Ken Emrith has been named in the Panama Papers scandal for links to Brazil’s ever-widening corruption investigation and now to a Haiti petroleum deal.
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 29, 2016: A Caribbean-born businessman has been named in the Panama Papers scandal for links to Brazil’s ever-widening corruption investigation and now to a Haiti petroleum deal. Here are 10 facts you should know about this man:
1: His name is Ken Emrith and he is a Trinidad-born businessman. Emrith set up the shell company Pendrey Associates Corporation according to the secret files leaked in the Panama Papers on the clients of global law firm and provider of offshore services Mossack Fonseca & Co, (MF).
2: Pendrey Associates according to secret documents, obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with the Trinidad Express and other media partners, channeled millions of US dollars to offshore bank accounts, including a US$1 million consultancy fee from Alberto Youssef, a convicted money launderer connected to the Brazil Petrobras bribery.
3: Emrith, according to the Express, was a former low-level party functionary of the United National Congress (UNC) and at one point in 2002 had the title of strategy officer. A brief bio on the website of current Trinidad opposition MP and Member for Oropouche East Roodal Moonilal lists him as an “International Relations Officer” who “is a dynamic administrator with a strong record of achievement.” It adds that: “He is Managing Director of a consultancy firm that has served several local and international firms. He is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Centre of Excellence and former Executive Director of the School Nutrition Programme. He has served as a director on several private and public sector organisations. He is a former Operations Manager of the UNC and National Executive member and managed public meetings and rallies for national elections in 2010 and on other occasions.”
5: Emrith was connected to Brazilian construction giant, Construtora OAS, which was contracted by the People’s Partnership administration in July 2011 to build the contentious and yet-to-be finished US-billion-dollar highway extension to Point Fortin. OAS construction executives are connected to Brazil’s largest-ever corruption scandal, which has engulfed President, Dilma Rousseff, and threatens to ensnare former president, Luis Inacio Lula de Silva, on suspicion of kickbacks related to a beachfront property.
6: Emrith’s company was part of the Haiti petroleum arrangement in 2014 that was born with Trinidad and Tobago after Haiti was looking for ways to cover a 120,000-barrel-a-month Venezuelan oil shortfall and cut its fuel costs. But in the end, the oil deal between Trinidad and Haiti fizzled, dashing any dreams of cashing in.
7: Italian drinks giant Gruppo Campari paid Emrith US$2.5 million for facilitating the December 2012 acquisition of a CL Financial majority-owned asset, Lascelles de Mercado (LdM), and its portfolio of premium rum brands, including the top-selling and iconic Appleton rum.
8: The Bank of Saint Lucia International Ltd., according to the Miami Herald, at one time told Emrith that it was unable to accept a $1 million wire transfer into the account of his Pendrey Associates shell company. The transfer was from New Zealand-based Santa Tereza Services. Around the same time, on Aug. 6, 2013, the bank said it had decided to close Emrith’s account. Emrith contacted Mossack Fonseca for help in clearing up the issue, which it did.With Mossack’s assistance, Emrith provided a copy of an agreement with Santa Tereza Services Ltd. saying Pendrey was hired to provide technical services for a port expansion in Namibia, according to the Herald.
9: Emrith is a close associate of Jack Warner, former vice president of FIFA, the World Cup organization. He once worked as Warner’s chief executive officer in charge of a $26 million soccer academy on the outskirts of Trinidad’s capital.
10: In April 2011, Warner who was then acting prime minister, together with several high-ranking government ministers, members of State boards and enterprises and high-ranking officials from the United National Congress (UNC) were among the guests at the wedding reception of Stefanie Emrith, Ken Emrith’s daughter, which was held at Petrotrin’s staff club in Pointe-a-Pierre.