On 15 November 2016, Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein was arrested when he arrived at Tocumen International Airport in Panama. Monte Friesner, a Canadian who lives in Panama, filed a complaint about what Ornstein had written on his website about Friesner’s business practices. In Panama, defamation is a criminal offence.
A company called Oakmount Management Partners Ltd is offering people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments an exit strategy. Of course there’s an advance fee involved. And of course it’s a scam.
This is the first in a series of posts looking at the activities of Emerald Knight, yet another London-based scam company. From London the story takes us to Panama, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, Cambodia, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and quite possibly a few more countries along the way.
Celestial Green Ventures is an Irish carbon trading company, registered in November 2010. In 2011, the company claimed to have carbon rights to 20 million hectares of Brazil’s rainforest. The company aimed to become the “leading global supplier of REDD carbon credits in the Voluntary Carbon Market”.
A company called London Carbon Neutral Ltd and eight linked companies have been shut down in the High Court in London. The companies were shut down after “high pressure and intimidating sales people had targeted the elderly and vulnerable” to sell them carbon credits as investments.
Two weeks ago, REDD-Monitor wrote about several companies, many of which have the word “Oakmount” in their names. On 3 August 2015, I received a letter from Meaby & Co, who informed me that they act for Glenn Jamie King, Oakmount and Partners Limited, and Oakmount Global Management Limited.
Scams and frauds were the top stories on REDD-Monitor in 2014. The previous year, all ten of the most popular stories were about companies selling carbon credits as investments. This year the top seven stories were about scams.
This is a story involving a company called Sustainable AgroEnergy, a jatropha plantation in Cambodia, boiler room companies, retail investors asking where their money went, banks in Switzerland, Tanzania and the British Virgin Islands, a member of the House of Lords, and the Serious Fraud Office.
In June 2011, Industry RE forward purchased one million REDD carbon credits from an Irish company called Celestial Green Ventures. On 11 September 2013, the High Court in London appointed Julie Palmer and Jason Greenhalgh of Begbies Traynor as joint liquidators of Industry RE, “on the application of the Secretary of State and following intervention from the Public Interest Unit”.