearing online here. The case is Abdul Waked Fares vs. John Smith et al.