After the Al Jazeera report exposed local Attorney Mr. Charlie Lucas in a blatant money laundering scheme and mis use of offshore company procedures, the institutions of Seychelles went into a tail spin, as if individually we are dealing with chickens without heads. Luckily, there were some sound minds, who rationalized the situation in a serious manner.
Minister of Finance Mis Steps
Pierre Laporte ‘s initial reaction was that what happens in Seychelles happens everywhere else in the world, we are not the exception and he attempted to down play the Al jazeera report.
Yes Mr. Laporte, money is laundered all over the world in perhaps every country. But not ever country condones and actively supports money laundering like the Seychelles, to make it the money laundering capital for the African region.
Does Mr. Laporte forget about the Economic Development Act (EDA) , a law devised by the ruling party to give citizenship to any one that invest deposits $2.5 Million into a Seychelles account?
Does Mr. Laporte forget that thousands of passports sold, literally over the past years, that even Mr. Herminie PL representative in Electoral Reform raised his arms and candidly said to us:” what do we do with these passport holders now?”.
National Assembly Reacts
The National Assembly, a PL controlled institution 100% reacted to this exposure and tried to do damage control to Minister Pierre Laporte’s apparent cover up effort.
Charles De Commarmond MNA asked for investigations, and suspension of licenses of these operating companies with immediate effect. A brave call indeed considering no one has ever been put on trial for laundering money locally in Seychelles. A few accounts have been mistakenly seized but that has been the end of it.
The circumstances behind these seizures of legitimate accounts and funds have been determined by courts to be dubious in the final say, and the credibility of FIU run by an Irish gang is highly questionable. At least the one party state National Assembly said something, which is more then what Mr. Laporte said.
Rising Sun Front Page Editorial Error
After this matter arose, we posted an article on reality about the issue. At about the same time, we posted the letter to Swiss National Bank (SNB) on the missing $2.1 Billion from our accounts, as confirmed by the SNB Governor. Rising Sun in a front page expose’ infers SFP is blowing the issue of money laundering out of proportion in Seychelles. Does Rising Sun not read what Dr. Ramadoss writes or says? The “extra fees” banked in Mauritius for tuna fishing licenses is not money laundering?
Has Rising Sun neglected to pick up on the SNB expose’ of Greek citizen bank accounts which were released to a journalist in Athens only because he asked for the information that quite possibly brought Greece to it’s knees in the same way Seychelles today is on her knees?
As Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Ramadoss and the Editor of Rising Sun or Popip their main writer, should do Seychelles right and proud and write to the SNB and ask for the list of account holders, then give that information to Mr. Pierre Laporte, who cannot seem to find the address of the Swiss National Bank.
Seychelles Weekly A Red Herring
Occasionally we see Weekly taking PL side on issues. This case is one of them. The Editor said he absolutely agrees with the Minister Laporte position on the Al jazeera report. This would imply that Weekly agrees that money laundering in Seychelles is not different than anywhere else in the world, and the fact that no cases are brought against the lawyers that launder money, or the companies that are used as tools to launder are just fine for the Weekly turned “Weakly”. Weekly says Al jazeera painted Seychelles offshore “BLACK”. A grey cow is a grey cow. A black cow is a black cow. We do not need Al jazeera to tell us a cow is black. Black is black and red is red – Weekly!
Weekly covering up for Mr. Pierre Laporte is an unprecedented Red Herring in an attempt to save who we do not know!
This paper just side stepped the issue and walked the fence much like many do in Seychelles Today. Their comments on the issue, are not worth commenting on, aside from the letter Paul Chow wrote, which has a disclaimer placed by the paper next to it.
Mr. Laporte should face up to the responsibility to really make an effort to clean up the mess in the offshore sector, which has gone neglected all these years. I suspect now Weekly will pressure PL and the Seychelles Bar to not touch Charlie Lucas and let the water slide quietly under the offshore bridge.
Mr. Paul Chow Speaks Out
Former leader of the Democratic Party Mr. Paul B. Chow, a key founder of the offshore sector in Seychelles, said “we should not be surprised by the what we saw and heard on Al jazeera”. Mr Chow says this expose’ scandal shows : “all kinds of unethical conduct goes unpunished or simply brushed under the carpet-treated as business as usual. It is in this swamp that everyone operates under. It would appear Mr. Laporte and Mr. Weakly, is not aware of this swamp.
Mr. Chow raises numerous issues of conflict of interest of SIBA board members serving on SITZ boards such as the Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT). Naturally they receive double finance allocations, that would make the SIBA board itself incapable of administrating the offshore sector, quite the opposite of what Rising Sun asserts( SIBA can take care of offshore sector).
To clean up this swampy affair, Mr. Chow calls for implementation of internationally acceptable ethics. I could not agree more with Mr. Chow. We should start with the lawyers who act locally before the courts, then draft offshore documents for offshore clients, and try to whittle money onshore, and create a total confusion with total disregard of international best practice.
Finally Mr. Chows warns us, although the Al jazeera expose’ is indeed shameful for Mr. Lucas, Zen offshore and others, it is a great shame on all of Seychelles. For this, he says, we should treat it as a wake up call and “drain the swamp we are in”.
I could not agree with that more. We should start the draining process by holding these culprits accountable, and secondly, ask all these Red Herring journalists in Seychelles, who have joined the cover up effort to get out of the swamp mentality. Seychelles deserves better than that. Shame compounded over more shame!
Sesel Pou Seselwa!
May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois!