Posted: December 3rd, 2018
The Gulf nation of Qatar has used its sovereign wealth fund to make a multi-billion investment in Los Angeles real estate with joint venture partner Douglas Emmett Inc. (NYSE: DEI). As part of our ongoing research project into Douglas Emmett Inc., DE-Tenants.org began researching the company’s ambitious partnership. In the process, we have published extensively on the Qatari royalty who control the sovereign wealth fund, called the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Today we are continuing to publish information about the Qatari royalty and their offshore assets, including the former Emir and the former Prime Minister.
A public record obtained from the Panama’s corporate registry reveals that a division of the Ministry of Economy and Finance has requested information on three corporations linked to the former Emir and the former Prime Minister of Qatar.
The division is called the Intendance for Supervision and Regulation of Non-Financial Subjects (La Intendencia de Supervisión y Regulación de Sujetos no Financieros). Created by legislation in 2015, the Intendance is responsible for supervising and regulating non-financial obligors. Its mandate concerns the prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism, and financing of weapons of mass destruction. (SOURCE)
On 7 March 2017, the Intendance sent a letter to the government-run Panamanian corporate registry stating that its regulatory unit had “filed a Sanctioning Process for alleged breaches of Law 23 of April 27, 2015” and required information on 34 firms – including the names of directors, legal representatives, and resident agents, in addition to addresses of the companies and corporate charters.
The 34 companies included the following:
|BALMAREN S.A.||MEGA STAR ENTERPRISES|
|THE CHARTERED MANAGEMENT COMPANY||FEBERION INC.|
|MOSSFON TRUST CORPORATION||FIDENTIA NORTH AMERICA|
|DIETRECH, BAUMGARTNER & PARTNER||INTERNATIONAL MEDIA OVERSEAS|
|SG. HAMBROS BANK & TRUST (BAHAMAS) LIMITED||BUMMORE HOLDING INC.|
|MOSSACK FONSECA GUATEMALA||BRODWAY COMMERCE INC.|
|GOMEZ-ACEBO & POMBO||DELANTERA FINANCIERA S.A.|
|MOSSACK FONSECA & CO. BRAZIL||WOODBAY HOLDING|
|GESTRUST S.A.||DREX TECHNOLOGIES INC.|
|LEGAL ADVISORS S.A.||HAZELVILLE INTERNATIONAL INC.|
|WILDGEN AND PARTNERS||RENTON MANAGEMENT S.A.|
|IAN, S. FFRENCH FCA||NOTART CONSULTING S.A.|
|MOSSACK FONSECA & CO (UK) LIMITED||KNIBOS CONSULTING S.A.|
|RAWI & CO||YALIS S.A.|
|CHILD & CHILD||ORBIT FINANCE S.A.|
|INROW CORPORATION||UF UNIVERSE FOUNDATION|
|VERSE DEVELOPMENT||IMF HOLDING INC|
Based on the companies referenced in the document, it appears that the Intendance has been investigating many of the firms for their links to a controversial Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), published a trove of 11.5 million leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca in 2016 called the “Panama Papers.” The documents exposed over 140 politicians from more than 50 countries connected to offshore companies in 21 tax heavens. And the ICIJ has publically provided a full database of the papers’ contents.
That database provides extensive information about Qatar’s royal Al Thani family including the former Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani—the former Prime Minister of Qatar (2007-2013) and CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority (2005-2013). The two men were, respectively, Qatar’s head of state and head of government until 2013 when both men formally retired from their positions.
The Panama Papers link Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim (or “HBJ”) to eight corporate firms in jurisdictions widely regarded as tax havens. Those eight corporate entities include three found on the Intendance’s list: Knibos Consulting S.A., Notart Consulting S.A., and Yalis S.A.
Information about the three firms is outlined below:
|Knibos Consulting S.A.||Panama||7-FEB-2011||Active||Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg||Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers|
|Notart Consulting S.A.||Panama||9-FEB-2011||Active||Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg||Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; four unidentified bearers|
|Yalis S.A.||Panama||30-SEP-2011||Dissolved||Wildgen & Partners B.P. 1212 L-1012, Luxembourg||Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani; Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani; four unidentified bearers|
One of the firms listed in the Intendance letter, Yalis S.A., was 75% owned by the former Emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa, as of July 2013. HBJ owned the other 25%. No publicly available evidence indicates that they divested from Yalis, however, the firm dissolved in December 2017.
Knibos Consulting S.A. and Notart Consulting S.A. remain active firms.
HBJ has previously been investigated for money laundering
Readers will remember that, in the early 2000s, HBJ was at the center of a money laundering investigation (see HERE and HERE) by the Attorney General of the British Isle of Jersey. Jersey authorities accused HBJ of taking payments from the British defense firm BAE Systems. Investigators closed the case following a voluntary, £6 million settlement payment to Jersey authorities. HBJ admitted no wrongdoing.
Request list includes other noteworthy entities, backers
The Emir and Prime Minister’s corporate assets were included among an interesting cast of other firms on the Intendance’s list.
For example, Feberion Inc. was linked to infamous 1983 Brink’s-Mat heist of 3.5 tons of gold bullion worth £80 million today. Feberion Inc. laundered the proceeds of the robbery, according to the Guardian.
International Media Oversees was linked to Sergei Roldugin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin. It is speculated in Western media outlets that Mr. Roldugin manages Putin’s personal wealth. (See HERE and HERE).
Delantera Financiera S.A. was linked to the aunt of King Felipe VI of Spain.
Download the Intendance Document for Yourself
- Download the Intendance Letter in Spanish (Original)
- Download the Intendance Letter in English (Translated)
Our next post will walk readers through how we obtained this public record.