Now and again, a story pops up that reminds us that, even in the more liberal mainstream press, nothing is ever as it seems and real investigative journalism simply doesn't exist (if it ever did)...
Charges in Kenya corruption scandal

The Guardian

Jeevan Vasagar - 16 March 2006

Kenya's attorney-general yesterday signalled his willingness to tackle the country's biggest corruption scandal by charging five men, including the former governor of the central bank, with fraud.

The "Goldenberg" scandal was made public 14 years ago and cost Kenyan taxpayers 400m, but no one has been found guilty and no politician has faced charges.

The scandal involved the payment of massive cash subsidies for fictitious exports of gold and diamonds by a firm called Goldenberg International.

"If you look at the list, what you see is civil servants taking the fall," said Mwalimu Mati, executive director of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. "Politicians, as in all other corruption scandals, are left untouched. These people had a role to play but they surely can't have been the only ones involved. There were people involved in facilitating the money coming out of the treasury, and people involved in the political cover-up."

Of the five men indicted, three have faced charges before: the former deputy governor of the central bank, Eliphaz Riungu, the former treasury permanent secretary, Wilfred Karunga Koinange, and Kamlesh Pattni, who was a director of Goldenberg International.

Their cases never came to a full trial and proceedings were halted after the president, Mwai Kibaki, came to power in December 2002. Mr Kibaki set up an inquiry which reported last month. The inquiry said former president Daniel arap Moi must have been aware of the scam and urged the attorney-general to consider pressing charges against George Saitoti, a former finance minister. Mr Saitoti, an education minister in the new government, resigned from the cabinet last month, but denies involvement.

The two new names on the list are Eric Kotut, the central bank governor under Mr Moi, and James Kanyotu, a former intelligence chief who was a director of the firm.

At a time when Kenya faces a severe drought, the scandal is a reminder of the sleaze and economic stagnation of the Moi years. The former president denies involvement.

The hardship suffered by herdsmen in Kenya's arid north is partly blamed on neglect by the failure of successive governments to build roads or help develop the region.

The charges over Goldenberg, a scandal which epitomised the corruption of the Moi government, come at a time when the new government is reeling from its own corruption scandal.

Mr Kibaki's finance minister and justice minister resigned after being named in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal, in which millions of pounds were looted from the treasury in dodgy contracts for police and military equipment.

Foreign donors and Kenyans have been appalled by the government's heavy-handed treatment of the press. Earlier this month armed police shut down a TV station and burned copies of an opposition newspaper after the arrest of three of its journalists over a story about a secret meeting between the president and an opposition leader. The IMF has reportedly postponed a decision on loans to Kenya because of worries over corruption.
Reading the above we are obviously meant to come away with the idea that the long-running "Goldenberg scandal" is simply a Kenyan affair. We could be wrong, but the name "Goldenberg international" doesn't exactly sound Kenyan to us. Bear with us while we take you on a trip down memory lane to a time when, for a few days, it seemed like former Presidential candidate John Kerry was about to suffer the horrors of a Clintonesque nightmare...
'This won't go away. What happened is much nastier than is being reported'

Adrian Blomfeld & Andrew Alderson - 15 February 2004

Alex Polier, the twenty-four year old journalist who could end Senator John Kerry's hopes of becoming the next president of the United States is alleged to have had a two-year affair with the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Last night the rumours were in danger of becoming a full-blown scandal.

Alex Polier, 24, was alleged to have had an affair with John Kerry
"This is not going to go away," one American friend of Miss Polier said yesterday. "What actually happened is much nastier than is being reported."

The allegations come at a crucial time for the senator. Polls showed him leading Mr Bush by 52 per cent to 42 per cent, and aides will be anxious to see if the apparent scandal affects his standing among voters.

Miss Polier, a former intern who also spent some time in 1998 doing work experience at the Houses of Parliament in London, is in Kenya staying with Yaron Schwartzman, her fiance and a member of the country's fashionable young set. The couple have refused to make any comment on her alleged links with Senator Kerry, who is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, an heiress to the food empire.

Senator Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran dubbed the new JFK, has vehemently denied any relationship with Miss Polier, and shrugged off allegations that he had a two-year affair with her from 2001. "I just deny it categorically. It's rumour. It's untrue. Period," he said.

Mr Kerry, 60, has won 12 out of the 14 Democratic primaries and has looked all but certain to seal the nomination to take on President George W. Bush in November's elections.

His aides have blamed a dirty tricks campaign for bringing the allegations about Miss Polier into the public eye; they first surfaced last week on a Right-wing internet site, the Drudge Report, which famously first broke the news of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. [...]
The above mentioned Yaron Schwartzman, with whom Miss Polier 'went to ground' in Kenya, is of the infamous Kenyan Schwartzman family. Mr Joseph Schwartzman of the same family is a business partner of Naushad N. Merali of the Kenyan Sameer group.
Kenyan investors impressed with the investment climate in Rwanda

Kenyan investors have expressed confidence in the investment climate in Rwanda. A team from the Sameer Group of Companies expressed confidence in the country's leadership and investment climate, and said they were interested in investing in the tea, banking, construction and energy sectors.

Speaking after they paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame, Mr. Joseph Schwartzman said, "We have come from Kenya to look at investment in various sectors including tea, banking, construction and energy. We are very impressed with the leadership of this country, and have all the confidence and positive attitude which investors need. "

Mr. Schwartzman was accompanied by Mr. Naushad N. Merali and Ambassador Hameed A. Kidwai, both senior directors with the Sameer Group.
Both Mr. Schwartzman and Mr. Merali are close business associates of Nicolas Biwott, minister for tourism under ex-Kenyan President and dictator Moi. Mr. Biwott was at the time widely recognised as one of the most corrupt politicians of his day.

Back in August 2000, there was the death of a catholic missionary priest in Kenya, Father Kaiser.
Kenya - Kaiser's death: Is there a cover-up?

Human Rights, by Special Correspondent

The Kenyan media's coverage of the last days and hours of Mill Hill Missionary Fr. John Kaiser's life paint the picture of a very erratic and irrational priest. Investigators may use this "suicide" theory to cover up who really was behind the murder. [...]

Fr. Kaiser, meanwhile, was to be a witness in an upcoming court case in England charging Moi and members of his government with genocide for their role in ethnic clashes during the 1990s, claims Gachoka. And the September 15 Finance reports that Fr. Kaiser was also on his way to Arusha, Tanzania, to hand to a aide of U.S. President Bill Clinton sensitive documents about Ouko's murder and details of the causes and perpetrators of ethnic clashes in Kenya last decade. Other reports indicated that Fr. Kaiser had more information of rapes committed by senior government officials such as MP Julius ole Sunkuli. If this is true, and if the U.S. is indeed consolidating its interests in Kenya, that might account for the apparent "suicide" campaign to explain Fr. Kaiser's death.

And exactly who ordered the execution - and pulled the trigger - is even bigger speculation. The October 4 edition of the daily The People reports that the government hired seven death row convicts to carry out the crime in exchange for freedom that would be granted through a prison escape. Unfortunately, as media headlines screamed on September 5, six of these were "gunned down" - later, they were discovered to have their heads smashed in and their eyes gouged out - as they tried to escape. The September 4-17 issue of Newsline opines that it is too obvious to blame Fr. Kaiser's death on President Moi, Sunkuli or Cabinet Ministers Nicholas Biwott and William ole Ntimama (who Fr. Kaiser had testified sent Kenyan youth to Israel for commando training during the ethnic clashes),especially because Fr. Kaiser's death conveniently occurred just before Clinton's trip to Tanzania. Newsline attributes the killing to a "third force working deep within the political establishment to rock the boat right from within."

Whatever the explanations of who murdered Fr. Kaiser, how, and why, one fact must remain high in peoples' minds: throughout his mission, Fr. Kaiser had always risked his comfort, security, and, indeed life, to speak the truth. His testimony to the Akiwumi Commission on Tribal Clashes on how the government caused the clashes and evicted Kiisi and Kuria people from Trans Mara District, his rape evidence against Sunkuli, and his other activities all point to a person who loved the truth and was willing to risk all to be a voice for the voiceless. We must act on the information Fr. Kaiser has made public, and thus fulfill the statement Bishop Tonucci made at Fr. Kaiser's funeral: "If somebody thought that through his physical elimination, the embarrassing questions raised by his presence could be silenced once and for all, his calculation was completely wrong."
So at the time of his murder, the late Father Kaiser was on his way to reveal to President Clinton the identities of the perpetrators of ethnic clashes in Kenya. Notice above the mention of a "third force working deep within the political establishment." What group are we aware of that works in secret and by way of deception, to ensure it's agenda is met? It appears that the so called "ethnic clashes" in Kenya were manipulated, with the control of land (and the diamonds and gold it contains) being at least one of the real reasons.

In the next article, we get a better idea of exactly what the unfortunate Fr. Kasier knew about the possible identity of the mysterious "third force".
Biwott, Ntimama 'sent youths for military training'

By Michael Njuguna & Watoro Kamau - 3 February 1999

A Catholic priest yesterday told the Akiwumi Commission that Cabinet Ministers Nicholas Biwott and William Ole Ntimama sent some youths for commando training in Israel.

The youths were later used in the eviction of Kisii and Kurias from Trans Mara District, he said.

The priest said the evictions started in 1989 after the then Rift Valley PC, Mr Mohamed Yusuf Haji, visited Lologorian area and gave a quit order to the non-Maasai.

When the non-Maasai failed to leave the area, they were evicted by administration policemen who set their houses on fire.

Father Kaiser said the PC was nick named "Pole Musa", by the local people after he said to them "Pole Musa, the non-Maasai will have to go".

The witness said he could make available hundreds of witnesses who attended the PC's baraza (meeting) to confirm his evidence.

Father Kaiser was being cross-examined by Mr Ndubi for the LSK.

Ndubi: Did you ever establish the reasons for the eviction of people from Enoosupukia?

Kaiser: There is a universal consensus on why people were evicted. I have read so much about the reasons given for eviction. All I have heard about the water catchment area being the cause is nonsense. I have never believed what Hon Ntimama says about Enoosupukia water catchment area. There is a lot of environmental degradation taking place in Mr Ntimama's area and he does not speak about it. Bulldozers are destroying the place and he has been keeping quiet, yet he has been shouting about Enoosupukia water catchment area.

Ndubi: I am asking you to relate the issue of evicting people from Enoosupukia with the government's decision to resettle some of the victims at Moi Ndabi area. Isn't the government legitimising the evictions?

Kaiser: I thought the government was behind the evictions. I do not think ordinary Maasai were involved. I think some powerful people wanted to exploit the area like the colonialists did. All big people in the government are involved in land grabbing in the Rift Valley Province. This is also the case in Trans Mara. It had nothing to do with the Kikuyu or Kisii occupying catchment areas. [...]

Ondeyo: Why didn't you inform the police that some officers were burning houses?

Kaiser: Because those burning houses were following orders from above. The DO and the chief were supervising the burning of Kurias' and Kisiis' houses. I believe they were trained and also hired to do so.

Ndubi: You have referred to the issue of training of people who evicted others. Where did the training take place?

Kaiser: I have hearsay evidence. Somebody else will come and give that evidence. I was told that some Kalenjin and Maasai were taken for overseas training by some ministers in the government. They trained and came back.

Ndubi: Tell us what you were told.

Kaiser: Nobody can convince me that a local Maasai can rise against the Kisii. These were trained people. They were trained in Israel and some within Kenya.

Ndubi: Would you know who made this arrangement for training?

Kaiser: This is general knowledge among the people in Trans Mara. It is Minister William Ole Ntimama and Mr Nicholas Biwott.

Ndubi: Were you told when the training took place?

Kaiser: No, but it is around the time evictions were taking place. [...]
Fr. Kaiser was murdered on Aug 23 2000. In the above article local news reporters referred to a "third force" that was behind Fr. Kasier's death, and that it was done just before Kaiser was scheduled to hand information to Clinton in Tanzania about the source and reason for ethnic clashes in Kenya. This information, on Kaiser's own admission in the interview above, would at the very least contain proof that Biwott, the partner of Schwartzman (former Kerry intern Miss Polier was "hiding out" with the Schwartzmans), had sent Kenyans to Israel for training and brought Israeli groups to come to Kenya for training purposes. He claimed that the reason for the creation of these fake "ethnic clashes" was because certain people wanted to exploit the area in question.

In an interesting synchronicity, less than one month after the murder of Father Kaiser, there was a strange attack on the car that was carrying the grandson of Mr. Biwott. The attack was strange in that it seems that the car was deliberately singled out for the attack. The final comment in the article below is left hanging. No reason is given for the immediate departure to Israel of Mr. Biwott and his wife, or who they were going to see.
Horror of city hijack

By Nation Team - 21 September 2000

Two men died protecting a grandson of Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott.

The boy's bodyguard and driver were shot in their Landcruiser by three gangsters who had earlier robbed a bank at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, of Sh2.2 million.

The three who were trying to hijack the Landcruiser opened fire as the bodyguard reached for his semi-automatic pistol to protect seven-year-old Victor Jacobson.

They also fired eight bullets into the driver as he got out of the car with his hands raised in surrender.

Terrified Victor dived under the rear seat as the bullets flew. The driver died at the scene and the guard in hospital yesterday. As a crowd gathered the gangsters made off without taking the vehicle.

Victor had just been collected from the Swedish School, in Makini Road, across the city from the airport, where he is a pupil.

Another parent with a child at the same school who was also driving home rescued the youngster and took him home to Riverside Drive.

When he arrived only the house helps were present but they quickly called the little boy's parents who were still at work.

They are Mr Biwott's eldest daughter, Rhoda, who manages the Yaya Centre, and her husband Mr Pierre Jacobson, the international exports manager with Kenol Kobil, in which Mr Biwott is the majority shareholder.

Mrs Jacobson fainted when first told of the attack by askaris at the Yaya Centre. Yesterday, Victor who is the second born in a family of three, did not attend school and neither did the parents go to work.

"They were traumatised ... they are in a state of shock," said close family friends.

Mr Biwott and his wife, Hannie, were reported to have left for Israel on Monday.
The attack on the Israeli owned "Paradise Hotel" in Mombassa, Kenya, bore all the hallmarks of a Mossad "false flag" operation. The details are discussed here, and we refer our readers to page 287 of Victor Ostrovsky's book on the Mossad By Way of Deception for a more detailed analysis of the type of turn key business fronts that the Mossad operate.
Kerry intern hiding in Kenya

By Nation reporter - 16 February 2004

The young intern at the centre of a furore involving United States presidential hopeful John Kerry is hiding out in Kenya.

Alex Polier, 24, has been in the country for the past few weeks visiting her fiancee, Mr Yaron Schwartzman, who works with FilmStudios, along Nairobi's Ngong Road.

Ms Polier, who could end Senator John Kerry's hopes of becoming the next president of the United States, is alleged to have had a two-year affair with the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

"This is not going to go away," one American friend of Ms Polier said yesterday. "What actually happened is much nastier than is being reported."

The allegations come at a crucial time for the senator. Polls showed him leading Mr Bush by 52 per cent to 42 per cent, and aides will be anxious to see if the apparent scandal affects his standing among voters.

Ms Polier, a former intern who also spent some time in 1998 doing work experience at the Houses of Parliament in London, is in Kenya staying with Mr Schwartzman.

It was not immediately clear what Mr Schwartzman does at FilmStudios. Efforts to contact the family home in the leafy suburb of Lavington were fruitless.

Miss Polier and her fiance were believed to be hiding at the Nairobi home of Mr Schwartzman's parents, who moved to Kenya from Israel.

Mr Joseph Schwartzman is the chairman of the H Young group of companies. His wife, Hannah, is described by friends to be a devout Jew who was hoping to see her future daughter-in-law convert to Judaism before the wedding ceremony planned for some time later in the year.

The Nation has established, however, that the couple were students together at Columbia University in New York. [...]
The following is an excerpt from Victor Ostrovsky's book "By Way of Deception" on the Mossad. Ostrovsky was a Mossad agent and in his book he details the type of operations conducted by the Mossad. It includes everything from arms and money laundering to "repatriation" of Jews from around the world to Israel. In one account entitled "Operation Moses" he states:
Operation Moses

They were all there: foreign diplomats escaping the oppressive heat of Khartoum; tourists from right across Europe anxious to learn diving techniques in the Red Sea, or enjoy escorted tours of the nubian desert; and senior Sudanese officials, all relaxing in the newly constructed tourist resort 75 miles north of Port Sudan across the sea from Mecca.

How were they to know it was a Mossad front? Indeed on the morning in early July 1985, when the 50 or so customers woke up to find the staff had vanished - except for a few locals left behind to serve breakfast - they still didn't know what had happened. Few people know even today. As far as legitimate tourists were concerned, the resort's European owners had gone bankrupt, as the notes left behind claimed, though they were assured of a full refund. The staff, either Mossad or Israeli navy workers, had disappeared during the night, some by boat, others by air. But what had happened at this camp is one of the great mass escape stories of history, a story only partially known to the world as Operation Moses. [...] The resort was constructed in about a month. Besides the main buildings for the tourists, the kitchen, the bedrooms and so on, there were several sheds to house communication equipment and weapons...They also sneaked in all the gear needed for lighting up impromptu airfields in the desert [...]
The above is part of the account of the "rescue of 18,000 black Ethiopian Jews or Falashas from Ethiopia to Israel". The account is particularly interesting when looked at in the aftermath of the attack on the Mombasa paradise Hotel in Kenya in late November 2002. Many aspects of both cases are similar.
Kenyan hotel staff unpaid

5 December 2002

The attack left hotel workers jobless

Former staff at Kenya's Paradise Hotel, which was blown up last week, complain that they have not been paid.

Nine of their colleagues were killed in the suicide attack on the Israeli-owned hotel near the coastal resort of Mombasa.

The hotel was completely destroyed by the attack, leaving the staff jobless.

Israeli manager Yehuda Sulami said he was not sure if the hotel would be rebuilt because "terrorist" attacks were not covered in the insurance policy.

He tried to calm tempers during a demonstration and promised they would be paid soon. Reuters news agency reports that staff booed him as he spoke.

Some claimed they had received just 2,000 Kenyan shillings ($25) for a year's work at the Paradise.

They say the managers repeatedly promised to pay them, but the promises were never kept.

"We depended on tips from the guests which was not enough," said Josephine Mbuli, 23, who worked as a hairdresser for three years to support her eight siblings and mother.

"There's no question that November salaries have not been paid," Mr Sulami told reporters. "Some we also have to pay for September. But there's no question their salaries will be paid as soon as possible."

But Paradise Hotel staff say they are used to hearing promises.

Human resources manager Valentina Sapaya, who had only been working there for a few months, said many people had told her that their wages had not been paid, despite repeated management pledges.

"They are very patient," she said. "They were hoping to get paid any time. The owner kept on promising, then they were living in hope."

The BBC's Gray Phombeah says that Paradise Hotel was the only Israeli-owned hotel in the Mombasa area.
So, like "Operation Moses", the "owners" of the hotel had apparently disappeared leaving the "manager" to pick up the pieces, although it appears that an effort was made to extort up to $2,000,000 from the "time share owners" after the hotel had been destroyed. Just who the beneficiaries of this money were is not clear.
Mombassa hotel demands $2,000 from time-share owners

David Hayoun - 17 December 2002

Sources inform Globes that the owners of the Paradise Hotel, where three Israelis were killed in a terrorist attack, have recently demanded $2,000 from the Israeli owners of time-sharing units in the hotel. The hotel owners said "the money was needed in order to cover the expenses of renovating the hotel, which was severely damaged in the attack."

The time-share owners have already paid $7,000-$10,000 in recent years for the right to use the unit for one week a year.

The demand stunned many of the time-share owners, some of whom had only just finished paying for their units. Some of them believe the demand is not legitimate, and the hotel owners should finance the renovations either from the insurance money, or out of pocket. Others agree the demand is legitimate, since the hotel is not insured against terrorism.

Adv. Yigal Cohen, trustee for the time-sharing units in the hotel purchased by Israelis, told Globes, "The requests were sent to the 1,000 Israeli unit owners. The demand is reasonable, given the fact that the hotel is not insured against terrorist attacks. Had the attacks occurred in Israel, property taxes would have covered the damage.

"I looked for a similar institution in Kenya, but there is none, so the hotel owners have to bear the expense. For the time-sharing unit owners the payment is for maintenance, which they would have had to pay later in any case. At the same time, I'm checking whether Israeli government agencies will participate in the added cost, and I've also contacted the property tax department. I'm waiting for answers." Cohen also contacted the Kenyan ambassador to Israel.

It should be emphasized that Cohen is not a party to the $2,000 demand, which comes from the hotel owners. Cohen formally holds the time-sharing units for the Israeli purchasers, since the right to use them for one week a year cannot be registered in the land registry, and a trustee is required.

Cohen added a warning note for the units, through a Kenyan company under his management. He said that the unit owners had already begun negotiating with the hotel owners over the $2,000 demand, and various means of compensating the unit owners were under consideration, including the granting of an additional week of use.
To our knowledge, the Mombassa Paradise hotel remains in ruins to this day. As to whether the $2,000 per "time share holder" was ever paid we do not know.

Yet the question remains, if the Mobassa paradise hotel was a Mossad front, just what was it being used for? We know that Israel, as a state, has very expensive tastes, especially in terms of armaments. Just where does the little piece of land in the Middle East that is Israel, with no oil or gas reserves to speak of, get all its money from? We realise that it is massively subsidised by the US, but even that, we think, is not enough to fill the Israeli government's monetary needs and those of its clandestine organisations. What if this time, instead of exporting people, the Israeli front that was the Mombassa Paradise Hotel was used in the export of something altogether more mundane. Perhaps we can call it "Operation Goldmine"?
Money, power and the winded path of Goldenberg's deals

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

What is 'Goldenberg'? How did the scheme work and who did it benefit? As the newly appointed commission prepares to examine the biggest cash scandal in Kenya's history, the Nation presents the second part of research by Peter Warutere, International Development Research Council (IDRC) and the Kenya Leadership Institue, entitled Corruption and Elite Wealth

Goldenberg was a neatly packaged conduit of plundering public funds. Its roots have over the years been traced right to the most powerful people running the government during the tenure of President Daniel arap Moi.

It all began with a businessman called Kamlesh Pattni registering a company, Goldenberg International Limited, that offered an alternative source of foreign exchange earnings from gold and diamond jewellery exports.

Mr Pattni exploited the fact that the government was experiencing a serious foreign exchange crisis due to suspension of balance of payments aid and insufficient earnings from the export sector. Moreover, President Moi and Kanu were desperate for money to finance the elections and now that the bilateral donors were pressing for democratic reforms, they were not likely to fund Mr Moi's campaign like they had done before.

Kamlesh Mansukhlal Damji Pattni was a little known messenger in downtown Nairobi peddling gold bracelets and rings. At the age of about 27, he registered Goldenberg as a gold and export jewellery firm. He came from a family that was in small time jewellery business and could not even be compared with his cousins, Nagin Pattni, who was running bigger businesses in Nairobi. Kamlesh was the chairman of Goldenberg while his elder brother, Rohit Pattni, was the managing director (chief executive). How Mr Pattni got connected to the ruling elite remains unclear but by 1990, it was apparent that he had succeeded in selling a multi-million dollar scheme to the Kenyan authorities.

The scheme, evidence shows, was sanctioned by the Office of the President by an inter-ministerial committee, but the principal architect was Mr Hezekiah Oyugi, the permanent secretary in the President's office in charge of internal security.

Mr Oyugi was an all-powerful personality who was so close to President Moi that for a time he rivalled Mr Nicholas Biwott - the President's most trusted aide and a powerful political operator. Mr Oyugi was implicated in a series of high corruption deals, including the Nyayo Bus Corporation (which eventually collapsed).

There was also another significant dimension to Goldenberg. Besides Pattni, the only other original subscriber was Mr James Kanyotu, the head of Kenya's dreaded security intelligence, then known as the Special Branch (now the National Security Intelligence Service). Mr Kanyotu, a fearsome policeman, was listed as a farmer in the original registration documents filed with the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney-General's office, while Mr Pattni was listed as a director of China Trade Ltd.

Mr Kanyotu did not disclose that he was also a director of Firestone East Africa, a tire business substantially owned by Mr Naushad Merali, believed to be the President's proxy and business associate. Mr Merali's holding company, Sameer Investments Limited, owns a large number of profitable business enterprises, a good number of them bought out from American investors in mind-boggling deals. Mr Kanyotu was also a director of First American Bank, also part of Sameer. It could well then have been no coincidence that Goldenberg operated its first account at this bank.
The Goldenberg inquiry has been ongoing for many years in Kenya and is the biggest financial scandal in the country's history. It involved the laundering and exporting of hundreds of millions of dollars to, as yet, undisclosed parties. The commodities were allegedly gold, diamonds and rubies from more than one African nation. Using the network established by Mr Merali and Mr Schwartzman, which apparently involved the entire Kenyan cabinet under President Moi, the con job was made exceedingly easy.

Notice in the above the names associated with the owner of "Goldenberg International Limited"; Mr. Merali, the business associate of Mr. Schwartzman with whom the Miss Polier, "Kerry's intern" was residing. It appears then that even with the change of government, certain groups still hold enough influence to scupper an investigation that would surely uncover facts that would expose more than just Kenyan officials.
Parliament okeyed payment, Goldenberg Inquiry told

By Standard Correspondents

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Goldenberg Affair today heard how the money paid to the company as export compensation was so much that Parliament had to introduce a vote to "illegally" pay it.

The provision was sneaked in to parliament by the Ministry of Finance and it was baptised as "Customs Refund".

Former Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise Mr Philip Muli Mulili, said that the amounts of money being paid to Goldenberg International Limited were too huge that the Treasury had to seek the money through voting in Parliament.

He said it was only when Goldenberg International Limited came into the scene that the export compensation payment had to be tabled in parliament for the allocation of money to pay the company.

"In the beginning the normal 20 percent export compensation was paid without voting," Mulili told the Commission during an examination in Chief by Lead Counsel Dr John Khaminwa.

The money parliament voted to pay Goldenberg International was however paid by the Treasury instead of the normal channel of payment through the Commissioner of Customs and Excise.

Mulili had explained that parliament voted for the payment after the Ministry of Finance withheld information about the illegality of the move.

However the Commissioner of Customs and Excise Mr Cheruiyot and Mulili came under intense criticism by Commission chairman Justice Samuel Bosire for paying Goldenberg money without confirming from the Central Bank of Kenya that foreign exchange was received legally.

"Why didn't you check with the Central Bank of Kenya to ensure the foreign exchange came in the normal way?" Bosire questioned Mulili.

Bosire said it was up to the Customs department to ensure that foreign exchange was received in Kenya by the authorised dealers who were the Commercial Banks.

Mulili tried to explain that they were satisfied with information they received from the Commercial Banks and overlooked the possibility that the money could have been obtained from the local black market.

The Customs Department was further accused of laxity when they did not ensure that the boxes used by Goldenberg International Limited to export gold and diamond jewellery were tamper proof.

It came to light later on that the company was not only using wax seals on the metal boxes which could be tampered with but also used only a single seal number for a number of boxes.

The Commission said that the Commissioner of Customs and Excise could have investigated, required the production of relevant books and even made arrests when he discovered something was wrong or illegal somewhere.

The Commission heard that Goldenberg allegedly appeared to comply with the law but it was not.

Mulili however said that the Department of Mines and Geology did not reveal to them that they were not using the tamper proof seals.

He said they could not carry out investigations on officers who chose not to use tamper seal on the boxes containing gold and diamond jewellery for export as he only learnt about it when he appeared as a witness at the Commission.

The Customs Department also came under criticism for allegedly working with the Mines and Geology department to turn a blind eye to smuggling of diamonds and gold into the country.
The comment above about the wax seals on the cases containing gold and diamonds is interesting. It would seem to suggest that some or all of the contents of the cases went missing. We wonder where they ended up.

Information on the owners or founders of "Goldenberg International Limited" is difficult to come by. It appears that it is another more complex "front" for various businesses and banking institutions, some leading to Switzerland.
They Used My Name- Goldenberg Witness

4 November 2003

335 million shillings worth of non-existent gold and diamonds were exported out of the country by Goldenberg International to a fictional Swiss company.

At the Goldenberg Inquiry, Swiss businessman Bernard Metzger said this amount was bought by Servino Securities and the company used his address and name in Switzerland.

But he claimed he was not a beneficiary of the deal, despite the fact that he had a personal account with Exchange Bank and received about 1 million shillings from companies related to Pattni.

He said this money was the proceeds from the sale of airline tickets in Nairobi.

The commission was not convinced by his answers and he was given time to present evidence showing why he received huge sums of money from Pattni.
Pattni, Kanyotu, three others owned aircraft

Plane was used to ferry gold from Zaire

Reports by Eliud Miring'uh and Biketi Kikechi - 2 December 2003

An aircraft used to ferry smuggled gold from Zaire by businessman Kamlesh Pattni in 1990 was co-owned by former Director of Intelligence James Kanyotu and three other tycoons.

Kanyotu, teaming up with businessman Naushad Merali, Mr M H Da Gama Rose, and Sheriff K Sheriff, had imported two aircraft from the United States in 1989 without paying duty following a letter of exemption issued by then Vice-President and Finance Minister, Prof George Saitoti.
Again, there is undoubtedly more to this story than any of us will ever know. We find it very interesting that the Mombasa Paradise hotel was attacked and destroyed just days before the corrupt President Moi stepped down as Kenyan leader. Perhaps realising that their days of stealing from Kenya to finance Israel were over, the Mossad decided to use their Kenyan front in one last act of service to Israel. The faked "terrorist" attack and destruction of the Mombasa Paradise hotel served well to increase even further the hype and fear that Osama really is under all our beds. It also served well to further the myth that ordinary Jews are at risk given that the target was an Israeli business and at the time was packed with Israeli tourists. 13 kenyans died, along with 2 Israeli children, yet when your motto is "by way of deception thou shalt do war" those deaths are, it seems, acceptable collateral damage in the greater war that Israel is determined to fight to prove to the world that everyone hates the Jews. Of course this is simply not the case. With leaders that are prepared to sacrifice even their own people to achieve their goals, as always, it is the ordinary Jewish citizen that we feel compelled to protect, if only by sounding the alarm over the actions of their so-called leaders.