Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein arrested for defamation in Panama. A backstory featuring Silva Tree, Sustainable Capital Group, Citadel/Highpoint Trustees, and Emerald Knight

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.

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Eco Planet Bamboo’s investors were “significantly let down”

EcoPlanet Bamboo is a US-based company that has established bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana. Here’s how the company describes itself on its website:

EcoPlanet Bamboo is an innovative forestry company focused on integrated bamboo plantations and associated processing. We focus on the provision of a secure and certified source of fiber for timber manufacturing industries and markets globally. We currently operate in Central America, Southern and West Africa.

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Troy Wiseman of EcoPlanet Bamboo caught lying in late 2015: “We did an institutional debt deal with a Wall Street fund”

At the beginning of December 2015, Troy Wiseman was in Paris. The CEO and co-founder of EcoPlanet Bamboo was there as part of the Nicaraguan government delegation to COP 21, the UN climate change negotiations. Wiseman’s Paris trip came just a few days before Wiseman wrote to the people unfortunate enough to have invested in his company’s “Bamboo bonds” to let them know that their investment had gone pear-shaped.

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“Returns up to 895%” and other misleading statements from Property Frontiers about investments in EcoPlanet Bamboo and Silva Tree

Property Frontiers is an Oxford-based investment firm. According to the company’s website, Property Frontiers is “an investment company with a reputation for offering the best-performing international property and alternative investments to both first time and experienced investors”.

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Premier Group (Isle of Man) Ltd goes into liquidation. Inspector appointed to investigate Eco Resource Fund. What next for Troy Wiseman and EcoPlanet Bamboo?

EcoPlanet Bamboo runs bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana. A UK company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd sold “bamboo bonds” with a promise of “a 500% return on investment over a 15 year period” on an investment of US$50,000. But in December 2015, EcoPlanet Bamboo wrote to bondholders to tell them that their investment was not doing particularly well.

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EcoPlanet Bamboo’s Eco Resources Fund PCC to go into liquidation

A company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd launched a “bamboo bond” in 2011. Investors were encouraged to hand over their money, which would be used to establish bamboo plantation in Nicaragua.

Camille Rebelo, one of the co-founders of EcoPlanet Bamboo, claimed that an investment of US$50,000 would see a return of 500% over 15 years. “It’s a guaranteed return to the investor”, she said.

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