God’s banker linked to Pablo Escobar
A Vatican banker found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 had previously undisclosed links to the notorious Colombian drug smuggler, Pablo Escobar, the author of a new book has claimed.
Nick Squires in Rome
The Telegraph, Nov 26, 2012
Roberto Calvi, who earned his nickname for his close ties to the Vatican Bank, was found hanged beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London amid strong suspicions that he was murdered. Ayda Suarez Levy, the widow of a Bolivian druglord, claims that Calvi was laundering drug cartel money through an account in Nassau, in the Bahamas, on behalf of South American drug lords.
The Cocaine King sheds new light on Calvi’s death, which remains one of the Vatican’s darkest chapters and most contested mysteries. Mrs Levy, the widow of Roberto Suarez Gomez, claimed in an interview on Italian television on Monday that Mr Calvi was her husband’s “Italian contact”.
“He said he could vouch for us,” she told Italy’s Channel Seven television. “He said by vouching for us at such a high level, business would go well for us. I imagine he was talking about cocaine. He was not explicit but I imagine that is what it was about.”
Ms Levy recounted an encounter involving her husband and Gunter Sachs, a multi-millionaire German playboy who was the third husband of Brigitte Bardot. She said that six months before Calvi’s death, she and her husband met Mr Sachs on a trip to Switzerland and they discussed the Italian banker.
Mr Sachs, who committed suicide in his Swiss chalet last year at the age of 78, reportedly told the Bolivian drug baron: “Calvi is very scared because Pablo Escobar wants his money back from the bank in Nassau.” The Bahamas bank that he was referring to was an affiliate of Banco Ambrosiano, which was Italy’s biggest private bank when it collapsed in 1982.
It was headed by Mr Calvi, who had close ties to the Vatican’s bank, formally known as the Istituto per le Opere di Religion – the Institute for Religious Works.
The claims made in the book could “completely revolutionise the interpretation of Calvi’s death,” said Philip Willan, the author of “The Last Supper – The Mafia, the Masons and the killing of Roberto Calvi“. Until now the speculation was that Calvi was murdered by the Cosa Nostra mafia of Sicily, possibly with complicity by Italian politicians or the Vatican itself.
“If Escobar wanted his money back and Calvi was not able to pay it, he would have had a motive to kill Calvi. There is evidence suggesting that Calvi may have had direct links to the laundering of drug money in the Caribbean,” said Mr Willan. The evidence was enough to persuade the US Customs Service to launch an investigation into the alleged laundering of $34 million through the Bahamas affiliate of the Banco Ambrosiano in the late 1980s.
In 1988 Suarez Gomez, the Bolivian drug trafficker, was given a 15 year prison sentence for drug crimes, but was released in 1996. By then he had accumulated a huge fortune. His widow recounts in the book how his men produced around two tons of cocaine paste in jungle laboratories in Bolivia each day and then sent it to Escobar’s Medellin cartel.
At the height of its power, the cartel, headed by Escobar, was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine into the US each day.
Also see: “ICE Investigation Targeting Drug Planes Plagued by Scandal, Court Records Show” — NarcoNews: “An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) undercover operation involving the sale and tracking of aircraft to drug organizations played out for nearly four years in Latin America, likely allowing tons of narcotics to be flown into the US, yet it failed to result in a single prosecution in the United States, according to federal court pleadings recently discovered by Narco News. The ICE undercover operation, dubbed Mayan Jaguar, came to a screeching halt when one of the aircraft in its sights, a Gulfstream II corporate jet, crashed on Sept. 24, 2007, in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula with nearly 4 tons of cocaine onboard. Also on that jet at the time, according to recently discovered pleadings filed in US District Court in Florida, was an ICE transponder, which was being used as a tracking device. The court pleadings are part of a case currently pending against a Brazilian national named Joao Luiz Malago, who is facing narco-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracy charges related to an indictment filed originally in January 2012. …”
By Jerry Nelson
Liberty Voice, March 21, 2014
The National Transportation and Safety Board, NTSB, is still conducting continuing research into a jet crash in Mexico in the autumn of 2007. The jet was carrying 3.7 tons of powdered coke, and is just one of several cases that point to deep corruption within the American bureaucracy.
The jet, a Gulfstream II, that crashed was one aircraft that was affiliated with an ongoing US covert operation called Mayan Jaguar. Recently released court records reveal that the jet was just one of tens of aircraft sold to Latin American cartel organizations. Narco News reported recently that several of the jets sold through Mayan Jaguar have been used to move cocaine into Europe, via Africa. The aircraft were being observed and traced by US law enforcement and intelligent agencies that were responsible for Mayan Jaguar.
Various media stories and European investigations have linked the downed Gulfstream II jet through its tail number, N987SA. The documents reveal the aircraft was used by the CIA for flights from the US, Europe and Guantanamo Bay between 2001 and 2005. The plane was bought and sold several times during August 2007, and September 24, 2007, the day it crashed on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula carrying the cocaine cargo.
Two companies connected with those sales have been taking part in federal court proceedings. Their depositions indicate the jet was part of a unique Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) covert operation in Latin America. The program was terminated when the Gulfstream crashed.
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating two ICE agents who were connected to Mayan Jaguar. The investigation is focusing on alleged unlawful activity related to the operation. Multiple law-enforcement spokesman told Narco News that a mission like Mayan Jaguar would have required approval from several high-level officials. Officials from ICE and DHS would have been required to sign off on the operation as well as officials from the American Department of Justice and the State Department.
The systematic failure of Mayan Jaguar enjoying any law-enforcement success, despite the oversight from upper-level management, has led American investigators to decide that the actual purpose of the program was not to gather evidence sufficient to make arrests. The officials suggest that Mayan Jaguar was a overt CIA operation that used many front companies in an effort to infiltrate narco-trafficking organizations. Their goal? Gather intelligence and recruit individuals that would advance US interests.
Court documents reveal that the strategy used in Mayan Jaguar was to put transponders on planes sold to Latin American smuggling operations through an ICE front company. The company has been identified in the documents as being Donna Blue Aircraft Inc in Boca Raton, Florida.
As the investigation and court cases continue, more information may be forthcoming about how the CIA helped set up, run and finance narco-trafficking operations.