Flight 3407 & Middle Eastern Banking, Oil & Parapolitical Terrorism
Edited by Alex Constantine
Ms Korczykowski and boyfriend Johnathan Perry were Passengers on Flight 3407. From the Buffalo News:
“Among her achievements:
• She was promoted to the position of director at Barclays Capital two days before her death—the youngest director ever at the New York City investment firm.
• She was multilingual, able to pick up languages at such a rapid rate that she learned to speak Arabic at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris during her junior year. …
• She earned a dual degree—one in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, the other in finance from the Wharton School. She graduated with honors.
Barclay’s, as it happens, was in the news last October after the British-based investment firm acquired flat-busted Lehman Bros.’s North American investment banking and trading operations, and so went “top-tier”:
Lehman Taken Over by Barclays
The acquisition of Lehman’s US operations for about $1.7bn – which includes about 10,000 staff, its New York headquarters and selected parts of its trading assets and liabilities – has propelled Barclays into the top tier.”
Multi-billion dollar question: In the end, when you get down to it – after all of the paper shuffling that came with the Wall Street meltdown – who owns financial giants Lehman and Barclays now?
Let’s just look into that …
Abraaj Capital and its interlocking directorates with the Middle East’s first private gas octupus and burgeoning empire, Dana Gas, Crescent Oil, Abraaj and Hamid Jafar. Here’s a couple of new appointments at Abraaj from Carlyle Group and Barclays Bank, cementing further the relationships above, which, recall, extend to Pakistan, as well.
Barclay’s Bank, mentioned above/below, already has had major share purchases by private Qatar and Abu Dhabi investors in the Middle East/GCC money-go-round. …
Middle East money bolsters Barclays; BARCLAYS.(Business)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner
October 31, 2008
Byline: By HENRYK ZIENTEK Business Reporter
BANKING giant Barclays today said Middle Eastern investors were pumping up to pounds 7.3bn into the business. The cash injection from Qatari investors and the Abu Dhabi royal family comes as the bank looks to avoid …
Barclays’ £7billion deal with Arab investors a ‘scandal of mammoth proportions’
By BEN LAURANCE
31st October 2008
Cashing in: Arab investors have secured around a third of Barclays after agreeing a £7billion deal
Barclays came under fierce attack yesterday over a deal that will give Arab investors around a third of the company.
The deal will inject more than £7billion to bolster the bank’s finances.
But the money is being raised on onerous terms, said investment analysts.
And Barclays faced accusations that it agreed the deal to avoid having to accept the government cash that comes with limits on executive bonuses and dividend payments.
Barclays lost nearly 20 per cent of its value yesterday as £3.3billion was wiped off its stock market worth.
The bank is raising money from Qatar and the state’s royal family and from multibillionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan. The investors could end up holding more than 30 per cent of Barclays. Sheikh Mansour, part of the Abu Dhabi royal family, could own 16.3 per cent of the bank. Qatar already has a holding in Barclays.
Yesterday’s agreement means Arab investors will be Barclays’ biggest shareholders. Sheikh Mansour and the Qataris will pocket an estimated £170million from Barclays-simply for having agreed to take part in the cash-raising: that money is guaranteed to them even if Barclays shareholders object to the agreement and overturn the deal.
And they will receive a 14 per cent return on £3billion of the money they are injecting.
Even if Barclays finds it can repay the cash, it won’t have option to do so before 2019. Had it taken money from the Government’s rescue fund, on which it would have paid 12 per cent, it would have had the freedom to repay the loan five years earlier.
Advisor to the Abu Dhabi royal family, Amanda Staveley, right, walks to the Barclays Bank headquarters with Ali Jassim, adviser to Sheik Mansour
But as a condition of its support, the Government is imposing the limits on bonuses.
Last year, Barclays chief executive John Varley received a salary of £975,000, a bonus of £1.4million and a share-based award worth £1.8million.
Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable described the deal as ‘a scandal of mammoth proportions’.
He said Barclays obviously didn’t want the Government ‘stopping them from paying massive bonuses’.
Barclays said yesterday that the advantage of taking cash from its new Middle Eastern investors was that it was certain to receive the money, and a deal could be done quickly.
The bank also hopes that the shareholdings will help it win business in the oil-rich region.
BARCLAYS SCANDAL DEEPENS, NO, NO, NO TO CITIGROUP BAILOUT, GEITHNER
In my blog posted just below, yesterday,
I demonstrated the interlocking and intertwined directorships and investments between individuals and institutions of Hamid Jafar’s Middle East octupus, Abraaj Capital, Dana Gas/Crescent Oil empire and Carlyle Group, Barclays Bank and then the previous Abu Dhabi, Qatar share purchase of Barclays Bank. …
The following is excerpted from a London Times reprint, to which I will link in full afterwards:
“….News of the clause is likely to reignite controversy over the way that BarclaysBarclays raised the money – dubbed at the time by Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, as “a scandal of mammoth proportions”.
Barclays shares fell another 9 per cent yesterday (Wednesday), having collapsed by 35 per cent at one point, amid speculation that it is poised to raise more capital – either in the market or from the Government.
But the small print in the deal, in which BarclaysBarclays raised pounds 7.3 billion from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, means that if the bank raises fresh capital before the end of June, the Middle Eastern investors would receive a greater number of shares for their original investment without paying more.
If Barclayss were to raise fresh capital at last night’s (Wednesday) closing price, for example, it would automatically hand almost 50 per cent of the bank to the Middle Eastern investors.
The only way to get around the anti-dilution clause, should Barclays need more money before the end of June, would be if new capital was raised at more than the 153p-a-share at which paper issued to Abu Dhabi and Qatar is due to convert into BarclaysBarclays stock.
This would mean that if the Government wanted to take a meaningful stake in the bank, it would have to do so by paying more than 153p for Barclays shares – which were trading at just 66.1p yesterday (Wednesday). The Treasury would face accusations of wasting taxpayers’ money were it to do this.
The clause was inserted at the request of Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital, the private equity firm, who advised the Middle Eastern investors on taking the stake. It is understood that she insisted on the clause because she was concerned that instability in the markets in coming months could potentially force Barclays to raise more capital.
The Times has seen a letter from Ms Staveley to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the owner of Manchester City Football Club and the Abu Dhabi royal who led the deal, explaining the benefits of the clause. Part of it says:
“If BarclaysBarclays does have to issue new shares at a price which is, for example, half our agreed price, then you will automatically get twice as many ordinary shares for the money you have already invested. If this provision comes into effect you could, subject to the size of any new investment, potentially end up owning significantly more of Barclays Bank at no extra cost.”
“Ms Staveley last night (Wednesday) declined to comment but sources at Barclays confirmed the clause exists…” END OF EXCERPT.
“Baarama‹his name is often spelled “Baarma” in English‹is also chairman of Pakistan’s Prime Commercial Bank, which [major BCCI shareholder] Khalid bin Mahfouz owns, and a director of Lebanon’s Credit Libanaise, which the family controls. Intelligence sources state that he is a member of one of the $12.5 billion Carlyle Group’s international advisory boards….”
The ties that bind: Barclays, a bin Laden relative, Carlyle and the BCCI
By Kevin Dowling
November 3, 2001
Barclays plc is a “core investor” in a merchant bank set up by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law on Bergerac’s beat‹Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
Yemeni tycoon Khalid bin Mahfouz established the Middle East Capital Group (MECG) on the tax-haven island in 1996, only to be placed under house arrest in Saudi Arabia three years later.
In the wake of the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam,
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Saudi defence minister Prince
Sultan that Mahfouz had channelled tens of millions into terrorist accounts
in London and New York.
The maverick financier was no stranger to intrigue‹he was the principal
shareholder in BCCI (“the Bank of Criminals and Cocaine International”)‹when
it perpetrated the biggest fraud in financial history.
Mahfouz had escaped unscathed in London and managed to plea-bargain his way out of civil and criminal liabilities amounting to more than $10 billion by agreeing to a $225 million settlement with prosecutors in New York.
But when a Saudi government audit found another $2 billion missing from the treasury of the world’s largest private bank‹the $21 billion National
Commercial Bank (NCB), which Mahfouz owned‹Khalid was forced to sell his
shares and take early retirement.
U.S. intelligence services want to know how much of that missing money went to front groups secretly funneling money to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization. …
The Saudis have allowed control of the NCB to pass to another family member, the current CEO Mohammed bin Mahfouz.
Two NCB directors, Sami M. Baarama and Omar Bajamal, represent the Mahfouz family interests on the Guernsey company’s board.
Baarama was director of the NCB’s International Division and its Investment
Services Division when the money disappeared.
He now sits on the Saudi bank’s Executive Management Committee and is
advisor to Mohammed bin Mahfouz.
Baarama‹his name is often spelled “Baarma” in English‹is also chairman of
Pakistan’s Prime Commercial Bank, which Khalid bin Mahfouz owns, and a
director of Lebanon’s Credit Libanaise, which the family controls.
Intelligence sources state that he is a member of one of the $12.5 billion
Carlyle Group’s international advisory boards. …
Former members of the Reagan and Bush administrations who have been publicly associated with key BCCI players‹including ex-President George Bush himself‹have built Carlyle into the world’s biggest private equity company and one of America’s largest defence contractors.
Baarama’s alleged role as a fixer for Carlyle and the level of the Mahfouz
family’s investments in the US company. if any, cannot be independently
verified as the privately-held company is not required to provide the
information to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Carlyle closed down its web site on October 4, denying public access to what little information that contained.
This followed articles on 27 and 28 September in The Wall Street Journal
reporting that the Saudi BinLadin Group (SBG) does have investments in
Carlyle, and has been earning 40 per cent per annum from them since 1995.
Henry M. Sarkissian, an Executive Board Member of SBG, sits on the Middle East Capital Group’s British offshore board alongside Baarama and Barclays appointee Elie Khouri.
So what have the Bin Ladin-Mafouz clan been up to on Jim Bergerac’s beat?
US and British forensic accountants are likely to run into a brick wall if
they try to find out.
William P. Simpson, a partner in Guernsey’s oldest law company, Ozannes, is
a director of the Middle East Capital Group.
Mr. Simpson is a shareholder in the Legis Group of Guernsey and the British
Virgin Islands‹he has also worked in the Cayman Islands‹and has spent his
professional lifetime concealing the affairs of the wealthy from the Bank of
England, the Inland Revenue and international authorities.
A 400-page French parliamentary report published on Wednesday, 10 October, contains a blistering attack on the financial centres that have thrived off Britain’s shores, including the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, and Gibraltar.
“It is high time that Europe got worried about sheltering in its midst these
veritable machines that launder criminal money,” it said.
Bin Laden’s terrorist financial network bears a striking similarity to that
of the collapsed BCCI bank, according to the report.
Khalid bin Mahfouz, with whom Barclays went into business five years after the Bank of England shut BCCI, is directly linked to Osama Bin Laden through banks, holding companies, foundations and charities, at least one of which, the International Development Foundation, has its headquarters in London, the parliamentarians say.
Their investigation is based on interviews with senior Metropolitan police
officers, leading City regulators and European judges.
“Those responsible for combating financial crime are depressed and
discouraged by an archaic and dysfunctional system,” said the author, Arnaud Montebourg, a Socialist MP.
“The British authorities must realise that they have fallen badly behind.”
SBG’s spindoctors have spent the past month trying to distance their
companies from the world’s Most Wanted Man by denouncing Osama and the murderous jihad he stands for.
In the light of recent events, their efforts seemed to be unravelling fast.
Swiss Federal investigators have subjected the terrorist’s half-brother
Yeslam to several gruelling interrogations over the past two weeks.
Yeslam, a frequent visitor to Britain, runs the Geneva-based Saudi
Investment Company (SICO), an international holding company that manages
SBG’s affairs in Europe.
He was granted a Swiss passport in May despite unprecedented advice by the Government of the Canton of Geneva, which “after mature reflection and on the basis of troublesome matters which have never been denied by anyone,” advised against giving him one.
A “first secretary at the American mission in Geneva” reportedly offered to
help his successful appeal to the Canton’s Grand Council against the local
The controversy was reignited, however, when Le Monde reported on 26
September that one of Yeslam’s companies, Avcon Business Jets SA, had
offered training courses for pilots at the same Florida flying school which
several of the 911 kamikazes attended.
In a rare public statement, the business head of the Bin Ladin family
explained that he had only invested in business aviation “because I am
passionately fond of flying, tennis, skiing and the cinema.”
Jürg Brand, one of Yeslam’s lawyers and business partners, says that Avcon
“is on the point of being liquidated.”
SICO, the Bin Ladin’s European holding company, is also being put to sleep.
Its capital has been reduced by 90 per cent.
“The reduction is simply due to the fact that SICO, which was a financial
company, has become a services company,” a company statement said.
What impact these seismic changes in the financial landscape will have on
MECG and Barclays shareholders and customers is still unclear.
A French intelligence report unearthed by PBS’s investigative programme
Frontline and posted on the Internet indicates that Osama is not the first
of the Bin Ladin brothers to engage in terrorism.
In 1979, Moslem Brotherhood fanatics stormed the Grand Mosque at Mecca,
using SBG trucks to smuggle in weapons.
Hundreds of innocent pilgrims were killed in a ten-day battle for control of
Islam’s holiest site before French anti-terrorist troops put down the
“One of the bin Laden sons, Mahrous, was actually arrested on account of his ties with the Islamists, but was later freed,” says the after-battle report.
“He is currently manager of the group’s Medina branch.
“The reason is as follows: after studies in England, where he had kept
company with Fadli (son of the ex-sultan of the Abdin region in South Yemen, now leader of a Yemeni fundamentalist group and arrested in Aden last January), Mahrous struck up friendships with a group of Syrian Moslem
Brothers in exile in Saudi Arabia.
“The episode demonstrated the strength of the ties between the royal family
and the bin Laden Group.
“Had it been some other group, there is no doubt that Mahrous – whether
accomplice or patsy – would have been thrown into prison and the group barred from further economic activity in the kingdom, the sentence serving as a warning to others. This was not the case.”
Kevin Dowling is a British freelance investigative journalist.