Here’s a comment from a couple of months ago on REDD-Monitor: “I invested with ASJ International Dec 2012 and now cannot get hold of them. Any news?”
The unfortunate commenter had handed over €15,000 to ASJ International for near-worthless carbon credits (green CERs).
ASJ International is a leading international brokerage based in London and Gibraltar. Our core business is the provision of profitable trading solutions to the private client market place on a global scale.
The website was registered anonymously in September 2012.
A search on Open Corporates reveals eight companies with similar names to ASJ International. One one of them is registered in the UK, but sells clothing and shoes, and not “profitable trading solutions”. Open Corporates does not list any company with the name ASJ International registered in Gibraltar.
It appears that ASJ International, in addition to selling carbon credits, also contacted people who had been previously scammed into buying carbon credits as investments.
One of the people who had bought carbon credits from ASJ International received a letter from Tower Trade Commodities, telling him that Tower Trade Commodities had taken over ASJ International.
Tower Trade Ltd was registered in the UK in September 2012. The website was registered on the same day as ASJ International’s website was registered. Both companies got their websites designed by Popcorn Design – a company whose portfolio seems to include one or two other rather iffy-looking companies.
Tower Trade’s website has disappeared. Tower Trade Ltd has filed a “striking off application” with Companies House. Unless anyone objects, three months after the application was noted by the Registrar of Companies (the notice is dated 11 March 2014), Tower Trade Ltd will be struck from the register and will cease to exist.
Objections can be made in writing to Tim Moss, the Registrar of Companies, Companies House, Cardiff CF14 3UZ (Fax 029 20 380900). Possible reasons for objecting include any of the following:
- The company has broken any of the conditions of its application (for example, it has traded, changed its name or become subject to insolvency proceedings) during the three-month period before the application, or afterwards.
- The directors have not informed interested parties.
- Any of the declarations on the form are false.
- Some form of action is being taken, or is pending, to recover any money owed (such as a winding-up petition or action in a small claims court).
- Other legal action is being taken against the company.
- The directors have wrongfully traded or committed a tax fraud or some other offence.
Companies House has produced a guide, “Strike off, Dissolution & Restoration”, available on its website. The guide includes information about objecting to a strike off.
There’s a link between Tower Trade and another company, an “Alternative Asset information provider”. Stephen Barber was a director of Tower Trade for a little over a month. He was also a director of a company called Wade & Vere for six days in October 2013.
Wade & Vere’s website does nothing to inspire confidence. On the front page of its website, the company explains that it “deals exclusively with institutional and corporate clients”. So, at least the company isn’t ripping off retail investors. But then on a page describing its strategy, the company tells us that,
At Wade and Vere, we stand with you, whether you’re an institutional investor, a financial professional, or a retail individual.
REDD-Monitor would be interested to hear from you if you have bought carbon credits (or any other investments) from any of these three companies. If you believe you are the victim of a scam, here are some suggestions: “What to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment”.