Aruba news and commentary


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Aruba news and commentary

  1. 1. Aruba News and Commentary:Natalee Holloway: The Real Cover-up?Money Laundering in the Multi-Millions?Natalee Holloway Commentary Harry ThoTopics: Natalee HollowayOn what turned out to be a rather slow news night for Natalee news, we have a summary from Greta,before moving on to a follow-up on our previous posts addressing banking activities on Aruba and thefamily-related/Mansur-related issues in the case that cable news has avoided discussing.Last night, Greta interviewed Vinda de Souza and Tito Lacle on Fox News.Vinda reported that Dave Holloway had met with the prosecutor and received a briefing on the case.Vinda reported that the case is moving forward, and that new persons of interests have beeninterviewed and re-interviewed. The only new evidence in the case are statements. To date, no tapeshave been received by the prosecutor from the FBI. Vinda expressed that everyone felt satisfied with theprogress of the case and are optimistic about a resolution. It seems that weve heard this before.Tito Lacle reported that Deepak Kalpoes lawyer is seriously considering charges against Dr. Phil andJamie Skeeters over the tapes. The lawyer contends that the meeting between Jamie Skeeters andDeepak Kalpoe was supposed to be a candid discussion and not an taped interview, and Deepak Kalpoecontends that he was unaware that his meeting with Jamie Skeeters was taped. Additionally, he claimsthat the statements on the tape were coerced and manipulated. Interestingly, such a conversationtaped without a persons consent is illegal in Aruba and subject to the criminal process.Tito stated that no opinion was circulating in Aruba as to whether or not NataleeHollloway is still alive.However, the case is alive, and more people are being interviewed. And again, weve already been downthis road before and we all know where we ended up.
  2. 2. With little going on in the news department, Id like to take a brief look at the subject of moneylaundering on Aruba, since weve been looking at the banking and criminal activities of several of theplayers involved with Natalee, including the Mansurs and the Twittys.Money laundering is the process through which criminals conceal the true existence,illegal source, orillegal application of income, and then disguise that income to make it appear legitimate. The mostcommon form of money laundering that credit institutions will encounter on a day-to-day basis, takesthe form of accumulated cash transactions which will be deposited in the banking system or exchangedfor other assets (monetary assets). These simple transactions may just be one part of the sophisticatedweb of complex transactions.Nevertheless, the basic fact remains that the earliest key stage for the detection of money launderingactivities is where the cash first enters the financial system.Five Phases of Money Laundering:The first phase is the exchange phase where criminals exchange their loot in return for money ofanother currency, or gold, or cheques or diamonds.The second phase is the placement phase. In this phase, the criminals attempt to bring their exchangedcash into credit institutions. Cash in credit institutions becomes transferable money.The third phase is called the layering phase. In this phase placed money separates from their criminalsources via electronic transfers or wire transfers.The fourth phase is the integration phase. In this phase, complex transactions occur within a financialinstitution to produce loan back or back-to-back loan arrangements.The fifth stage is the identification phase in which some form of identity is required for the launderedmoney. Often identification is masked by some form of trade transaction.Given the foregoing, money laundering is aided by the complicity of financial institutions. Moneyaccumulated in the Banco de la Construccion in Venezuela could be easily wire transferred to theInterbank or the Intercon Financial Bank in Aruba. Clearly, the banks in Aruba only will requireauthorizations from the Banco de la Construccion in Venezuela in order to approve the transfer. It willbe upon the Banco de la Construccion Venezuela to ascertain the identity of the source of the money.The true identity of the enterprise in Venezuela would be masked by some commercial enterprise. Thewire transfer could be the result of a payment action derived form the terms of a letter of credit (LC) fortrade. Clearly, a bank has little control over the terms of an LC. Once the money arrives in the InterconFinancial Bank or the Interbank in Aruba, it can be disbursed to a number of accounts under thepretense of payment for services or goods. Once the money is received by the alleged creditors of thegoods or services, it has effectively been laundered into Aruba.
  3. 3. Clearly, this laundered money can now be assembled in the form of cash deposits or various certificatesof deposits upon which the money can be drawn in the form of loans for trade. These loans can be usedas part of development loans for construction projects anywhere in the world, including the UnitedStates of America. Assembling money in order to support urban renewal projects could employ such anavenue for funding. Large scale projects often involve sourcing form a number of financial parties. Themore risky seed money often gets overlooked in order to launch a project that will entrain funding fromthe more legitimate financial institutions, as the project unfolds and meets certain benchmarks ofprogress.The loan back arrangement in the foregoing is difficult to identify, because the identity of the trueoriginator remains masked. However, the entity doing the urban development project in the USA couldthe same party initiating the payment, via wire transfer, from Venezuela. Hence, criminally obtainedmoneys end up being immersed into an urban development project in a US city. The urban developmentproject will be paid for by bonds drawn upon the tax dollars from American citizens residing within thecity in question.In a sense, drug money is encouraged into civic projects by the promise of profit from US tax dollars.From our previous posts on the subject, readers already know of the banking and criminal relationshipsof some of the players - names that have been plastered all over cable news but with no disclosure as totheir backgrounds or the twisted network of criminal activities that theyve been involved in. What, ifany, role the illegal activities have played in Natalees disappearance remains to be determined, but sofar, it appears that no one is looking.Posted for HarryTho