Vultures In The Parking Lot
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
September 2, 2005
BinLaden shareholder in European
parking management company
YOUR MONEY GOES BACK TO THE RICH, LADIDA.
Every time you put money in the meter, it says KECHANG! in Manama, the capital of Bahrain and a few moments later your money goes into an account on the Cayman Islands.
Indeed, the sheiks of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia have recently taken over Europe’s leading car park management company, Apcoa Parking Ag. At more than 700,000 parking spots in Europe you now buy tickets from them....
Little by little Apcoa Parking AG acquired the individual parking management companies in Europe and turned it into one big holding. Apcoa Parking AG was until very recently a part of German quality shoemaker Salamander....
Salamander is a shell company for Germany’s number one electricity giant EnBW. EnBW has brought together a number of companies it owns and that are not related to energy in Salamander. HSBC splits ownership of EnBW with Electricite de France. And so all these parking spots belong to Europe’s largest investment bank. That says something about the profits that can be made there.
To put things right: Apcoa doesn’t own all of these parking lots. They are built, financed by the local communities. Apcoa doesn’t take any risk. It merely manages the parking space....
After the attacks on the WTC in New York and the fear on the markets, EnBW sells its non-energy holdings. Apcoa is sold to Investcorp. The company is present in London, Manama and in the Cayman Islands.
Investcorp paid 67 million Euro in equity for Apcoa. It isn’t really buying, but more an aggregate of holding companies marrying their resources.
Investcorp isn’t your everyday investment company. It merely works with the very rich, preferably from the middle-east. In 2005 its portfolio is valued at 8.6 billion dollars.
If we would be really accurate we would call Investcorp a leveraged buy-out company. It’s WALLSTREET all over. Investcorp holds different funds to which you - not you, but they, the very rich - can subscribe. Investcorp then puts the companies it acquires into these funds and immediately has its money back (with a profit for the real shareholders of Investcorp).
According to Time Magazine, Investcorp is known to have worked the books in the ninetees, making a losing company look like a profitmaker.
Nemir Kirdar is president and CEO. Forbes puts him at number 206 on the Rich List. His excellency Abdul-Rahman Al-Ateequ, ex-minister of oil and finance of Kuwait, advisor to the emir of Bahrain and the first ambassador of Kuwait to the U.S.A. has been Chairman since the start of the investment company. Vice-president is, Ahmed Ali Kanoo, who manages about 1.5 billion dollars of the family fortune. Among the shareholders we find Sheik Ahmed Zki Yamani, ex minister of oil of Saudi-Arabia and seven members of the House of Saud.
Also present in this group is Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, connected to different bank frauds. Until September 11th 2001 he was representative of the Saudi Bin Laden group in the U.S. According to the prospectus of Investcorp from 1992 the Minister of Finance of Bahrain is indirectly one of the major shareholders through a shell-company.
BANK OF CROOKS AND CRIMINALS INTERNATIONAL
This is where it gets really interesting. Abdullah Taha Bakshs, Abdul Rahman Al-Ateeqi were both important shareholders in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. The BCCI went down in a sea of scandals in the early 90's. 23 billion dollars disappeared in the hole in 73 countries and still is missing. The American Justice Department calls BCCI a criminal organization under cover of a bank.
The C.I.A. slushed funds through BCCI to the Mujahedin. This went quite easy because Osama BinLaden had a few accounts at the BCCI. Illegal finance for arms deals with Iraq and Iran were being done at BCCI. Money laundering for the Escobar and Meddelin-cartel all went through BCCI. When the curtain fell 1 billion dollars worth of loans was booked to a random collection of Kuwaiti from the yellow pages.
Khalid binMafhouz holds the number 2 slot at Investcorp with 25% of the shares. He currently is number 210 on the Times rich List. He was member of the board of BCCI and made a deal with the U.S. Justice Department. He paid 225 million dollars for claims, 37 million dollars in lieu of fines and 253 million dollars for claims.
In 2003 it transpired that the Bank of England never stopped the British seat of BCCI though it knew the bank laundered money from drugs trade.
Former president Manuel Noriega, former President Ferdinand Marcos, and Saddam Hussein were among the clientele. From complaints in South-Korea it is clear that about 120 members of staff from 33 embassies had put money at the BCCI.
Khalid binMafhouz explains he has financially backed the Mujahedin in Afghanistan. But then, so did the U.S. It may be useful to remind the reader that Osama Binladen was one of the leaders of the Mujahedin. Bakr Mohammed binLaden, Osama’s brother, has a seat on the executive board.
Investcorp Holding is owned by Investcorp Bank which in turn is held by SIPCO, a Cayman holding company. SIPCO’s 320 shareholders prefer to keep anonymity....
THE PARKING LOT!
These are the people that “manage” your parking lots. They receive money for our own public spaces, streets and squares.
Every time we put money in one of the more than 700,000 parking meters of Apcoa-managed parking lots, money directly flows to Bahrain and the Cayman Islands.
Apcoa AG has a turnover of about 500 million euros. Everyday 700,000 meters receive Eurocents, pounds and pennies. A continuous flow of money day in day out.
It really is like a source of oil.
~ ~ ~
For more, GO TO > > > Investigating Investcorp; The Strange Saga of BCCI
~ ~ ~
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
October 16, 2001
More woes emerging at airport
By Tina Lam, Detroit Free Press
A former parking manager at Detroit Metro Airport says the firm he worked for may have put as much as $50,000 in parking revenue into its petty cash fund over several years, rather than turning it over to the airport.
The money was used for personal expenses and to buy golf accessories handed out at tournaments hosted by Wayne County Executive Edward McNamara and Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano, said Jules Lachman, former head supervisor of APCOA/Standard Parking.
Lachman said Monday that he spoke to an FBI agent about two weeks ago as part of a federal probe of airport contracts. He said he was told he would be asked to testify before a grand jury....
APCOA has come under fire on several fronts: from county auditors for overcharging for shuttle vans and insurance; from state auditors for nepotism and undocumented loans, and from the Wayne County Commission, which filed suit against the firm in 1999.
Commissioners rescinded the firm’s contract in September 2000.
State auditors said APCOA hired relatives of key officials, including four relatives of McNamara, a daughter of the county’s deputy chief operating officer Wilbourne Kelley, and four relatives of Allie Abbas, the airport official who oversaw the parking contract.
The county commission alleged in its lawsuit that because of the nepotism, county officials overlooked APCOA’s overcharges.
In a November 2000 deposition in the county lawsuit, Crisovan said he spent half his time running parking lots for APCOA in Canada and three, states, but his full salary of $85,000 plus 20-percent bonus was charged to Metro Airport. In the same sworn statement, he said APCOA had overcharged the airport for insurance and 401(k) fees.
APCOA’s attorney Morganroth disputed those overcharges Monday and said the county still owes APCOA $2 million in reimbursement.
Besides nepotism by hiring county officials, state auditors also raised questions in a report obtained Friday by the Free Press about an APCOA partner, Archie Clark, county deputy for Jobs and Economic Development, was a joint venture partner with APCOA at the airport and also was a partner in a subcontract to APCOA before taking his county job in 1995, the report said. The subcontractor was paid $256,000 for maintenance, auditors said. Clark told the auditors he didn’t remember being part of that company....
$ $ $
October 27, 2002
Mayor’s Palau trip not reported
A spokeswoman says city attorneys ruled the air fare
and hotel stay did not constitute a gift
By Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris did not disclose that the Republic of Palau paid for his travel to an environmental conference earlier this summer, in what one city councilwoman said is symptomatic of the Harris administration’s lack of openness.
But a city spokeswoman said that the mayor did not list the trip in his annual disclosure report with the Office of the City Clerk after city attorneys determined that it was not a gift.
Harris was in Palau in late June at the invitation of its president Tommy Remengesau Jr. to deliver the keynote speech for the 21st annual Pacific Islands Environment Conference at the Palasia Hotel in the city of Koror.
The Palau government agreed to pay for Harris’s air fare and hotel costs for the June 24-28 conference, which attracted more than 200 environmental experts and government officials from about a dozen countries, said Tom Yocum, one of the enent’s organizers and an official with the Environmental Protection agency.
Yocum, and EPA wetlands expert, said he could not recall the total costs, but that the Palau government received a discounted, $824 air fare with Continental airlines for the mayor. Typically, two-way fares for Honolulu to Palau flights range between $1,600 and $2,000, he said.
Under city ethics laws in effect at the time, elected officials are required to list all gifts that they receive from outside sources. Such gifts include any form of money, goods, services, loans, entertainment, lodging and travel that comes from a donor that has an interest before the city official.
(The city’s ethics law was amended earlier this year to ban all gifts above $200. but the amended law, which took effect July 1, eliminated the reporting requirements for gifts.)
The Palau trim came less than a month after Harris dropped out of this year’s governor’s race. At the time, Harris was considered the Democratic front-runner.
City spokeswoman Carol Costa said city attorneys advised the mayor’s staff in July that the Palau trip is not a gift and should not be included in Harris’ gift disclosure form....
City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said the omission of Harris’ Palau trip illustrates his administration’s lack of candor.
Kobayashi, a frequent critic of the Harris’ fiscal policies, said the administration has been reluctant to disclose information that should be public....
“It’s a question of accountability,” Kobayashi said. “Why don’t they just disclose these things? What is there to hide?”
Under city law, failure to disclose a gift could result in penalties as severe as impeachment of an elected official. The corporation counsel also could sue a donor or a recipient if a gift is not disclosed.
In his July 31, 2002, gift-disclosure form, Haris revealed that he received more than $21,000 in gifts during the past year, including several honorary memberships to exclusive clubs such as the Waialae Country Club, the Pacific Club and the Mid-Pacific Country Club.
The report, which covered July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, also said that Harris and his wife, Ramona, each received annual parking passes worth $100 from APCOA Inc. The couple also received movie passes valued at $175 each from Consolidated Theatres, Wallace Theatre and Signature Theatres.
Chuck Totto, executive director of the City Ethics Commission, declined to comment on Harris’ gift report....
~ ~ ~
For more on former Honolulu Mayor Jeffrey Harris, GO TO > > > Predators in Paradise
$ $ $
September 27, 2003
Metro Airport to settle
Legal battle touched off probe of county officials
By Rajiv Vyas and Jeff Bennett, Detroit Free Press
Detroit Metro Airport will pay the company that once ran its parking garage and lots $800,000 to settle the legal battle that eventually led to allegations of corruption and a federal investigation of Michigan political kingpin Ed McNamara.
The Wayne County Airport Authority accepted the mediators’ recommendation Friday to settle the 5-year-old lawsuit with Chicago-based APCOA Standard Parking, now Standard Parking Corp.
Wayne County sued and later fired APCOA, accusing it of overcharging the airport more than $1 million. APCOA countersued, saying it had done nothing wrong, and that it was actually owed an additional $2 million.
When the financial dispute escalated into allegations of corruption and nepotism in the county’s dealings with APCOA and other contractors, it became front-page news. That was the first step toward an ongoing criminal investigation of top county officials, including McNamara.
He was still Wayne County executive, the county’s highest elected official, when FBI agents staged a 14-hour raid on his campaign offices last November. One of his former deputies and his wife were the first to be indicted in the probe in March.
According to an airport statement, the three mediators appointed by Wayne County Circuit Judge Pamela Harwood found “there was no wrongdoing by any party” and recommended that the airport authority pay APCOA $800,000 for expenses it had incurred while managing the parking lots.
“We think that’s terrific,” said James Wilhelm, Standard Parking president and chief executive officer. “We are very pleased that the county in retrospect agreed that there was no wrongdoing.”...
The dispute began in December 1998, when county Auditor General Brendan Dunleavy said APCOA overcharged the airport as much as $400,000. A subsequent investigation by the county prosecutor raised the estimate of the overcharge over six years to $1 million.
In June 1999, the county filed a lawsuit accusing APCOA of overcharging the airport $1 million over six years on leases for the shuttle vans that carry travelers between the airport’s three terminals and its parking garage and lots.
APCOA denied the claims and filed a countersuit seeking $2 million.
In September 1999, a review of invoices obtained by the Free Press under the Freedom of Information Act found that McNamara’s brother-in-law, Louis Feys Jr., collected more than $870,000 at Detroit Metro during the year ending July 31, 1999.
Seven months later, former commission chairman Ricardo Solomon filed another lawsuit claiming the airport allowed APCOA and McQ Leasing Inc. of Grosse Lie Township to overcharge for the leases in exchange for jobs and no-bid contracts to relatives of county and airport officials.
The charges touched off a state audit which found that APCOA had hired relatives of key officials, including four relatives of McNamara, a daughter of the county’s deputy chief operating officer Wilbourne Kelley, and four relatives of Allie Abbas, the airport official who oversaw the parking contract.
The Free Press, which obtained a memo in March 2001, also found that executives for APCOA and the county may have conspired to overcharge for insurance premiums and other reimbursable costs.
Subsequent court filings reviewed by the Free Press, also revealed controversial high-interest loans totaling $660,000 that were made to Wayne County for additions to airport parking lots. There were no bids for the loans or the work, as required by county rules. Airport officials could not identify or document the loans, which never came before the county Board of Commissioners, as required for any construction project of more than $50,000.
The legal mess with APCOA also touched off a federal probe in March 2002 into contract irregularities and campaigning on public time by airport and Wayne County officials.
Federal authorities raided McNamara’s campaign office in November and seized records.
In March, a federal grand jury indicted Kelley and his wife, Barbara. They were charged with extortion, conspiracy and government program fraud in order to secure a job for their son, a $40,000 kitchen, and a dress to wear to President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration.
$ $ $
MORE TO COME...
MEANWHILE, PLEASE DON’T FEED THE VULTURES IN THE
PARKING LOT. INSTEAD, TAKE A GANDER
AT THE FOLLOWING
A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha’s Court
AIG: The Un-American Insurance Group
Allied World Assurance
Aloha, Harken Energy!
An Octopus Named Wackenhut
Birds in the Lobby
Birds on the Power Lines
Birds that Drink from Cesspools
Buzzards of Paradise
Buzzards on the Bar
Claims By Harmon
Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs
Dirty Money, Dirty Politics & Bishop Estate
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Investors Equity Life Insurance: Vultures In The Meadows
How to Pluck a Non-Profit
HUD: The Housing & Urban Disaster
I Sing The Hawaiian Electric
Nests in the Pentagon
RICO in Paradise
The Chubb Group
The Great Nest Egg Robberies
The American Red Double-Cross
The Eagle Awakes
The Freedom to Sing
The Indonesian Connection
The Kissinger of Death
The Marsh Birds
The Nests of CB Richard Ellis
The Nests of Osama bin Laden
The Nuclear Nests
The Pimps to Power
The Poop on Aon
NEW > > > The Puna Connection < < < NEW
The Secret Nests
The Sinking of the Ehime Maru
The Stephen Friedman Flock
The Story of Enron
The Strange Saga of BCCI
The United Defense Industries Matrix
Thorns in the Rose Garden
Uncle Sam’s Guinea Pigs
Who’s Guarding the Hen House?
Woo vs. Harmon
NEW > Zeroing In On Zurich Financial Services < NEW
~ o ~
MORE OF THE CATBIRD’S FAVORITE LINKS
THE CATBIRD SEAT FORUM
THE CATBIRD SEAT
~ o ~
FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last Update May 27, 2007, by The Catbird