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Shell Company Presentation - Erik Vanagels Case Study

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A presentation to AML and investigative groups at Standard Chartered Bank on shell companies using a case study of Erik Vanagels.

Veröffentlicht in: Wirtschaft & Finanzen
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Shell Company Presentation - Erik Vanagels Case Study

  1. 1. Christian Focacci, CIO TransparINT, LLC Phone: (973) 251-9951 Email: chris@transparint.com Web: http://transparint.com Web of Shell Companies Case Study on Erik Vanagels Presented by
  2. 2. 2 Background • Erik (also spelled Erick or Eric) Vanagels is the name of a nominee who at one point was listed as a director of several thousand global companies. • Companies connected to Vanagels have been linked to money laundering, illegal arms smuggling, government corruption, and organized crime. • Vanagels’ addresses are often listed in Latvia, but he is also connected to addresses in Panama as well.
  3. 3. 3 Global Scope Source: https://opencorporates.com/
  4. 4. 4 Illicit Activity Case Name Countries Involved Activity The Faina vessel Case Ukraine / Sudan Illicit Arm Trading The Chernomoreneftegas Case Ukraine Gov. Corruption The flu vaccines Case Ukraine Gov. Corruption The Ukrspetseksport Case Ukraine Illicit Arm Trading The Rockford Funding Case Latvia Financial Fraud The Moldavian Cases Moldavia / Romania Gov. Corruption / Fraud The Hermitage Capital Management Case Russia / Switzerland Massive Money Laundering The Trade Construction Company LLC Case Russia Financial Fraud Hoa Le Duc’s Mafia Case Romania / Vietnam / China Organized Crime The EURO 2012 Case Ukraine Corruption The Mexicam Sinaloa Drug Cartel Case Mexico Organized Crime / Drug The GT Group Case North Korea / Iran Illicit Arm Trading / Terrorism financing The ex.ua file-exchange Case Ukraine Massive Internet Piracy The forextime.com Case Russia / New Zealand / Nigeria Money Laundering / Fraud Source: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/new-zealand-shell-company-incorporation-franchises-ii-and-ukraine.html
  5. 5. 5 Possible Related Parties Linked Nominees: • Juri Vitman • Voldemar Spatz • Inta Bilder • Stan Gorin • Elmar Zallapa Linked Corporations: • Milltown Corporate Services • Ireland and Overseas Acquisitions • Systemo AG • Cascado AG • Brooksell Universal Limited • Panamanian Houseberg Impex Inc • Falcona Systems Limited • Highway Investment Processing LLP • Interhold • Olden Group LLC • Ridemax Systems Inc • Waterlux AG • International Overseas Limited Visit this link for a more exhaustive list: https://opencorporates.com/officers?utf8= %E2%9C%93&q=Vanagels&commit=Sear ch
  6. 6. 6 Money Flow Example Offshore Registered Company Latvian Bank Electronics, auto parts, and luxury goods US BankRussian Bank US Account Holder $ $ $ $ Originator Beneficiary
  7. 7. 7 Transaction Red Flags • Payments have no stated purpose, do not reference goods or services, or identify only a contract or invoice number. • Goods or services of the company do not match the company’s profile based on information previously provided to the financial institution. • Transacting businesses share the same address, provide only a registered agent’s address, or raise other address-related inconsistencies. • An unusually large number and variety of beneficiaries receive wire transfers from one company. • Frequent involvement of beneficiaries located in high-risk, offshore financial centers. • Multiple high-value payments or transfers between shell companies with no apparent legitimate business purpose. Source: http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/AdvisoryOnShells_FINAL.html#1
  8. 8. 8 Potential Monitoring Risk Example UK Company Low Risk Geography Latvian Bank Account Higher Risk Geography US Client A B A. A transaction monitoring system may see this as a lower risk transaction since the originator and beneficiary are both in low risk countries B. But the transaction is actually originating in a higher risk geography
  9. 9. 9 Investigative Techniques • Utilize corporate registers, web, and news sources • Identify & map network of related parties • Search wire activity for counterparties • Search wire activity multiple levels deep
  10. 10. 10 Take-Aways • The risk is in the opacity of the true originator of the transactions • Vanagels, and similar nominees, are not the masterminds, but an indicative risk indicator • Shell companies and nested corresponding banking clients add significant complexity • Without negative media related to a company, individual, or address, transaction patterns are the main way to identify future cases of this type of activity • Stay focused on your financial institution’s exposure to risk
  11. 11. 11 Appendix
  12. 12. 12 Investigative Resources • List of international corporate registries http://corpsearch.net/ • Open Corporates (search engine for incorporation records) https://opencorporates.com/ • Archived Panamanian Corporate Register Search http://ohuiginn.net/panama/ • New Zealand Companies Office https://www.business.govt.nz/companies • ICIJ’s Offshore Database http://offshoreleaks.icij.org/search • TransparINT - Negative Media Search Platform https://search.transparint.com/
  13. 13. 13 Vanagels Reference Resources • New Zealand: the Shell Company Incorporation Franchises (II) (and Ukraine), Published on May 13, 2014, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/new- zealand-shell-company-incorporation-franchises-ii-and-ukraine.html • Fraud trail leads to OAP’s tiny flat, Published on June 16, 2013, http://www.duncancampbell.org/content/fraud-trail-leads-oap%E2%80%99s-tiny- flat • Massive Ukrainian Government Money-Laundering System Surfaces, Published on June 07 2011, http://www.lucorg.com/news.php/news/5174/popup/true • Homeless Vanagels, partner of Ukrainian Naftogaz, Uploaded on Dec. 21, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k9_0VoVcvA
  14. 14. 14 Questions? Christian Focacci, CIO TransparINT, LLC Phone: (973) 251-9951 Email: chris@transparint.com Web: http://transparint.com