International bribery links to NSW Premier Mike Baird’s secret meeting with Charif Kazal

New revelations show further evidence of Premier Mike Baird being directly linked to people involved in international bribery. Recent media exposure and the leaking of tax dodging documents also raise further unanswered questions about Premier Mike Baird’s secret meeting with known corrupt businessman Charif Kazal in February 2016.

The new evidence is revealed in the recent leaking of documents and articles on the company Unaoil, who are accused of international bribery on a massive scale, and law firm Mossack Fonseca who help the global rich with tax evasion. When you look at the new evidence in total and then look at the $10 billion sale of the NSW power network Transgrid then there is major reason for concern. Especially when there is no honest reason that could justify Mike Baird’s secret meeting with Charif Kazal.

In the last couple of weeks, it has been reported that Charif Kazal’s brother, Tony Kazal, has been involved in international bribery through his association with Monaco-based oil industry fixer Unaoil. (Click here to read more) So now we not only have the Kazals bribing officials in Australia but they are also bribing officials overseas which is even more reason why Mike Baird’s secret relationship with them needs investigation.

Also leaks from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca show that Australian electricity companies in South Australia and Victoria are owned by Hong Kong businessman involved in multi-million dollar tax evasion. The tax evasion in Australia is estimated at $800 million in total. For some unknown reason the tax office settled for about 10% which is $80 million. Given that alone, last year’s sale of the NSW power network to overseas companies should be reviewed.

Background

I have written two recent articles regarding Mike Baird and his close relationship with the Kazals and also raised why there would be concerns regarding the $10 billion electricity assets sale in NSW. The latest article on the 13th March is titled Premier Mike Baird’s secret meeting with businessman found to be corrupt by ICACand said:

NSW Premier Mike Baird had a secret meeting a few weeks ago with Charif Kazal who in 2011 was found to be corrupt by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for bribing government official Andrew Kelly. There are a thousand reasons why Premier Baird should not have met with Mr Kazal so it is worth looking at in finer detail than the short mention in last week’s article on this website.

Mr Baird’s secret meeting becomes more interesting given Charif Kazal and his brothers had links to the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and have “forged close ties to the royal families of the United Arab Emirates, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai”. (Click here to read more)

In November 2015 Premier Magic Mike sold the NSW power network Transgrid for $10.26 billion to a consortium which is part owned by Middle Eastern government organisations that are notorious for paying bribes. In this case the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (19.99 per cent) and Kuwait Investment Authority (19.99 per cent). (Click here to read more) Was Charif Kazal involved in the sale? Was there a kickback paid? There are future sales planned for Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy and obviously one has to wonder if this was discussed at the secret meeting.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is important to know when putting the pieces together below.

The previous article which also covers Mike Baird and the Kazals I posted on the 5th March and it is titled “Lies & crimes of Australian media. Channel Ten & Adam Walters take a bribe to attack ICAC”. Its covers the fact that Charif Kazal bribed Channel 10 journalist Adam Walters and Channel 10 news director John Choueifate to screen a two-part interview falsely claiming Charif Kazal was cleared by ICAC of being corrupt when in fact the opposite is true. 

Latest leaks – Mossack Fonseca and Unaoil

The ABC’s Four Corners program screened a show on the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca this week which started off:

The Panama Papers: Secrets of the Super Rich – Four Corners show – 4 April 2016

“The story of how some of Australia’s richest companies got into bed with one of the world’s shadiest law firms, which operates through offshore tax havens under a veil of secrecy.”

“In the early hours of this morning companies and individuals across the globe found their most sensitive financial dealings exposed in a massive leak of documents from a firm in Panama City called Mossack Fonseca. Amongst those outed for having assets secretly stashed in tax havens are present and former world leaders, dictators and their cronies, arms dealers and drug traffickers.”

“The Australian connections include BHP Billiton, Wilson Security, a major electricity company – and 800 individuals, now targets of the Australian Tax Office.”

“The database of 11.5 million documents was handed over to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung last year. Since then, Four Corners has worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington, analysing the files.”

“The story from this massive leak will fuel the already heated debate in Australia about tax avoidance.” (Click here to read more)

A key part relevant to this story regarding Mossack Fonseca is later in the Four Corners program where it is revealed that Cheung Kong Infrastructure, which is owned by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, “has a big slice of Australia’s electricity market, especially in South Australia” and he doesn’t pay his tax to the tune of about $720 million.

“the Australian Tax Office took two CKI-related companies to court in 2013. The Tax Office argued each company owed almost $400 million in back taxes and penalties on their Australian electricity business.” The case was settled out of court last year for about $80 million.

They paid $80 million of a $800 million tax debt. So where did the other $720 million go?

Senator Xenophon when interviewed for the show said: “this is a case of curiouser and curiouser. Ah, here is a company which has been subject to a ruling of almost $800 million in back taxes; in underpayment of taxes. Then it was quietly settled a year or two later for a fraction of that: something like 10 per cent of the total amount being sought.”

“Ah, what I think this highlights is: the need for greater transparency in these settlements.”

$720 million is a lot of money to bribe someone at the tax office if you wanted to. How this has gone unchallenged and unchecked is amazing. A key point here it gives you an idea of the sort of money involved in Electricity assets in Australia and the people involved which makes you wonder about the integrity of NSW’s sell off of electricity assets.

Mike Baird and Charif Kazal

Mike Baird and Charif Kazal

Unaoil: The company that bribed the world – As reported by Fairfax and The Huffington Post over the last 2 weeks

In the list of the world’s great companies, Unaoil is nowhere to be seen. But for the best part of the past two decades, the family business from Monaco has systematically corrupted the global oil industry, distributing many millions of dollars worth of bribes on behalf of corporate behemoths including Samsung, Rolls-Royce, Halliburton and Australia’s own Leighton Holdings.

Now a vast cache of leaked emails and documents has confirmed what many suspected about the oil industry, and has laid bare the activities of the world’s super-bagman as it has bought off officials and rigged contracts around the world. (Click here to read more)

The Leighton Holdings connection (They changed the company name to CIMIC in 2015 to distance itself from corruption scandals)

Leighton Holdings name has been raised again as being involved in corruption but their name was raised back in November 2013 as being involved in bribing Iraqi government officials.

“Damning evidence has emerged in a court case linking construction firm Leighton Holdings to allegedly corrupt payments of “not less than $25 million in marketing fees” to a Monaco firm to help win Iraq government projects, even though the projects required no marketing.”

“The Unaoil deal is one of two deals linked to the Iraq projects in 2010 – the second involving UAE company Oceanking (Click here to read more)

Who has strong links to Unaoil? Yes, the Kazals. And who has strong links in the UAE (United Arab Emirates)? Yes, the Kazals.

Wind the clock back a few months to June 2013 and another international leak was being exposed.

Big names revealed in offshore tax sweep

A number of prominent Australians including captains of industry, politicians, philanthropists, developers, lawyers, accountants, criminals and entrepreneurs are set to become embroiled in one of the nation’s most explosive tax investigations into offshore structures.

This follows the leaking of a cache of data to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington. Its stories have had worldwide ramifications and embarrassed business leaders and politicians across the globe. Now, a Fairfax investigation can reveal that more than 500 Australians feature in the 2.5 million documents.

The leaks stem from two overseas wealth management companies – Commonwealth Trust Ltd in the British Virgin Islands and Portcullis TrustNet, an Asian-based company offering services in tax havens stretching from the Cook Islands to the Seychelles.

And here’s another link. Two of those named in June 2013 as having companies registered overseas hiding their dodgy money are one: “David Mortimer, the former chairman of Leighton Holdings”. And two: “Colourful businessman Karl Kazal confirmed he set up two offshore companies to handle distribution of hospital equipment from the United Arab Emirates but said the offshore accounts were never operational.” (Click here to read more

The same people and places keep on popping up.

Conclusion

The story is a mile long and trying to keep on track to raise the key parts and make it easy to understand is difficult but hopefully that has been achieved above to some degree.

When you look at the fact that Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (19.99 per cent) and Kuwait Investment Authority (19.99 per cent) are now major shareholders in NSW’s power network Transgrid alarm bells should start ringing. 

The bottom line is: You have the Kazals who have strong links with the UAE and international bribery are also closely associated with Mike Baird. International companies who own Australian electricity assets caught dodging tax totalling hundreds of millions of dollars and the taxman lets them get away with it for no known reason. In the middle of all this NSW Premier Mike Baird, who had ultimate responsibility for selling NSW electricity assets for $10 billion to overseas companies including the UAE, has a secret meeting not long after the electricity deal is done with one of the Kazals who are known for bribing public officials all over the world. 

Given Mr Baird is a former investment banker with the NAB and the HSBC I wonder if he has any overseas accounts. What the public should find disturbing is that no mainstream media have so far raised Premier Mike Baird’s extremely suspect secret dealings with crooks.

I think there will be a lot more to come in this story. Maybe Mike Baird’s name will pop up on one of those leaked documents.

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8 Comments on “International bribery links to NSW Premier Mike Baird’s secret meeting with Charif Kazal”

  1. Jo-Ann Markowski April 10, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Who gave them the right to sell of our electricity companies anyway? These assets belong to the Australian people and it is madness to sell essential infrastructure like this to foreign interests. Look what’s happened in Victoria, they have forced everyone to have smart meters which are making people sick -see stopsmartmeters.com.au. That’s what it is all about – control and by selling off these assets we can’t blame the government for what they do. These sales should be declared null and void. Former investment banker with HSBC – say no more! Just like Turncoat, former employee of Goldman Sachs. If we put the control of the country in the hands of people like this we will loose everything. Wake up Australia!

  2. melbaver April 10, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    More compelling reasons to put the Manildra Ethanol deal under the microscope

  3. Brett April 10, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Foreign Governments owning Companies, purchasing and owning percentages of our sovereign assets and vital infrastructure is a Constitutional scandal in its self IMO that needs serious and immediate addressing. Baird is nothng but a smiling assassin and Presstitute corporate whore who is willing to sell off NSW Tax payers sovereign assets to pay down RBA debt, before he would even consider employing the ethical and moral courage required to push for revolutionary change in our banking and financial system. He would rather the State Government have zero assets and no counterveiling economic power over the monied private interest groups and Corporations who have infected the ranks of the Liberal Party like the Black Plague. Baird would rather sell the State out from under the people for his own and his Presstitute Liberal Parties financial benefit, than explore change in the way in which government creates it supply of currency and credit, i.e. taking it out of the hands of private banks and going back to a fair and reasonable system IAW the Commonwealth Constitution.

  4. Josephine Wadlow-Evans April 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    And let us not forget Mike Baird’s penchant for working with companies such as Lend Lease and Alstom – whose overseas bribery and corruption charges are well documented….

    https://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-releases/2012/construction-giant-lend-lease-bovis-charged-with-defrauding-clients-in-three-separate-schemes-and-will-pay-over-50-million-and-institute-comprehensive-reforms and Alstom – http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/light-rail-company-has-bribery-background/news-story/9c2b401b7c29932e5cc0f1a73a5fd834 – and if the present Baird government cite that at the time there was no evidence to support the notion that Alstom as a company was unsavoury –

    25 March 2010 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1260391/Three-directors-rail-engineering-firm-Alstom-arrested-bribery-corruption.html

    Three directors of one of Britain’s best known companies have been arrested over a £90m bribery and corruption campaign to secure foreign contracts.

    Alstom UK president Stephen Burgin, finance director Robert Purcell and legal director Altan Cledwyn Davies were hauled in for questioning about the alleged payment of bribes to secure transport and power deals in Africa and the Far East.

    The arrests followed a dawn raid on nine premises. The swoop was co-ordinated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and police forces across the UK.

    So the question that should be asked of the Baird Government and his Cabinet what evidence can they present to show that this did not happen in Australia to ensure that they, Alstom, got the Light Rail Contract under Baird without ‘bribes’ –

  5. Paul April 11, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    ‘What the public should find disturbing is that no mainstream media have so far raised Premier Mike Baird’s extremely suspect secret dealings with crooks.’

    And they never will. The media won’t raise it and the public for the most part won’t find it disturbing.

  6. Roman Golubev April 14, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    ATO 10% of back taxes settlement deal really stinks.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Australian public getting ripped off after Liberal Party do deal with confessed blackmailer Dick Honan | Kangaroo Court of Australia - May 4, 2016

    […] Baird’s recent secret meeting with a businessman found to be corrupt by ICAC (Click here and here to read more) one has to wonder what sort of government Mike Baird is running. But Mr Baird […]

  2. Corrupt NSW Premier Mike Baird rides again and cuts off ICAC’s head | Kangaroo Court of Australia - November 27, 2016

    […] brothers and in effect possibly link Premier Mike Baird which I wrote about in April. (Click here to read the article) Charif Kazal is a well-known critic of ICAC, since they found him to be corrupt, and apparently […]

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