in UK, United Arab Emirates

Another response from Advanced Global Trading: “We see no utility for our clients or stakeholders in corresponding with you again”

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Advanced Global Trading is a Dubai-based company that sells voluntary carbon credits as an investment. As with any company doing so, the question is whether the company is a boiler room operation, selling near worthless carbon credits at hugely inflated prices.

Advanced Global Trading is slightly different to the other companies selling carbon credits as investments, in that it has its own Trading Platform. Unlike the price of voluntary carbon credits elsewhere on planet earth, the price of carbon credits on AGT’s Trading Platform goes up and up. REDD-Monitor asked whether this is because AGT is in fact a Ponzi scheme.

Ian Hainey, AGT’s PR Director, responded denying that AGT is a Ponzi scheme, but he provided no information to explain how the price of AGT’s carbon credits continually increased. REDD-Monitor sent some questions to Charles Stephenson, CEO of AGT.

Yesterday, REDD-Monitor received an email from Ian Hainey, PR Director at AGT, with a “company statement” (pdf file, 51.3 kB) attached. The statement is posted in full below and my comments follow the statement.

 
Dear Mr Lang,
 
As you are well aware, you initially posted on your blog against our company, Advanced Global Trading, on the 9th of May 2013 setting out unfounded derogatory conclusions about our company through a series of leading questions and conjecture.
 
We wrote to you in response on 20th of May 2013 refuting your allegations and inviting you to speak to us directly in an effort to provide you with factual information about our company -setting the record straight.
 
In our response we also asked you consider amending your initial posting against our company so your readers are not erroneously drawn to conclusions you have conjured up without the proper facts and insight into our company, business practices and personnel. Instead you emailed us at 9:33am UAE time (12:33pm your time) on a Friday (24th of May 2013), when it is the weekend in our head office of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, setting out a series of 22 questions for us to respond about our business. Leaving aside any sense of reasonableness as to whether this is the proper and/or customary means of soliciting information, no later than approximately four hours later you made a further posting claiming our business is a fraud and directing people to contact UK police. Again, without receiving any information from us, you have made unilateral uninformed allegations about us that are defamatory to say the least. It is thus clear to us you are not interested in our presentation of the facts about our business and have a determination, for unknown reasons or motives, to harm our company – which invariably will indirectly and directly harm our clients, personnel and the markets we serve.
 
We therefore do not intend to give any credence to your blog’s postings, statements and/or opinions and see no utility for our clients or stakeholders in corresponding with you again. Our valued clients, and others who are interested in our business, can contact us directly if they have any questions or concerns. Our contact information is transparently posted on our website at www.advancedglobaltrading.com. Further, each of our clients is assigned a personal client liaison representative to address any of their questions or needs and we encourage our clients to contact their representative.
 
We have always done everything we can to protect the interests and investments of our clients and will continue to do so despite unsubstantiated and erroneous messages from parties such as yourself who seem determined to harm our company, its business and the markets we serve for reasons or motives unbeknown to us. No amount of “anonymous” postings and misinformation will deter us from our resolve. Finally, AGT reserves all of its rights and intends to take all legal measures to protect its interests and those of its clients and other stakeholders.
 
Regards,
 
Advanced Global Trading

REDD-Monitor’s comments:

  • My questions were in response to Ian Hainey’s comment:
     

    Firstly, we are surprised that you have not contacted us in connection with your article. AGT makes itself available to the press on a regular basis to assist with articles related to the carbon market generally and AGT specifically. We invite you to our headquarters so you can see for yourself first hand AGT’s operations and personnel which we are confident will refute your negative claims against AGT and its personnel.

    Travelling to Dubai is outside REDD-Monitor’s budget, and in any case would result in unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. So, I sent some questions by email. Needless to say, AGT’s “company statement” fails to answer any of my questions.

  • AGT’s “company statement” states that “We wrote to you in response on 20th of May 2013 refuting your allegations…”. The word “refute” means to prove that a statement is wrong. I’ve re-read Hainey’s response and cannot find any proof whatsoever that AGT is not a Ponzi scheme. Hainey provides no information about how the price of AGT’s carbon credits continually rises, any explanation of how Charles Stephenson could claim that carbon is “a commodity that never goes down”, or how Franklin Connellan, head of investments at AGT, could claim in 2012 that, “Over the last 12 months, carbon has seen a return of over 22%.” (Incidentally, I note that AGT has now removed the interview with Connellan in which he makes this statement, from YouTube. AGT has also removed another video titled, “Where can I see the AGT price for my VERs?”, and another titled, “Where are Carbon Credits kept?”.) At a time when other carbon traders report “downward pressure on prices” it seems extraordinary that AGT’s prices steadily increased in 2012.
  • Yes, I sent the questions to Charles Stephenson on a Friday. However, I did not set any deadline for a response. In fact, I would still welcome his response, which I would be happy to post in full, unedited on REDD-Monitor, in a similar manner to the other interviews on REDD-Monitor.
  • The comment I wrote four hours after posting the questions for Charles Stephenson on REDD-Monitor did not claim that AGT “is a fraud”. I wrote that, “I think everyone who has invested in this company may well be the victims of a fraud.” The advice I gave was the same as the advice I give to anyone who has “invested” money in voluntary carbon credits – to contact Action Fraud.
  • Let’s assume for a moment that I’m wrong and that AGT is a perfectly legitimate company. Nevertheless, I have some questions for the company. Wouldn’t the best way to resolve the misunderstanding be for AGT to answer the questions?

 

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93 Comments

  1. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  2. @ Mark Smith – I have been following your comments on several threads, and do not fully understand the hatred and negative passion you show. Are you also an investor? Or is all this due to the fact of being an ex-employee?

    Many of us invested and “supposedly” are facing a chance of losing a big percentage of our money – yet we still try and keep an ounce of hope, to see if this issue is infact a scam, or not.

    Regardless, I would please ask that you (as an ex-employee) provide constructive feedback for the many investors that have no action-plan, rather than asume a bashful attitude, that really doesn’t do us any good.

    All I want is clarity on the issue, with a posible solution – and not various methods on how we should “embarrass/jail” them.

    Let me know how you can help. Thanks.

  3. Mr Skanzo please do not fog the debate, Mr Mark Smith has been a possible victim in this by either not being paid or treated in a manner that he is indeed looking to set the record straight.

    Only by outing this company and its boiler room tactics that you will only know if you can receive your funds back.

    why don’t you try today and close your position and get your investment returned.

    Am sure we all know the answer already on that one.

    Mr Mark Smith do you know how much money has been taken by this company from investors?

  4. skanzo (#3), as an investor, I’m with you – enough mud throwing – please someone let us know what best to do at this time. It came to my mind that, given we purchased the units inside AGT platform (at their rate) we should be able to sell inside AGT (at the rate they continue to state on thier trading platform = 15.85) and they would be bound to pay out on that basis? I suspect they will have a clause in the T&C’s to cover that but I am trying to remain hopeful! I will though take their advice and cut / paste the same questions posed by Chris and send to my personal client liaison representative. If I get any answers I will post.

  5. Guys

    I apologise that I am taking a different angle as I have different agenda and I am helping all readers realize the shameful dealings of this business to deter future investors and educate various stakeholders. I have insider knowledge and that is my help here. I want to ensure Chris Lang is not alone in what he is doing by adding further insights.

    As for what you should do; Paul Ed has the right angle. Sell sell sell and get out of this scheme before you are potentially left with nothing. Walk into AGT offices and demand that the appropriate paperwork is presented and liquidate your investment. Keep pressing them, dont fall for further sales tactics and mount increasing pressure. Why after reading all of the various blogs would you have not done this earlier? Its quite clear your money isn’t safe so you need to be bold maverick and tenacious to extract what is yours. What are you waiting for?

  6. Unfortunately your investment return is not guaranteed or safe, they can sell your share back to you at any price they wish. (due to the fact there is no market data of what the true price of a credit is) You need to understand the exact ETP’s or credits you purchased and then shop around and see which broker will offer you the best price for them. Just because you bought them with AGT does not mean that you have to sell them with AGT, though unfortunatly what you have most likely bought is no where near the value of what it was ‘sold’ to you at.

    I hate to say this but as with most investments, you either lose or make money based on the knowledge and information you have on the investment when you bought into it NOT when you look to sell it. It really doesnt help that you were miss-sold by rogue traders.

  7. Thanks Mark. I appreciate your feedback, however, based on what I am reading, it is almost imposible to “sell” now. Either we have to wait (with AGT), or get scammed by another bróker by asking us to put up a fee or invest more. So we’re just going round in circles.

    I do appreciate the idea of at least having backed information/paperwork that proves these investments truely belong to us, rather than disappeared.

    I urge any investor that has improved his situation, or has had matters clarified, or who is even taking legal actions to relate this information to the rest of us, so we know which path to take.

    I will definitely do the same.

  8. Hi Mark can you give a rough estimate on how much money has been invested into AGT?

    Am trying to understand if they have a large amount of funds under management,I have seen on here large offices and expensive lifestyles but most business can say the same about the management team view on rewards, just check out the banking industry).

    its really about what’s in the Bank and how quickly can people close positions and gain their money back. THAT IS ALL!

    The ugly way they do business is not really the point, they wont be the first or last to try and bend the rules.

    All they have to do is pay people back

    if INVESTORS get no joy in the short term then this company needs to address many of the key questions being asked of it and its directors.

    The way they have handles this is very concerning but that is not enough to point a finger of fraud (not yet)

    Can someone from AGT produce a list of paid out investors and also show how many clients have requested funds to be returned. I think they need to assist in helping more regarding investors concerns

  9. Here are the transcripts of two AGT employees explaining that there is no lock-in period with AGT’s carbon credits:

    Steven Summers, Senior Investment Consultant, AGT:

    “There is no lock-in period. AGT provides the clients with an exit strategy, which allows you to invest for however long you want. You can invest for a week, a month, however long you feel comfortable with, until you are happy with the returns that have come back.”

    Peter Doyle, Group Head of Client Liaison, AGT:

    “There is no minimum lock-in period for investment with AGT. There’s also no annual management fees, or other hidden charges.

    By the way, AGT’s videos seem to be going fast. Here’s a screenshot taken just now of the titles of four that AGT has deleted from YouTube:

  10. Guys, there is a 1.5% selling fee and the sales message is that it takes upto 8-10 days to close out however in reality thats more like anywhere between 2-8 months. Those that have sold have done so under the guidance of a sales guy/girl where they let you sell to test that you can make returns in the know how that you will come back in and buy a much bigger trade. Those with big trades trying to exit are the worst off as there are over 100 clients currently trying to exit and are being told to wait or funds are unavailable (Refer back to Ponzi)

    The minimum investment is $25k but the average is around $40k and it has been said that there are around 900 investors but within that there are some with much larger stakes. As for money in the bank, one should assume little or none, once money comes in, it can be assumed it’s then shifted to offshore accounts with little trace-ability. Do you really believe a company that has shown this behavior is going to keep money in the bank?!

    I used to wonder how Sales guys got anywhere between 8-12% commission on the total cost of a closed deal when the business was only charging 1.5% buy in and 1.5% buy out. They can do so because they are selling highly inflated goods with super inflated margins. The directors pay themselves a huge % sales guys 10% and who loses….you the investor!

  11. To Mark Smith (#11)

    Thank you for your posting which on initial read, apparently sheds some light on the internal workings and sales/bonus mechanisms of AGT. If true (and you are most qualified to know) it indicates that AGT has been skimming in order to meet their true business costs and that the buy/sell commission may not represent the full charging mechanism. There are also other overhead costs such as a prestigious Dubai address, salaries, allowances, Lotus sponsorship, etc. All of this may come off our investment before (or if) it is invested in voluntary carbon.

    Are you able to provide firm evidence to your statement that our investment money has been shifted to offshore accounts? What accounts and what countries? Not wishing to criticise, but you use the word “it can be assumed” which means that the information provided is not factual and easily discredited. Please also qualify and quantify what you mean by highly inflated goods with super inflated margins.

    I am extremely disappointed with the response from the PR Director to Chris Lang’s email. It simply bypassed all of the questions with negative and confrontational rhetoric. I would have thought that any company in this position would want to engage and outreach to all of its investors through multiple media channels. John Brown, ex BP CEO, always maintained that the best stakeholders to engage with are those that are most opposed to your business model. Great advice, great for your business, please follow it AGT if you are reading this post.

    Mark, if you are able to truthfully and with defendable facts answer Chris Lang’s questions from your knowledge of AGT’s internal business processes then this would indeed be most welcome. In your response please kindly refrain from using emotional language and only report the pure facts based on what you actually observed whilst working in AGT. If you can do this it would be of great benefit to all who have lost money and will allow us to get a significant step closer to closing our response and recovery strategy.

    Further, I feel obliged to warn the community that distributing flyers outside of AGT’s office is likely to get you arrested and possibly deported. UAE has zero tolerance on protests and it is sensible to fully abide by the laws of the country where many on this community are guests and earn our living. Go and speak directly to AGT they are still trading. Above all keep calm.

  12. we all appreciate Mr Grreen comments but we have to acknowledge that if it was not for the insight of Mark Smith then a lot of the detail would not be forthcoming.

    Mark,

    1.How much did they pay for the Lotus sponsorship
    2.Is any of the funds from the UK
    3.Is it all private investors or do they target other investor groups

    This blog is important not only to get investors paid back but also to stop people investing into a potential major problem.

    Once again thank you Chris Lang and Mark Smith in their pursuit of the truth.

  13. Hi Everyone,
    I am also in the same position, I need your help to understand two things:

    when you close a trade with AGT they should have your trade transaction with the serial no. And project name,

    – Do we have the right to ask for that?
    – is the price will shown anywhere, if not do they have to proof that they bought with the same price agreed as they work only for commission ?

    Thx

  14. I’ve a large position with them and this just brought me down. What a shame with a brand they have made they could have turned it into a leading investment broker with trading in bonds, funds, and other financial instruments and brought some real value to their clients.

  15. Hi Guys

    #PaulEd

    The market price of sponsoring is around $3m though im unsure if they paid that.
    AGT will accept cash from anyone willing to part with it though no activity takes place in the uk, the boiler room is in Dubai only selling to the UAE
    Its all private investors

    #afhr of course you have the right to those serial numbers. You purchased those credits, they are yours. The price is not shown anywhere. There is a platform you can log into or use by app to see the price. Find the latest quote and sell at that now. However do not be surprised that they will tell you not to sell and that it will take a long time to buy out.

    #Green i cant provid firm evidnece its just information im privy to knowing. Do assume it is the case. It takes a real smart crook to pull off a scam like this so dont underestimate every single avenue they would have taken to keep your cash.

  16. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  17. Think Carbon Trick (#17) will be spot on. The stuctures and Terms & Conditions will probably cover them contractually. Different matter if laws have been broken!

  18. Mark Smith (#16):

    What if they paid for the Lotus deal with carbon credits at $15 each? Then the true cost to them would be a fraction of the sponsorship rate card!

  19. I work within the Carbon Market at the Governmental level in Dubai and know pretty much everything there is to know about any company in Dubai. Feel free to ask me questions one by one…

  20. A simple one to start off with… Are AGT legit?

  21. Yes of course this company is legit. They have Trade License registered.

  22. There are no companies in Dubai (nor around the world as far as we know)that bought and paid for VER’s from AGT. First of all these credit’s are too expensive for offsetting and secondly AGT would not sell investor’s credits as they would make no money on the transaction. All companies AGT says offset their emissions are sponsored by AGT and those emissions were never paid for! Similar happened when AGT rocked to DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) trying to sell them Chinese VER’s for $26. They were kicked out of the building.
    Please understand: any business willing to offset their emissions in the Middle East would look at CER credits supplied by the Dubai Government before they would ever consider VER’s. There is only one entity these CER’s can be purchased from. I hope this answers your question. Should you have more, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Kind Regards,

  23. Several companies selling carbon credits have been forced into liquidation on “public interest” grounds over the last year or so. Does anyone know the kind of evidence required for a successful criminal prosecution?

  24. Junk (#26) Ponzi Schemes are illegal in the UAE of course. However; it is difficult and almost impossible to prove such cases. Of course the authorities have the right and the power to investigate and we are aware of this particular case and have been for more than a year. We are watching this very closely and also we have all kinds of documents, contracts, Terms & Conditions and a lot more from various investors as well as we received various complains. Investigating a company is one thing and successfully prosecuting is quite another. We are working with the authorities, Investigators and a Prosecutor at the moment and it’s only a matter of time before action is taken. To be honest this is not good for investors with money stuck in…
    On another note: right now a new legislation is being drafted to regulate the Carbon Market in the UAE. It will be introduced by the end of this year effective as of 1st January 2014. All Carbon Companies will be required to obtain a special license to operate within the market. Apart of one or two all will close down.

  25. Anonymous (#22) – Have AGT sold any carbon credits on behalf of clients? If so which companies are buying the credits from private investors through AGT? What is the average price they are paying per credit?

  26. Anonymous (#26) – Thanks for your answer. So as far as you know, no companies have purchased carbon credits from private investors through AGT. Are ponzi schemes illegal in the UAE? Does the Dubai government have the power to investigate and close down such schemes?

  27. Folks. These guys are about to run so if you are going after them best do it soon.

    I had a legal writ issued on them today for misrepresation & fraudulent activity

    End is nigh for the ones who remain in country

  28. To the posters who seem to know a lot about the Management Team, does the CEO’s background (taken from the AGT website) stack up?

    “What do you get when you start with a rambunctious farm-raised Devonshire boy born in Berkshire who loves Toad in the Hole, throw in some advertising, mix in a few Professional golf Tours, a stint in Chicago and a Beagle? Well, you get Charles Stephenson, or Charlie as he is affectionately called, AGT’s Chief Executive Officer.

    He always knew he was destined for greatness and in a previous life Charlie had the extraordinary opportunity of playing golf at the highest level, as a professional golfer and still plays off a respectable handicap of one to this day.

    Before AGT, our dynamo Charlie spent well over a decade honing his Business Management skills as Global Sales director of Balfour International Group which is what bought him to the Middle East and our shores.

    At AGT, Charlie is not only our CEO but he’s also our conduit for inspirational energy and is responsible for managing the firm’s worldwide interests and enhancing its strategic and creative offerings. He has recruited an accomplished team of kindred spirits committed to the belief that AGT can make the world a better place.

    When we call Charlie a business marvel we aren’t kidding. He’s a visionary leader with a knack for making the seemingly impossible work. He has developed a strong work ethic, an open mind and sharp eyes especially for numbers, which are evident in everything he does. But don’t let the smile fool you – he takes no prisoners!

    After hours Charlie enjoys the company of family, friends, and Parker his pet Beagle. He’s also been known to enjoy a good music gig or two!”

  29. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  30. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  31. For UAE investors let’s meet together, we have to get our money back – let’ meet Monday June 3 @ dubai marina Mall 7:00 pm Costa Cafe

  32. All, I also send an invitation to Vnereim, from National to cover this meeting, we still can do a lot locally, we just need to be a larg group to be heard.

  33. Anonymous (#22) could you please attend this meeting – I do believe we can count on

  34. Good News, I just got the confirmation from Vivian Margaret Nereim from the National, she will attend the meeting and try to help us as much as she can.

  35. Dear all, just sent a complaint to El shiek Mohamed Ben al Nahian, the Dubai Ruler which I received a reply that one of the investigators will contact me for more clarification.

  36. I have kept and eye on the posts here and full credit to @Chirs Lang for providing a forum and engaging those companies selling all but worthless VERs at hyper-inflated prices. It looks like @Anonymous has a good handle on matters. I wish you well for the meeting, and if I am able to be of assistance please let me know.

  37. Anonymous (#28) Thank you very much for the information. As an aside, do you know anything about another suspected carbon credit boiler room scam, Carbon-Expert? Their Managing Director, David Martin, has previously responded to Chris’ posts about his company on this site. According to Carbon-Expert’s website, they have an office in Dubai and they claim to be working with several UAE-based businesses to help them attain carbon neutrality (e.g. Emirates Palace Marina). They have been telling clients that these companies will be seeking to purchase VERs for this purpose and this will be the source of “exit strategies”. Obviously I am a little suspicious of this claim. But I wonder if they have been selling VERs to individuals in the UAE too…Are there any private investors in the UAE that you know of that have bought VERs from Carbon-Expert? Do you know if there is any link between Carbon-Expert and Advanced Global Trading? Thanks again in advance.

  38. I know of Carbon-Expert but didn’t know they have an office here in Dubai. It got to be a new office. Carbon-Expert is in fact calculating emissions for various clients in Dubai and so far no complains about this company. However; if you are to invest into Carbon I strongly suggest to stay away from VER’s and rather for for Dubai Government CER’s. Once new legislation kicks in, companies not able to reduce their emissions will have to comply with the legislation by purchasing and offsetting their emissions. This gives you a peace of mind about the exit of your portfolio.

    Kind Regards,

  39. @Anonymous (#42) I do hope you can attend the meeting tomorrow – you presence is highly appreciated

  40. @ AFHR please give us your email I will contact you.

    Thank you,

  41. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  42. @Kayzed #45

    I am sorry to say that likely hood of you selling the VERs you hold to ANYONE is zero. There is no genuine secondary market. The VERs I have seen sold by AGT are actually so cheap that you probably have to pay someone to take them off your hands. I would start to take action at once as many participants on this forum are.
    AGT are flogging worthless VERs to people for circa $14.00, there is not a single person or company that would buy them not matter what spin AGT give you. I am sure they will also try to convince you that Rare Earth Metals or something similar is the new booming market, once again it is a scam.

    It may sound strange but there is a psychological angle to boiler rooms, when people discover they may have lost their money it is a mini grieving process. Many people don’t or won’t accept they have lost money and hold on to the hope that somehow they will make it all back. Boiler rooms are able to catch victims again and again for this reason. The only way to move forward is to accept the ‘loss’ as hard as that maybe and then see what recourse you can get by contacting the relevant authorities.

    This is something I strongly advise you do, and as soon as possible.

  43. To everyone:
    Most of the Credits supplied are probably Chinese projects. Credits from Chinese projects are usually worth anything between $0.40-0.80 !! So… should anyone find a buyer to offset their emissions this is what you can realistically expect. The question is though, which of the two registries would except these credits so these can be retired. I can tell you that Markit nor APX will NOT accept them as they consider these to be toxic assets! Another question an investor should ask is where are my credits at the moment. As we all know CDC in Paris has shut down last December and whoever didn’t transfer credits to other registries, lost their credits entirely and that’s a fact !! Ask your self… do you really own your credits? If yes what registry are they at??? We know for fact that no registry would accept any VER’s from CDC and that’s also a fact because ownership couldn’t be verified. In fact anyone who bought credits after the December 22nd 2012 should ask his/her broker where the credits are held.
    In basic terms to make it as simple as possible:
    1. if you bought VER’s before December 2012 you have NO credits and NO money! (Becasue CDC shut down and no other registry would except those VER’s)
    2. If you bought VER’s in 2013 ask your broker what registry they are at. (if you know the serial numbers contact the registry and they will shut down the broker that held your credits hence your Dubai broker has no account at either registry. No Middle East company has account at either registry that can hold credits for more than a few months) However; it is possible you were sold VER’s believing you own them but it is possible that those credits in fact don’t exist at all hence the reason to peruse legal action and criminal charges.

    Someone please ask me what chance investors have in getting their money back !! You already know the answer to that

  44. We will have a meeting tomorrow at 7:30 pmDubai Marina Mall – costa cafe, please join

  45. Everyone,

    As a very interested observer from within the UAE, I have to say that @Anonymous (#47) has the situation pretty much spot on. Neither APX or Markit will accept credits from CDC as generally these were held in sub accounts under private investors names. Both Apx and Markit don’t consider private investment in VCS approved VER’s as industry best practice, please see the following link…..

    http://www.vcsregistry.com/what-are-vcus.htm

    So, if this is the case, and your credits were held with CDC, and CDC closed down in December 2012, then that begs one big question – where are they now? and as @Anonymous (#47) quite rightly points out, in all likely-hood, you now probably have NO Credits, and NO Money.

    The key questions to ask Agt in my opinion are……

    1.Who holds my credits now?
    2.Do you have registry accounts with either Apx or Markit (clearly the answer will be no) because Apx and Markit only offer accounts to businesses for retirement purposes, and we know that Agt haven’t performed any corporate offsetting and retirement, as all their deals with businesses have been barter agreements.
    3.If the answer is no (which it will be) which third party are they using to hold these credits – if indeed there are any credits being sold, and what activity are the third party involved with regarding corporate offsetting – in order to provide an exit.

    Good luck with the meeting tonight, and I hope to hear more about what course of action is decided upon.

  46. The meeting in Starbucks cafe not Costa 7:30 pm ground floor – Dubai Marina mall

  47. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  48. This is becoming very interesting isn’t it?

    In Agt’s defence, in their statement that they issued to the market that can be read here…..

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7WEZ4zLwFKDbDRvVFlwUFBoQnM/edit?pli=1

    on page 3, they quite clearly quote the International Emissions Trading Standards Association (IETA) as saying…..

    “Investors and established companies are a welcomed compliment to the emerging market….The voluntary market compliments the compliance market for GHG reduction, increasing the overall effectiveness of the market approach. The voluntary market acts as an integral part in securing and developing markets for GHG reductions on a global scale. Its importance in a post 2012 regime is increasingly being recognised as an instrument in climate change mitigation”

    Now, IETA, you would assume, should know what they are talking about, as this was part of a joint statement that they released with ICROA (International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance), and indeed the comments above actually make a lot of sense, as long as we are talking about GHG reduction and offsetting, which is what the credits are designed for – right?

    So, are Agt quoting IETA in full?

    Well here is the joint IETA and ICROA statement, so judge for yourselves…..

    http://www.icroa.org/40/sale-of-vers-to-the-public/

    Now I’m sure everyone can make their own minds up, but to quote a former British Cabinet secretary during the Spycatcher trials….

    “Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatever: but, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth. It is a sort of temperance, by which a man speaks truth with measure that he may speak it the longer”

  49. Just tried to call the AGT office in Dubai (14:32 hrs local time) on 04 4358100, usually the receptionist answers, today the calls went through to answering service (on both attempts), expect they’re all out for farewell lunch …

  50. I recall a post mentioning that staff were being laid off at AGT, this is the first signs of their ‘exit strategy’ , the only exit strategy a boiler room has. The next stage will to issue a statement that blames wrongful media coverage for sabotaging their business and that investors would have seen returns were it not for the unfounded and unwarranted attacks.
    I have seen it time and time again sadly.

  51. @Derek (#57) – Farah Halime reported that according to LinkedIn records, three people had recently left AGT: Nick O’Dwyer (ex-director at AGT), Franklin Connellan (head of investments at AGT) and Amine Benkaddour (senior investment consultant at AGT).

  52. Following on from advice given by Fran Tick (#49) I wrote to AGT today to ask about :

    1. who holds my credits now and
    2. With which registry are they listed.

    I received the following reply :

    1. You are the legal owner of the credits, and they are looked after by AGT in trust for you in the AGT trader’s account in…

    2… the CDC registry.

    This is what I believed to be the case before our telephone conversation, however; in light of what you told me I verified it to be the case. CDC no longer operate a registry for new clients, however, existing accounts continue to have their credits held securely there.

    That said, I have no clue what they are worth.

    I have written to “contact@whichcarboncredit.com” in the hope that they could explain what the credits were worth when AGT bought them for me and what they are worth now.

  53. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  54. KAYZED.. finally someone writing some constructive information.
    The good news is that you now know that the credits are phsyically out there. And that the Trust Deed between you and AGT should protect you Legally, incase they pull a fast one. The bad news is that you do not know the worth.

    However, the latter is the less of two evils. At least for now. I just wanted to be assured that the level of scam (if applicable) was not as bold as from my bank account to someone elses. Now that I know that, I can start doing my own research and understanding the market better to know if I have been scammed on purchase/sale Price – or I have to wait – or I asume complete losses to a bad investment I decided to partake in.

    CDC has shut – but has also confirmed that it had dealings with AGT. So at least there is some light that this scam isn’t as bad as some state.

    Anyway – I am pursuing my search for truth, and am hopeful to find out more. I’ll pass on whatever I can discover.

    To those who met up yesterday – can someone update us on the progress, if any?

  55. To #59,

    I wouldn’t email whichcarboncredit.com, in my opinion this was set up by one of the boiler room operators to act as an information funnel for new clients/targets/victims. You probably won’t hear back from them as I don’t think many of the scammers are still in operation.

    Derek #57 is probably right. AGT will have to close its business due to the ‘attacks’ that it has received from the media. They will cease operations and will cease to hold your credits in trust. It will give investors a window to time for them to arrange alternative registry storage. If anyone gets that far, they are likely to find that the vcu credits acquired were 2006 to 2010 vintage credits issued from pre CDM registration(compliance market)Industrial Gas projects in India. These credits are literally not worth the $0.05 exchange transfer fee.

  56. @carbontrick

    Yes they are worthless, zero, zilch, nada, nothing. Most of the credits I have seen come from pre-CDM projects relating to the destruction of HFC23, they are at least 4 years old. These credits in the form of CERs are banned for use in the regulated market as they are considered almost to be a scam themselves or ‘gaming’ the system. Nobody and I mean nobody would pay a single cent for them in the genuine market.
    It is all rubbish about ownership and registries, if you check with any voluntary registry you will find the ONLY ownership recognised is that of company that holds them. You can open as many sub accounts as you want and put whatever names you want on them, this will not be recognised as proof of ownership.
    As CDC have closed, it is irrelevant, you money and credits (which are worthless) are gone. I am sorry I know it is not what many want to hear.

  57. A couple of English idioms come to mind. ‘Rats leaving a sinking ship’ and ‘there is no smoke without fire’

  58. What about their SEM? They were saying to move to their SEM from carbon credits and they will move the whole investment from VCU to SEM without loss.

  59. For sure Derek,

    I have been following these carbon guys for a long time having been involved in the compliance market in the past. I obviously have not invested.

    The point that I am trying to make to some readers if that it is unlikely that AGT will have directly stolen your money. If it is traced all the way, there will probably be a credit held by AGT. This credit will be worthless. Surely it was a no brainer for AGT to at least cover their asses slightly by actually purchasing a credit. Moves any allegation to mis-seliing rather than theft and all for a minuscule % of the income they derived from selling on the credits.

  60. @carbontrick

    Oh agreed, for sure, given there is no record of AGT holding an account at a registry that I can find, there is probably someone or more behind them. Selling vastly over priced VERS is not illegal, it is proving the sale was due to misleading or false information that is needed.

    @anon

    SEMs are another boiler room product. Avoid at all costs.

  61. @KAYZED (#59) – Thanks for this and thanks for the link to whichcarboncredit.com.

    I hadn’t seen this one before. The website offers a brochure, and if you download it, you’ll see it’s from a company called Enviro Associates. This company featured on REDD-Monitor back in November 2012, after the BBC filmed the company director, Luke Ryan, making misleading claims about the “serious money” to be made from investing in voluntary carbon credits.

    Sure enough, the website, whichcarboncredits.com, was registered by Luke Ryan – he even gave his Enviro Associates email address when he registered it. @CarbonTrick (#61) is right, this is part of the boiler room scam.

  62. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  63. Happy to join the discussion as one of the victims…

  64. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  65. Has the meeting taken place? Is there anyone coordinating further actions so I could contact him/her directly? Thanks

  66. [R-M: This comment has been deleted because it didn’t comply with REDD-Monitor’s comments policy. Responses may also be deleted.]

  67. I am an investor with AGT, who invested a reasonable big amount from the retirement funds prior to leave Dubai at the end of 2012. It is now quite disturbing to read all these news and the varios comments, specially in the situation while I do not live in Dubai, therefore can not take any action in person. It is a request to all the concerning investors to include me in their struggle to get their mony back. Here I urge Mr” Anonymous”, who appears to be in the position to look after the interest of the investors on behalf of Dubai Govt. to please suggest me the way out as a foriegn investor. I may be contacted on my email address as follows
    aprakash80@hotmail.com

  68. I also invested in this and would like to take part in any meetings that you are organizing.

  69. AGT could not renew their license due to many complaints from some investors in UAE claiming that AGT licenses is for trading only not for investment which they do not have any rights to collect any money from any one, their license is for a simple classic trading ” buy in bulk then sell only to companies willing to offset their emissions, a recommendation to all investors, you need to go to the economic criminal police – they are fully aware with this case.

  70. I just found out about this…. i had no idea this had been going on. I invested back in OCtober 2012, quite a large sum.
    I had received a call from a guy in Hong Kong willing to buy my credits, so i immmediately contacted my liaison manager. He was out of town but i just got an email from someone else stating all the bad press etc but mentionned nothing to worry about…. that’s when i started doing some research and found all of this… i thought that the price was going up a little too quick, but didn’t think twice about anything fishy. what are the latest news on this?

  71. All has anyone been able to sell there AGT credits via another source ??
    I have been talking to a company called South West Utilities, who say they can sell my credits; have any of you had dealings with them ?

  72. A group of us are meeting on WED 20:30 DIFC cafe Nero to discuss what options, court case, complaints police etc. Also to share information on possible exit options.
    Please do join if you can.

  73. I contacted Eventus, but they said they could only give 3 USD per credit. In addition, they said the amount of credits I have is too little and they could therefore not support. Anyway, 3 bucks per credit is not what i’d sell for.

    Also I heard back from AGT stating they are still trying to get the trade license. They said thaot in the worst case scenario where the cant get the license or it would take too long they would move the credits to an alternative custodian/trustee before the doors close for good.

  74. @Chris Lang #85 & @Tim #84

    I could not agree more with Chris, I am certain that SouthWest are a recovery room. It is important to remember that boiler room fraud is classed as ‘sophisticated’ fraud and as such there is a complete business model designed to keep the clients handing over money after the first point of sale. I am sorry to say there is no secondary market in VERs, there are an abundance of credits currently available (and growing) from reputable sources. Given the type of credits sold by boiler rooms are typically the lowest possible in value (maximises their return), the likely hood of selling them on for any economic value is, in all honesty, zero.

    On no account hand over any further money to these companies. I have seen such companies state that a transfer fee is applicable to moved credits from the previous sellers accounts etc, all of this is just another con to get you hand over money.

  75. Chris, Derek thanks for the posts I felt the same on doing some research.

    Another question for all maybe another boiler room have you heard of “Carbon Reduction solutions” Hong Kong they also are offering to use my HFC23 units. But have mentioned due the fact that the CDC does not exist any longer and that is where my credits are i need to register and pay an amount with the China Emissions Registry but the research i have done not seem to be a real company.

    Any help on how i can recover as much of my investment i would be extremely thankful.

    Tim

  76. @Tim #88 @Chris

    Tim, I take it from your post that you were sold HFC23 VERs, I am sorry to inform that any HFC23 off-set be they VER or CERs from the regulated carbon market (EU ETS) are all but worthless. The WWF and other NGOs pressured the EU and the UN relating in particular to CERs generated from the combustion and removal of HFC23. Typically these were generated from Chinese companies manufacturing air-conditioning units and HFC23 was a by-product from producing the coolant used in these products. It was widely reported that factories were ‘gaming’ the system by producing units simply to earn CERs and the WWF et al lobbied the UN to ban them. They were successful and, as of April this year CERs from HFC23 projects and a couple of others project types were banned for used in the regulated market.
    It appears from my research that VERs were issued to some of these projects during their early stages of operation, before they were registered with the CDM and therefore able to produce CERs.

    I will not beat around the bush, suffice to say that VERs from an HFC23 project are, in my opinion, worthless. The recent ban of CERs from HFC23 projects has, as you can imagine caused a total collapse in their market price and, given there is no mandatory requirement for VERs, a significant oversupply of VERs related to any demand, I cannot see anyone who would consider purchasing these credits for any economic value.

    Please note the ploy to get you to ‘re-register’ your emissions is another scam, you will be charged yet more money in the pretence that your credits are being transferred. As far as I am aware when the CDC shut down its registry, VERs held in sub accounts were not eligible for transfer at all.

    I can fully understand victims pursuing every avenue in an attempt to recoup some of their losses however, I cannot stress strongly enough that anyone attempting to offer this service is likely to be a recovery boiler room, looking to eek more money from people while keeping up the pretence that you will be able to sell your credits for some worth. The old classic is to tell victims that they need to buy more in order to achieve a marketable amount and meet one of their ‘current buyers’ interests.

    As one of my colleagues put it the other day ‘you would have to pay me to take any HFC23 credits off your hands’. I know this is not what you want to hear, however I hope you appreciate my aim is stop you losing further money in this situation.

  77. Gents,
    Can we please arrange for another meeting? We need to be organized and form a group otherwise we will all lose.
    @tim #84 I waited for half an hour and no one came!

    Please let us work on this together asap.

  78. #AG so sorry due to many people being out of the country we canceled at the last minute. Please feel free to contact me on the below and we will add you to the emails being shared on the next course of action
    Tim1.rogers@hsbc.com 0501896117.

    #89 Derek many thanks for your post.

  79. As an uninterested party you might find this interesting. chillingeffects.org/N/998569