A Must Read.
The Herald on 28th October carried a feature saying that Scottish shell firms, Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLP), have been named in a multi-million-dollar bribery court case in Argentina. 2 were allegedly used to funnel kickbacks in the latest twist in a corruption “mega scandal” ripping through Latin America, taking cash from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in return for state contracts – Latin Financial and Capital Investment Enterprises. In Argentina, government anti-corruption investigators have focused on a prominent entrepreneur called Jorge Rodríguez, though he usually goes by the nickname “Corcho”, or “Cork”. In a celebrity court case, Rodríguez is accused of taking in bribes from Odebrecht, which was among companies bidding to build a metro line. He denies any wrongdoing.
It also publishes details of how anonymous SLP and similar English structures were used to make hundreds of millions of dollars of untraceable “foreign” investment in Uzbekistan and secretive buy-ups of the nation’s cotton industry. One SLP, called Quality Trade Supplies or QTS, is building a steel mill in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, for just over €278 million. One prominent former Soviet oligarch has been named locally as being behind the firm, but a London public relations firm acting on his behalf has denied any connection.
The UN Development programme has blacklisted 5 Scottish SLP: Special Alliance Partnership, Investment Affairs, Trident Asia and Five Star Commercial Services. They are all registered either at 44 Main Street, Douglas or a flat at 78 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh. The Montgomery Street flat has been the base for SLP which played a key role in the $20 billion “Russian Laundromat”, one of the biggest and most elaborate money laundering schemes ever uncovered.