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Thread: Robert Maxwell - PROMIS - KGB - Mogilevich - Lukanov - Janchev

  1. Default Robert Maxwell - PROMIS - KGB - Mogilevich - Lukanov - Janchev

    Re: Robert Maxwell - PROMIS - KGB - Mogilevich - Lukanov - Janchev
    5 Sentenced to Lifetime Jail for Bulgarian Ex-PM Murder

    All five suspects in the murder case of former Bulgarian Prime
    Minister Andrei Lukanov were sentenced to life imprisonment.
    The defense could appeal the verdict in 15 days before the
    Court of Appeals.
    [ . . . ]
    One of the two Ukrainian suspects - Alexander Russov - was
    the one who carried out the shooting on October 2, 1996,
    court ruled. The other four were found guily on inciting Russov
    to committing the crime.
    [ . . . ]
    BNN (10Nov03)

    Radio Free Europe

    Bulgarian newspapers on 24 January reported on
    an article in The Guardian the previous day entitled
    "King of Bulgaria," which deals with the connections
    between late media tycoon Robert Maxwell and
    former Bulgarian Communist leaders. The article,
    based on the Maxwell biography "Foreign Body"
    by Russell Davies, says Maxwell, former Bulgarian
    Communist Dictator Todor Zhivkov, former Prime
    Minister Andrey Lukanov, and former Communist
    Party Politburo member Ognyan Doynov had
    developed "perfect channels" to transfer some
    $2 billion in foreign currency out of Bulgaria. Maxwell
    reportedly helped the Communist leaders to launder
    money, mainly through joint ventures set up in the
    West with Bulgarian capital.

    -- Stefan Krause


    Since RFE’s article about Robert Maxwell money
    laundering funds out of Bulgaria with the former prime
    minister Andrei Lukanov, a trial in Bulgaria had begun
    for the murder of prime minister Lukanov, killed in
    1996. Three Bulgarians and two Ukrainians (Alexei
    Kichatov and Alexander Rusov) were the defendants
    for the murder of Lukanov. The Ukrainians were
    allegedly the guns hired by the Bulgarians. The court
    has found them guilty. One of the witnesses in the
    trial, Iliya Pavlov, a billionaire mafia oligarch and the
    president of the MG Corp, (MultiGroup), was shot dead
    one day after he testified at the trial. (Pavlov's wife was
    a financial contributor to Hillary Clinton's election

    Lukanov had business dealings with Maxwell and the
    Multigroup conglomerate as early as the 1980s. He
    was a high-level communist party and government
    official under the former dictator, Todor Zhivkov, and
    became Bulgaria’s first post-communist prime minister
    in 1989. He resigned in 1990 after anti-government
    protests, and was widely known as one of the “gray
    cardinals” of the Socialist Party, which won the 1994
    elections. Andrei Lukanov was also a representative
    of the giant energy Gazprom in Bulgaria through

    A billionaire named Iliya Pavlov testifying at the
    Lukanov murder trial, was shot dead on 7Mar03.
    Pavlov was the president of the largest Bulgarian
    industrial company, named MG Corporation. It was
    recently renamed from Multigroup [aka Multi Group]
    which was earlier linked to Robert Maxwell, Semion
    Mogilevich, the KGB and the Solntsevo mafia. Pavlov
    was ranked as the wealthiest person in Bulgaria and
    the eighth richest in Eastern Europe. Just like in other
    countries (e.g. Nordex in Austria), Multigroup was
    involved in the scheme to loot the country after the
    breakup of the USSR. The scheme involved the highest
    levels of the Communist Party and the KGB/mafia with
    help from Westerners. Robert Maxwell owned a money
    laundering bank in Bulgaria. The BBC (8Mar03) reported
    that: “Mr Lukanov, who masterminded the downfall of
    Bulgaria's long-serving communist leader Todor Zhivkov
    in 1989, was found shot in front of his Sofia home in
    October 1996. At the time, Bulgarian media said Mr
    Lukanov's death was a contract killing related to his
    business activities.” In 1995, Ilya Pavlov replaced
    Lukanov as head of TopEnergy (the joint venture with

    Pavlov’s wife, Toni Chergelanova, was the daughter
    of Chergelanov, the chief of the Bulgarian Intelligence
    Service, according to the Nova Makedonija (2Nov95),
    which also points out Multigroup’s links to the KGB
    and mafia, as well as expansion into Macedonia and
    [ ]

    Lukanov was also deeply involved in the project
    codenamed “Neva” (created by the KGB, the Bulgarian
    State Security and involving Robert Maxwell).

    In his working paper titled, “The Political Economy of
    Corporate Governance Change in Bulgaria: Washington
    Consensus, Primitive Accumulation of Capital, and
    Catching-Up in the 1990”, Evgeni Peev writes that
    Multigroup was one of the special interest groups that
    captured control of Bulgaria. Other such groups
    included “Tron”, “G-13” and “Orion”. He writes that
    the government of Prime Minister Berov was known
    as “Multigroup’s government.”

    One infamous multi-million dollar scandal involved
    the Orion group and Mikhail Chernoy.
    [ ]
    Chernoy’s ties to Deripaska, Kuchma, Bezeq, and the
    Russian mafia, et. al. were pointed out earlier.
    [ ]

    Further information about the Multigroup, Tron and
    Orion groups is provided by Robert D. Kaplan in his
    article, “Hoods against Democrats”, in the Atlantic
    Monthly (Dec98; p.32)

    Robert Maxwell was born 65 miles south of Lviv in
    Solotvyna (aka Slatinske Doly, Szlatina, Solotvino,
    Aknazlaina) in 1923. By 1991, he was being called:
    “The crook of the century” by Newsweek (16Dec91).
    He became best known for the looting of employee
    pension funds belonging to some 20,000 employees
    at his Mirror Group companies in Britain.
    [ ]

    Maxwell visited Bulgaria often and even had a
    school named after him in 1989, called the Robert
    Maxwell International Management School in Sofia,
    Bulgaria. The Jerusalem Post (“Maxwell Heads
    East Europe Fund”; 2Oct90) reported that Maxwell
    was the lead investor of a $250 million fund for
    investing in Eastern Europe and the USSR,
    including Bulgaria. The limited partnership was
    called the Maxwell Central and East European

    Further to the Russell Davies book about Maxwell,
    published in 1995 and referred to by Stefan Krause
    above, another Maxwell book was released last year
    titled: “Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life
    and Murder of a Media Mogul” (2002; Carroll & Graf
    Publishers; ISBN: 0-78677-1078-0) written by Gordon
    Thomas and Martin Dillon.

    Gordon Thomas is a best-selling author who has
    created television documentaries, written several
    screenplays and written 43 books selling more than
    45 million copies.

    Martin Dillon is a foremost authority on global terrorism.
    While writing this book, the co-author received death
    threats at his New York home warning him to stop
    writing the book. Also a hacker accessed his computer
    in an attempt to destroy his research data. As a result,
    the FBI has launched an investigation.

    Robert Maxwell was the Labour Party’s Member of
    Parliament. He moved in upper social and political
    circles known to many that included many world leaders
    such as Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Francois
    Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl, Mikhail Gorbachev, Vladimir
    Kryuchkov, Todor Zhivkov, et. al. He was on friendly
    enough terms that he used to call Thatcher and tell her
    what the main story in his morning Daily Mirror was
    going to be. Maxwell owned the global publishing
    house Mirror Group of newspapers from which he
    stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the employee
    pension fund, leaving them high and dry long before
    the Enron scandal broke.

    The authors claim that Robert Maxwell was also a
    superspy for Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad.
    He died under suspicious circumstances in 1991.
    Thomas and Dillon claim that Maxwell was
    assassinated by the Mossad.

    The Maxwell book has other themes. One is Robert
    Maxwell’s global marketing of the PROMIS software
    containing an Israeli-engineered backdoor with an
    undetectable electronic Trojan horse. The controversial
    PROMIS software was at the center of the “Inslaw
    Affair”. Maxwell sold the software to many government
    intelligence agencies and financial institutions allowing
    the Mossad secret and untraceable access into sensitive
    and very confidential files. For example, the authors
    write that Mossad official Rafi Eitan used PROMIS to
    uncover bank deposits made at Credit Suisse in
    Switzerland by Israeli millionaires illegally while
    circumventing Israeli financial controls. By threatening
    their exposure, the Mossad made the millionaires an
    unrefusable offer to make donations to Israel. No one
    apparently refused the Mossad’s offer.

    Another theme is the authors’ claim of the very little
    known business connections that Robert Maxwell had
    with the Russian Mafia (e.g. “Rising Sun” aka the
    Solntsevo crime syndicate) as part of the Communist
    Party/KGB’s master plan to loot assets out of the former
    USSR and Eastern Europe into the West.

    During the 1990s, while Harvard economists did the “talk”
    about “shock therapy”, and the IMF and World Bank
    did the “talk” about international investment into the former
    USSR, the rich and powerful insiders of the Soviet elites,
    along with their mafia oligarchs, were doing a different
    “walk” of looting the state and moving capital out of the
    country to offshore international banks around the world,
    including the islands in the Caribbean (eg. Mikhail
    Khodorkovsky's and Alexander Konanykhine's bank in
    Antigua called the European Union Bank, or Pavlo
    Lazarenko's and Peter Kirichenko's bank account at the
    European Federal Credit Bank in Antigua) and Pacific known
    as money laundering centers, and the main banking
    centres of London and New York. With only a few billion
    of dollars invested by foreigners into the former Soviet
    Union, and estimates of up to $500 billion exited out of
    the former Soviet Union, it is obvious which plan became
    dominant. The flight capital was absorbed by Western
    banks with a smile while U.S. policy not only turned a
    blind eye to the rise of organized crime but warmly
    welcomed oligarchs at White House fundraisers. The
    Cox Report (19Sep00), titled: “Russia’s Road To
    Corruption”, provides some details:

    [ ]


    [Cont'd from Part 1 ]

    But the stage for such massive flight capital was
    already set before the 1991 break-up of the Soviet
    Union. The Thomas and Dillon book describes the
    role played by Robert Maxwell in cahoots with KGB
    bosses and mafia kingpins in arranging such looting
    schemes originating in the Eastern Bloc before 1991,
    during the 1980s under Gorbachev’s perestroika and
    Yuri Andropov’s leadership.

    For example, the authors describe Maxwell’s deal with
    Bulgarian President Todor Zhivkov in the Neva Project,
    created by Andrei Lukanov, a former member of
    Bulgaria’s Central Committee (and future Prime Minister).
    The deal was made between Maxwell and KGB boss
    Vladimir Kryuchkov. They brought Zhivkov on side with
    a bribe. Then Kryuchkov appointed Lukanov as the KGB’s
    point man for both the project and as Maxwell’s handler.
    To raise Lukanov’s authority to a higher level more
    appropriate for such an important project, Kryuchkov
    appointed Lukanov as an officer in the high ranking
    Investigation Unit of Soviet Intelligence.

    “Neva was designed to be the single largest
    programme for the mass-scale theft of US technology”
    operated by Darzhavna Sigurnost (Bulgarian intelligence
    service) and brought to Bulgaria under diplomatic cover
    where the technology would be re-engineered by
    Maxwell’s companies and then resold to Eastern Bloc
    countries including Russia and Ukraine. Profits would
    be split among Maxwell, Lukanov and Ognian Doinov
    (the vice-president of Bulgaria’s State Economic
    Council). The funds would be money laundered to the
    West through Maxwell’s Bulgarian Co-operative Bank.

    To implement Neva, Maxwell created a bunch of
    companies, such as Multiart (for producing stolen
    technology for the metal industry), Balkan Films (for
    providing stolen technology from Hollywood to the
    Bulgarian film industry), Stanke Dimitrov (for software
    to the pharmaceutical industry), Sophia Insurance
    (computers for the office management sector), and
    so on. The many companies provided cover for the
    Mossad operatives to infiltrate the Eastern Bloc. The
    companies eventually would be grouped under
    Maxwell’s Multi-Group (Multigroup) and embraced by
    the Russian and Bulgarian mafia.

    According to the authors, Maxwell had some 400
    private businesses, such as Degem Computers (used
    as a cover by the Mossad), which sold software in the
    Eastern Bloc, Central and South America. Maxwell
    owned Tel Aviv-based Citex Corporation (whose Israeli
    head was the son of Yitzhak Shamir). He had 30
    percent of the Ma’ariv newspaper in Israel and a piece
    of Moscow News in Russia. (Gorbachev sent Maxwell
    an icon as a gift when he found out that Maxwell had
    bought a stake in Moscow News). The Mossad used
    Maxwell’s publications such as the Daily Mirror to
    provide cover for both Mossad operatives posing
    as journalists and to publish some disinformation
    stories (e.g. about Mordecai Vanunu, who converted
    from the Jewish to the Christian faith, and blew the
    whistle as a technician at the Israeli Dimona nuclear
    centre on Israel’s secret nuclear program of weapons
    of mass destruction).

    The authors’ claim of Maxwell being an Israeli spy
    is not new. Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour M. Hersh
    wrote the same a decade ago in “The Sampson
    Option: Israel, America and the Bomb” triggering
    a scandal in 1991 when two British members of
    parliament read excerpts in the House of Commons
    under parliamentary privilege. Hersh was sued for
    linking Maxwell to the Mossad, but won his case
    (see Washington Post; "Hersh Wins Apology from
    British Papers").

    The same claims about Maxwell being linked to Mossad
    were made by the two "rogue" Mossad agents: Victor
    Ostrovsky in “The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue
    Agent Exposes The Mossad’s Secret Agenda” (1994;
    ISBN 0-06-017635-0), and Ari Ben-Menashe in his
    “Profits of War: The Sensational Story of the World-
    Wide Arms Conspiracy” (1992; ISBN 1-86373-379-5).
    The authors Thomas and Dillon interviewed both these
    former Mossad agents as sources for their book. The
    Maxwell book goes further than Hersh though and
    alleges that Maxwell was assassinated by the Mossad
    on board his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, for reasons
    described in the book. This is a controversial, minority
    view. (BTW, Maxwell bought the famous Lady Ghislaine
    yacht from the brother of Adnan Khashoggi, the well-
    known international arms dealer last reported by Sy Hersh
    as meeting with "The Prince of Darkness", Straussian
    neo-con Richard Perle).

    And the authors’ claim that Robert Maxwell was looting
    Bulgaria in cahoots with the Bulgarian secret service is
    not new either. Patrick Brogan reported in the Glasgow
    Herald (“Maxwell 'smuggled cash from Bulgaria’ ”;
    20Jan92) on a New York Times article about Maxwell’s
    embezzlement and smuggling scheme in 1987 with
    the Bulgarian president, Todor Zhivkov, and Maxwell’s
    private company called “Bimex”. He writes:

    “ . . . that the Bulgarian secret service was heavily
    involved in schemes to plunder the treasury and launder
    money through foreign companies and banks. That is
    where Robert Maxwell was allegedly involved.

    The secret service was also engaged in illegal arms
    sales, drug trafficking, and terrorism. A presidential
    commission is investigating the allegations and a
    senior officer in the secret service who was about to
    be interrogated committed suicide last month.

    He was implicated in the murder in London in 1978
    of leading Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, who was
    jabbed with a poisoned umbrella.
    [ . . . ]
    Mr Lilov claims that hundreds of foreign companies
    from Austria to Singapore were managed by the
    Bulgarian secret service.”

    Media reports praised Robert Maxwell for buying the
    New York Daily News. However, George Garneau
    reported in the Editor & Publisher (“Maxwell's money
    laundry”; 19Mar94) that in a court of law, the U.S.
    bankruptcy judge, Tina Brozman, found that Maxwell’s
    reason for the purchase was for money laundering
    purposes. Garneau quoted the judge’s ruling:

    "The evidence here compels the conclusion that
    Maxwell's interest, both in purchasing and operating
    the Daily News, was to keep the newspaper alive
    so that Maxwell Newspapers could function as a
    money-laundering device," Brozman said in a
    scathing 23-page decision riddled with references
    to fraud, misappropriation of funds, deceit and
    [ . . . ]
    In one instance, she said, Maxwell used the Daily
    News to secure a $78 million loan from Bankers
    Trust but gave the tabloid only $8.45 million.

    Another time, he negotiated to borrow $86 million
    from Bankers Trust for MGN and "sent the funds
    off on a great circular ride" through the Daily News
    and back to Bankers Trust to repay another loan,
    the decision said.


    There are many other information sources for the book
    including interviews the authors had with the following:
    Maxwell’s widow Betty and daughter Isabel; John P.
    O’Neill (FBI’s executive agent-in-charge); Yitzhak Rabin
    (former Prime Minister of Israel); Ehud Barak (former
    head of Israeli Military Intelligence and former Prime
    Minister of Israel); William Casey and William Colby
    (former CIA directors); Rafi Eitan (former Mossad
    director of operations); David Kimche (former Mossad
    assistant deputy director-general); Uri Saguy (former
    head of Aman, Israeli military intelligence); and Richard
    Tomlinson (former MI6 officer). Vladimir Kryuchkov
    (former KGB chairman) was listed as one of the
    secondary sources.

    According to the authors, Maxwell’s Mossad handler
    was Rafi Eitan, the same Mossad official who recruited
    Jonathan Pollard to spy on the USA for Israel. The
    Pollard recruitment was carried out through Aviem
    Sella (the famous Israeli pilot who led the air attack
    destroying Iraq’s nuclear reactor) and Yosef Yagur,
    the science attache at the Israeli consulate in New

    It was KGB boss Vladimir Kryuchkov who played a
    significant role in the looting plan hatched before the
    breakup of the USSR. He wanted to establish hundreds
    of business enterprises in the West that would provide
    cover for the KGB and Communist Party members to
    transfer their assets abroad with the assistance of
    organized crime, in a similar secret fashion to what
    Maxwell was providing to Mossad “katsas”. In the latter
    case, the authors say Maxwell met and colluded with
    Russian Mafia bosses such as Simeon Yukovich
    Mogilevich from the “Rising Sun” (aka Solntsevo) crime
    syndicate. Other Maxwell contacts included Andrei
    Lukanov and Ivo Janchev in Bulgaria where Maxwell
    bought the Bulgarian Cooperative Bank and which had
    allegedly laundered over $1 billion for the Solntsevo to
    Switzerland, Gibraltar and Liechtenstein.

    The KGB-led plan for looting the USSR and Eastern
    Europe has been corroborated by others beyond the
    Maxwell book, such as Richard L. Palmer, President of
    Cachet International, a former U.S. army intelligence
    officer, a former CIA operative specializing in money
    laundering, and a former CIA Station Chief in the former
    Soviet Union specializing in the investigation of Russian
    organized crime. Palmer described the plan in his
    testimony before the U.S. Congressional Committee
    on Banking and Financial Services dealing with the
    infiltration of the Western financial system by the Russian
    Mafia. Palmer is also recognized by the U.S. Federal
    Court as an expert witness on organized crime, official
    corruption and the banking system in Russia. Palmer
    described the earlier looting steps by the KGB and high
    Communist Party officials that were formulated and
    implemented (before the breakup of the USSR in
    1991) in the second half of the1980s under Mikhail
    Gorbachev’s “perestroika”. His testimony is available
    at the following URL:

    [ ]

    Robert Maxwell and Semion Mogilevich were but two
    players in such looting schemes. Other authors have
    described similar players such as Grigori “Lucky
    Loutchanno” Loutchansky and his Austrian-based
    company, Nordex, and commodity trader Marc Rich
    based in Switzerland. Author Paul Klebnikov wrote
    that oligarch Boris Berezovsky, “Godfather of the
    Kremlin”, learned from Marc Rich. Marc Rich was
    pardoned by Bill Clinton for his crimes in USA, and
    like Maxwell, also had links to the Mossad. Many
    Israeli officials, some linked to the Mossad, sent
    letters to Clinton supporting Marc Rich’s pardon.

    The London Daily Telegraph reported that Robert
    Maxwell’s son, Kevin Maxwell, worked for Grigori
    Loutchansky’s Nordex as a consultant for several
    years, trading in finance and construction in Russia
    and its satellites. Grigori Loutchansky has been
    banned from Britain by successive Home Secretaries.

    In the article, “Russian Mafia Strikes Back in Bulgaria”,
    [ ]
    (Transitions Online; 11-17Sep00), Polia Tchakarova,
    points out how Loutchansky/Pordeks, was funding
    political parties in Bulgaria, and that Mikhail Chernoy
    was expelled from Bulgaria. And RFE Turkmen
    Service reported on the alleged bribe of $100 million
    made by Loutchansky to Akezhan Kazhegeldin, the
    prime minister of Kazakhstan.
    [ ]

    In his article about Loutchansky titled, “Sinned Against
    or Sinning” (Jerusalem Post; 28Dec95), Tom Sawicki
    reported that two Nordex employees were killed in
    mafia-style street shootings in Moscow and Kyiv (a third
    was wounded), and that the “Ukraine-based company,
    Ukraintechservice, with which Nordex works closely,
    is currently under investigation over several allegedly
    shady deals.” Sawicki also wrote about Loutchansky’s
    ties to the Russian Mafia, money laundering for the
    KGB, involvement in the illicit trade in nuclear materials
    and technology, and the Nordex plane that was stopped
    in Kyiv while refueling and loaded with Scud missile
    warheads en route from North Korea to Iraq. He also

    “By 1994, Nordex's turnover had reached some $3 billion
    and it had 40 subsidiaries and joint-venture firms in the
    West, and some 100 such affiliates in the former Soviet
    empire. It employs close to 8,000 people. Among the big
    names associated with Nordex are Robert Maxwell's sons
    Kevin and Ian in London, the daughter and son-in-law of
    President Nursultan Nasarbayev of Kazakhstan, and
    until recently former Israeli finance minister Yitzhak
    [Cont'd in Part 3 ]


    [Cont'd from Part 2]

    Marc Rich and Grigori Loutchansky have been linked
    to the Solntsevo (aka Solntsevskaya), as has Semion
    “Brainy Don” Mogilevich. Thomas and Dillon describe
    Mogilevich as the head of Solntsevo. Other authors have
    suggested Sergei “Mikhas” Mikhailov as the head. In the
    book, “The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a
    New Market Economy”, Professor Federico Varese has
    provided some insight into the organizational structure of
    Solntsevo which he describes as having roughly 9,000
    members and being an umbrella organization for about
    twelve crews. Solntsevo also has a supreme governing
    council with twelve members who are leaders of the
    crews. In any case, Varese confirms that Mogilevich,
    Mikhailov, Viktor Averin, Vyacheslav Ivankov, Yurii Esin,
    Sergei Timofeev, and Sergei Kruglov are/were leading
    figures in Solntsevo. Timofeev and Kruglov have been
    killed. Mikhailov and Averin also have Israeli passports.

    In his book “Red Mafiya: How The Russian Mob Has
    Invaded America” (2000), author Robert I. Friedman
    devoted a full chapter to Mogilevich. The American
    Journalism Review has given Friedman the epithet,
    “The best investigative reporter you have never heard
    of.” Friedman exposed Mogilevich in a Village Voice
    article titled, “The Most Dangerous Mobster in the
    World” which earned him a Russian Mafia hit contract
    from Mogilevich of $100,000 on his head.

    [ ]

    Friedman also wrote the article, “The Money Plane”,
    published in the New York magazine (22Jan96) describing
    how the Republic National Bank based in New York
    provided billions of U.S. dollars to the Russian Mafia-
    controlled banks in Moscow. The money supply was
    denominated in uncirculated new $100 bills wrapped
    in their Federal Reserve wrappers, and flown weekly
    aboard the “money plane”, a nonstop Delta Flight 30
    leaving Gate 14 at John F. Kennedy International
    Airport bound for the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
    Republic National Bank was founded and owned by
    Edmond Safra (ranked among the 200 world’s
    wealthiest people in 1999) who was killed in his
    Monaco penthouse by a male nurse and former U.S.
    Green Beret, Ted Maher, convicted in Dec 2002.
    Safra’s widow, Lily, is ranked as Britain's eighth
    richest woman. The authors Thomas and Dillon claim
    Safra managed funds for the Russian Mafia and that
    Safra had links to Robert Maxwell.

    The Solntsevo crime syndicate is perhaps the most
    powerful in the world today. It has formed alliances with
    the Sicilian mafia in Europe, the Cosa Nostra families in
    New York, including Brighton Beach, the drug cartels in
    South America, the Triads in Hong Kong, and the Yakuza
    in Japan. Media reports claim it had significant influence
    in the inner political circles of presidents Leonid Kravchuk
    and Leonid Kuchma in Ukraine. For example, Vadim
    Rabinovich was Kuchma’s adviser and a Nordex
    representative in Ukraine (where Mogilevich was born).
    In Russia, Solntsevo has been linked to oligarchs and
    the “familia” members of Boris Yeltsin. For example,
    TIME magazine linked Russian Prime Minister Viktor
    Chernomyrdin to Nordex also.

    [ ]

    There have been many widely-publicized examples of
    Western-based mob operations for money laundering the
    loot from the former USSR:

    Canadians might be interested to know that Semion
    Mogilevich was one of the founders of YBM Magnex,
    a huge money laundering front for the Solntsevo mafia
    listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. After going
    bankrupt and bilking investors of hundreds of millions
    of dollars, YBM Magnex was the subject of investigative
    hearings by the Ontario Securities Commission involving
    such high profile YBM board directors as the former
    Liberal premier of Ontario, David Peterson. Peterson
    was found not guilty but YBM Magnex executives such
    as Igor Fisherman were found guilty. The FBI now has
    Mogilevich and Fisherman on their “Most Wanted” list.

    [ ]
    [ ]

    Americans might be interested to know that Mogilevich
    was a key player in the multi-billion dollar money
    laundering scandal at the Bank of New York (BoNY),
    still under criminal investigation. The BoNY scheme was
    linked to Russian banks such as Bank Menatep and
    Inkombank, whose billionaire owners are now some
    of the richest so-called oligarchs in Russia. Mikhail
    Khodorkovsky has been ranked as the richest person
    in Russia. A role was played by the Geneva bank, Bank
    of New York-Inter Maritime, controlled by Bruce (Baruch)
    Rappaport, believed to be connected to American and
    Israeli intelligence. Rappaport has been the subject of
    congressional hearings and was earlier involved in the
    BCCI banking scandal (Wall Street Journal, 28Feb01;
    The Economist, 28Aug99). Rappaport got his diplomatic
    immunity as the ambassador from Antigua to Russia.
    In the 1980s, Rappaport was the largest shareholder
    of Bank of New York. He was also linked to Charles
    Keating (the infamous Savings & Loan bandit and part
    of the "Keating Five" scandal).

    [ ]

    A key role in the BoNY money laundering was played
    by a small company, linked to Mogilevich, called Benex,
    described in the congressional testimony by the former
    Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, Jonathan
    M. Winer:


    [ . . . ]
    In response to my questions, I learned that the Benex
    account at the Bank of New York had moved more
    than $4.2 billion, with over 8,000 transactions a month
    for an average of one wire transfer every five minutes,
    night and day, 24 hours a day, for 18 months. I learned
    that Benex with its couple of employees and personal
    computers was operated by Peter Berlin, a Russian
    who had married a U.S. citizen named Lucy Edwards,
    herself Russian-born, who had divorced her first,
    American husband after acquiring U.S. citizenship.
    I learned that Ms. Edwards worked at the Bank of
    New York, where Benex maintained its account and
    through which Benex undertook its money laundering
    activity. I learned that Ms. Edwards’ job at the Bank
    of New York was to head the East European Trade
    Finance Department at the Bank of New York’s
    London offices, and that she remained in daily contact
    with her husband Peter Berlin, who was still in New
    York, running Benex.

    Mr. Chairman, my jaw literally dropped open when
    I was provided this information. In the past I had
    investigated the Bank of Credit and Commerce
    International, BCCI, and a lot of other big international
    money laundering cases, but this case had stunning
    implications. It suggested as a serious possibility that
    Benex was a multibillion dollar money laundering
    business operated by a couple of Russians, including
    one insider at a major United States money center
    bank, and that Benex was among other things
    laundering funds in New York City for the some of
    the worst elements of the Russian mob. In various
    capacities, I had prosecuted, investigated, analyzed,
    or undertaken oversight of many major money
    laundering cases over the previous 20 years. I had
    never heard of any money laundering case of this
    [ . . . ]

    And Europeans might be interested in Solntsevo’s
    multi-billion dollar money laundering scheme in several
    European countries recently uncovered by the police
    investigation code-named “Operation Spiderweb” and
    also linked to the BoNY scheme.

    The Maxwell book may very well spur more research
    about the ties between Robert Maxwell and Semion
    Mogilevich and the Solntsevo. It will be interesting to
    see if the Maxwell book will elicit a backlash from the
    Mossad. In the past, the Mossad tried to financially
    cripple Victor Ostrovsky for his Mossad expose, while
    in the Ari Ben-Menashe case, the Mossad initially
    claimed that he never even worked for them. Thomas
    and Dillion used both as sources.

    In the meantime, below are some excerpts from the

    Stefan Lemieszewski

    P.S. BTW, Enron’s auditor, Arthur Andersen, was the
    accountant for both Multigroup and Maxwell’s receivership.


    Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
    Murder of a Media Mogul”
    (2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
    by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

    Chapter 1 Days of Kidon

    [ . . . ]
    There were also other names, dangerously embarrassing
    names, that had links to Maxwell and Israel. They did not
    officially appear on any of the Maxwell company documents.
    These people held their shares through nominee attorneys
    or accountants. Those names had invested in Maxwell
    because they believed it would make it easier for them
    to conduct their activities: whole-scale drug running,
    money laundering, trafficking in humans and gun running.
    By 1991, investors included the heads of the Russian
    Mafia, who had positioned themselves for the imminent
    collapse of the Soviet Union.

    One was Semion Yukovich Mogilevich. He was a
    specialist in every major crime. Maxwell had arranged
    for Mogilevich to enter the Western financial world in
    1988. It was a time when the Bank of New York had
    begun aggressively to prepare to step into the post-
    Communist financial world. Maxwell had introduced
    the bank to a Swiss banker who ran an investment
    brokerage in Geneva with branch offices in the Middle
    East, west Africa and the Cayman Islands. For
    Mogilevich it was an ideal window through which to
    launder his money - into hard currency. But to keep
    check on what was happening, he needed a passport.
    Robert Maxwell had recommended he should be given
    one from the State of Israel. The passports had been
    issued to Mogilevich and 23 of his gang members.

    There were others on the list who did not need such
    a document. One was Edmund Safra, a US-based
    billionaire banker who had made tens of millions of
    dollars managing the funds of other members of the
    Russian Mafia. Safra had links to Maxwell: they had
    dined on board the Lady Ghislaine when the yacht
    berthed opposite Safra’s home in Monte Carlo.

    [ . . . ]
    For his part, Maxwell had learned enough about the
    methods of British intelligence to discover that truth
    is an acquired taste. Years later, after he had finally
    been recruited by Mossad, he had been told by Rafi
    Eitan, ‘our work is to create history and then hide it.
    On the whole we are honourable, respect constitutional
    government, free speech and human rights. But in the
    end we also understand that nothing must stand in the
    way of what we do.’

    [ . . . ]
    [ Cont'd in Part 4 ]


    [ Cont'd from Part 3 ]

    Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
    Murder of a Media Mogul”
    (2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
    by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

    [ . . . ]
    A substantial portion of the MI6 file - according to one
    of its former officers, Richard Tomlinson - was devoted
    to Maxwell's connections with the KGB and its satellite
    services in the Soviet Bloc. Tomlinson was to recall that
    there was also 'a lot of interesting stuff about Maxwell's
    dealings with some very dodgy characters, heads of the
    Russian criminal families. Some of the stuff on file were
    transcripts of meetings with them in hotels in Moscow.
    There was also material on his ties to Israel.'

    MI5's file was focused on Maxwell's financial activities
    in the City of London: his borrowings, his relationships
    with dozen of banks both in London and New York, and
    details about his interlinked companies.

    [ . . . ]
    By using his scientific contacts, offering to publish their
    work on computer technology in his magazines, he
    was able to provide hard evidence that the Eastern
    Bloc was well behind the West in technology and

    It gave Israel an opening to sell secretly a number of
    Eastern Bloc countries computers produced by Degem,
    Maxwell's own company. In turn that allowed Mossad
    to send its own electronic specialists to the Soviet
    Union, posing as technicians, to cast their eyes over
    the state of the domestic computer industry.

    Step by step, while Israel had no meaningful diplomatic
    presence in the Soviet Union, Maxwell's intelligence
    gathering opened up the reality of what was happening
    in the Communist empire.

    [ . . . ]
    Robert Maxwell's interest in Bulgaria had started before
    he was recruited by Mossad. In one of those earlier
    meetings with Vladimir Kryuchkov in Moscow, Maxwell
    raised the possibility that Bulgaria might be a country
    where he could invest his money away from prying eyes
    in the City of London and Wall Street.

    The KGB chief had been surprised. He had assumed
    'somebody like Maxwell had taken care of such matters'.

    But Maxwell had persisted. He would like to use
    Bulgaria to store substantial sums of money in hard
    currency. It would, of course, have to be available to
    him for withdrawal on demand. In the meantime, a
    Bulgarian bank would become his own personal vault,
    even more inaccessible than those in Switzerland.

    Kryuchkov had asked for time to see if this was feasible.
    No other entrepreneur from outside the Soviet Union,
    let alone someone of the status of Robert Maxwell,
    had been given such financial shelter. Kryuchkov had
    correctly assumed that the money Maxwell wanted to
    bury in Bulgaria would raise serious questions in the
    bastions of the West's financial centres.

    But there could be an advantage for Russia. Moscow
    effectively controlled Bulgaria's banking system.
    Allowing Maxwell to keep money there would enable
    the KGB to have an inside view of how he operated.
    There would also be the not insignificant fact that he
    would be expected to pay a 'handling fee' for such a
    service. That would come into the KGB's own bank
    in Moscow.

    Kryuchkov consulted with the then single most
    important leader in the Soviet Union, his own
    predecessor at the KGB and at that time General
    Secretary of the Communist Party's Central
    Committee: Yuri Andropov.

    The bespectacled party chief had listened carefully
    to Kryuchkov in his Kremlin office. Andropov knew
    Maxwell better than anyone in the Soviet Union.
    They shared a background of poverty and each had
    risen to eminence by a combination of hard work,
    ruthlessness and duplicity. They also shared another
    link. Both were Jews. But unlike Maxwell, Andropov
    had carefully hidden his ethnic roots. To be a Jew in
    the Soviet hierarchy was as dangerous as being one
    in Hitler's Third Reich.

    Maxwell had learned about Andropov's background
    from Rafi Eitan. Just like Eitan, he had also filed that
    titbit away in one of those compartments in his mind.
    Without telling Kryuchkov, he had called Andropov on
    the Jewish Day of Atonement. During the conversation
    he said how much he would like to help develop Bulgaria
    because as a Jew he had always wished to see an
    impoverished country begin to prosper; the pitiful state
    of Bulgaria's economy reminded him of what life had
    been like in those days when he had grown up in
    Slatinske Doly.

    While the precise words of their conversation went
    unrecorded, it was left to Kryuchkov to say, 'No one
    can agree like two Jews united in common purpose.'

    More certain is that Robert Maxwell also recognised
    that when Andropov finally succumbed to the kidney
    disease that was in an advanced stage, Kryuchkov
    would still be an influential figure in the Soviet
    archipelago - and a source of important information
    for Mossad.

    He began to send couriered gifts to Kryuchkov's office
    in the Lubyanka: a cashmere coat, sets of solid golf
    cufflinks, the latest hi-fi set and a box of the finest
    opera recordings. Every week without fail the British
    Airways flight from London to Moscow had stowed in
    its hold a crate of vintage Scotch whisky or Krug

    Inevitably, the gifts came to the attention of MI6. It
    deepened its concern that Maxwell might in the later
    words of one serving officer 'be doing a Blunt or
    Philby'. Both men had been close to the core of British
    intelligence and had betrayed its secrets to Moscow.
    But David Spedding, the MI6 chief, decided that
    Maxwell was purely driven by an insatiable need to
    promote himself so as to become a major deal maker
    in the Soviet Union.

    By then Vladimir Kryuchkov had agreed to provide
    Maxwell with his financial bunker in the Bulgarian
    capital, Sofia. In one of those piquant twists that the
    KGB liked, the Bank of Bulgaria, where Maxwell's
    money would be safe, was one the KGB used to
    finance international terrorist groups and the global
    traffic in drugs.

    To watch over Maxwell, Kryuchkov decided he needed
    his most trusted operative in Bulgaria. He was Andrei
    Lukanov. Still not fifty years of age, he had been a
    member of Bulgaria's Central Committee for over a
    decade. Soft-spoken, he bore a broad Slav face, its
    most noticeable feature being his expressive eyes.
    Like Maxwell, Lukanov had long buried his peasant
    background. He dressed, walked and spoke in an
    aristocratic manner. Those he favoured, he greeted
    with a hug for the men, a hand-kiss for the women.
    Others he no longer favoured often disappeared from
    one day to the next. No one would ever know how
    many persons he had got rid of with a few whispered
    words or a nod. He was cast in the mould of a Mafia

    Before Maxwell had been given his special coded
    account in the Bank of Bulgaria, Kryuchkov had
    sent for Lukanov.

    [ . . . ]
    But not even Robert Maxwell, in those halcyon months
    after that dinner at the Sofia Sheraton, could have
    imagined that the empire he was single-handedly
    creating - Lukanov and Doinov were soon no more
    than underlings at his beck and call - would grow into
    one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world,
    embracing the Russian Mafia, the crime families of
    Bulgaria and, far away across the Atlantic, those in
    New York and, on the other side of the world, the
    crime families of Japan and Hong Kong. By then all
    the companies that Maxwell had formed would come
    under one name: Multi-Group. It would control a
    significant percentage of the global profits from gas,
    telecommunications, oil, gambling and money
    laundering. If Maxwell had seen it reach that stage,
    he might well have tried to insist that due tribute be
    paid to his achievement. Who can doubt as the founder
    godfather he would have liked his name in the title.
    Maxwell Multi Group would surely have had a ring
    which would have appealed to his overwhelming

    John P O'Neill, FBI executive agent-in-charge in New
    York, would later say that 'in many ways Maxwell was
    at the heart of the global criminal network. Beginning
    with his Bulgarian connection he showed how to
    structure a network that grew into financially powerful
    criminal corporations whose power would extend to
    the South American drug cartels, the Tongs and the
    Triads, the Russian Mafia and the Japanese Yakuza.
    They were all there before. But the way Robert Maxwell
    set up things up, they would all come together in Multi-
    Group in its early years. His last contribution was not
    that he just robbed his pension funds. It was that he
    was the man who set in motion a true coalition of global

    Meanwhile, in those months of founding this great
    underbelly of criminality to support his very public face
    in London and New York, Maxwell had continued to
    service the needs of Mossad.

    Just as Degem Computers provided cover for katsas
    to move through South America, so those in the
    Eastern Bloc served the same purpose. Mossad, like
    all intelligence services, had until then found it very
    difficult to operate in Russia and its satellites. While
    the CIA and British intelligence still found it hard to
    do so, Robert Maxwell ensured that Mossad could
    penetrate far into the economic structure of Eastern
    Europe and make informed judgments never before
    possible by working under cover of the Neva

    [ . . . ]
    The morning after the Sheraton dinner, Maxwell sent
    for Doinov. They strolled through the ground of the
    government villa where Maxwell usually stayed. He
    said he had been serious about resolving Bulgaria's
    foreign debt. All he would require was a commission
    of 15 per cent. Doinov agreed that was reasonable,
    yet it could just have been a figure that Maxwell
    pulled out of the air to show how powerful he was.

    Crunching over the snow, Maxwell then began to
    outline how it would be possible.

    The first steps would be to restructure a joint venture
    company, BIMEX, which Maxwell had set up with
    Lukanov some time ago. This would now be registered
    in London with two addresses, Headington Hill Hall
    and Maxwell House. The shareholders would be
    those in another of Maxwell's companies, Orbit House
    Enterprises. The initial capital would be $1 million for
    500,000 shares, equally divided between the Orbit
    stockholders and those in BIMEX, Bulgaria. Its board
    would be reinforced by a director of a Bulgarian bank
    registered in Beirut. It was called LITEX and was a
    cover for the Middle East station of the Bulgarian
    secret service.

    This interlocking arrangement would pave the way
    for Maxwell to obtain a controlling interest in the
    Bulgarian Cooperative Bank. For years the bank
    had unwittingly been a conduit for money laundering
    by one of the major criminal families in Moscow, the
    Rising Sun [aka Solntsevo], whose head was Simeon

    But, on that January day in 1987, Robert Maxwell
    confined himself to explaining to Doinov the finer
    points of international financial manipulation. Once
    he had his hands on the Cooperative Bank, Maxwell
    would quietly forget about his offer to service Bulgaria's
    foreign debt. The bank would provide him with a means,
    according to a later Bulgarian government report, to:

    “launder over $1 billion through Switzerland,
    some of it passing through Gibraltar to
    Liechtenstein as a consequence of joint
    ventures like BIMEX and others in which
    Maxwell was involved. As a result of Decision
    53 of the Council of Ministers, $200 million of
    the country's monetary reserve was invested
    in shares and bonds via Maxwell's Bishopsgate
    International Investment Management PLC in

    Vassily Koralov, director of the Bulgarian Foreign
    Trade Bank, was unable to explain how Maxwell had
    taken $500 million out of the country with simply a
    bank withdrawal slip.

    'I cannot imagine how it was possible to do this without
    the signature of the head accountant. I have no desire
    to comment on whether the money had been money
    that came in from abroad,' Koralov said.

    The money came from profits Neva had made in sales
    of computer technology to all the Eastern Bloc countries.
    Maxwell had set up a web of financial companies across
    the world that ensured those profits would never be
    traced. The funereal-like Dr R had seen to that. The
    one certainty is that they far exceeded the $1 billion
    that the Bulgarian government subsequently reported
    it was able to identify.

    Credit Suisse in Switzerland, banks in Gibraltar - which
    serve the same purpose as do those in the Cayman
    Islands and Liechtenstein - were mere staging points
    on the electronic trail the ingenious Dr R had opened,
    and along which his client, Robert Maxwell, was the
    only man allowed to travel. It would remain so well
    disguised that investigators from the US Internal
    Revenue Service, from Britain's Inland Revenue and
    from all the regulatory bodies who may have suspected
    it existed, would never - ever - be able to follow it.

    [Cont'd in Part 5]


    [Cont'd from Part 4]

    Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and
    Murder of a Media Mogul”
    (2002; Carroll & Graf Publishers; ISBN 0-78677-1078-0)
    by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon.

    [ . . . ]
    On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Admoni
    had gathered his staff in the Mossad canteen and said:
    'I wish us all a year without mistakes. We need to all
    keep our eye on the ball.'

    It was an injunction in the case of Robert Maxwell that
    Nahum Admoni should himself have heeded. The
    criminals Maxwell was becoming involved with would
    not only lead him into dangerous and uncharted waters,
    but would eventually pose a threat to Israel and seal
    Admoni's own fate. He would become the Mossad
    director who did not hear the alarm bells ringing.

    The danger surfaced in Moscow over another of
    those dinners Kryuchkov gave Maxwell in the Lubyanka
    late in 1988. Even more fearful at the pace at which
    perestroika was accelerating, Kruychkov said that for
    the KGB to remain a potent force he wanted to establish
    'over six hundred commercial enterprises'. They would
    all have links to the West. Just as Maxwell's companies
    provided cover for Mossad's katsas, Kryuchkov
    envisaged his companies would provide similar
    protection for KGB operatives. The Russian companies
    would operate on sound business principles, just like
    any other corporation in the West. The profits from the
    Russian concerns would go to the KGB and help fund
    its foreign intelligence operations. Maxwell was assured
    none of these would be against the State of Israel.

    Kryuchkov had explained that behind his immediate
    plan was a long-term one. The six hundred companies
    would each employ a quota of senior party members
    to provide them with an income during the difficult days
    ahead in the transition from Communism to capitalism.
    Through genuine trading links, the companies would
    obtain access to the very heart of capitalism: Wall Street
    and the City of London and the Bourses of Western Europe.
    Its staffs would then learn the innermost secrets of the
    West's banking system, the wellspring of all capitalism.
    Eventually it might even be possible to destabilise
    Western economies - and pave the way for the return
    of Communism.

    It was madcap scheming that Stalin would have been
    proud of.

    But there was more.

    Before that meeting Maxwell met a man in the plan
    Kryuchkov had created. His name was Simeon
    Mogilevich. He was a Ukrainian-born Jew and head of
    the Rising Sun [aka Solntsevo], one of Moscow's major
    criminal families. And soon, thanks to Maxwell, he would
    be able to travel on an Israeli passport.

    Money laundering, weapons, contract hits and drug
    trafficking were the staples of Mogilevich's work.

    At their first meeting, again in Moscow, Mogilevich told
    Maxwell he would be able to get Jews out of the Soviet
    Union and had done so on many occasions. The truth
    was that Mogilevich had repeatedly robbed Soviet
    Jews of their last valuables in return for his promise to
    smuggle them to Israel.

    By the time he met Maxwell, Mogilevich had established
    some fifty legitimate companies in Israel, Britain, the
    United States, Austria and Germany. Through them
    he laundered his criminal profits. These would grow to
    some $40 billion a year after he met Maxwell.

    A phone call to Tel Aviv, and Mogilevich had his
    passport. Now he could go anywhere - and he did:
    to Liechtenstein to set up a new money-laundering
    operation; to Gibraltar, to Cyprus, the Channel Islands
    and the Cayman Islands. In all these places money
    and a no-questions policy were opposite sides of the
    same coin, and Simeon Mogilevich, thanks to Robert
    Maxwell, availed himself of new opportunities.

    The second man to cross Maxwell's path, this time
    through an introduction by his old friend Andrei Lukanov,
    was Ivo Janchev.

    An officer in the Bulgarian secret service, he had
    ambitions to be rich whatever it took. Using his
    contacts in Moscow and Budapest, he would be the
    link to organised crime figures like Mogilevich. He
    would also be the front man to make contact with
    several Russians with businesses in the West.

    Within a few months of meeting Mogilevich and
    Janchev, Robert Maxwell had gone into partnership
    with them. He had now become a serious player in
    the world of organised crime.

    Even by Maxwell's standards of being willing to
    enter into any arrangement that would ultimately
    profit him, his decision to partner these two men
    was extraordinary.

    Maxwell was a corporate raider, a man who would
    breeze into a boardroom and say he had come to
    buy the company. His new partners' usual technique
    was to storm into a company with their private
    armies of former Soviet Spetznaz (special forces),
    and threaten to take apart the building unless the
    offer they made was accepted.

    While Maxwell had a bevy of fawning secretaries to
    slip him his deodorant or mop his brow, his partners
    did not bother with such feminine niceties. They
    depended on their armed bodyguards to make sure
    no one passed comment on their body odour. At
    play they could be rough, publicly manhandling their
    women, stomping their way into a night spot and
    terrorising the other clients.

    Their business was prostitution, drug running, traffic
    in humans. When MI5 discovered how Mogilevich
    earned his money, they informed the Home Office
    which expelled him from Britain and publicly branded
    him as 'one of the most dangerous criminals in the
    world'. It is hard to believe that Robert Maxwell did
    not know that. Yet he continued to be drawn ever
    deeper into the dark and evil empire Mogilevich
    operated. A number of people who had crossed his
    path had been disposed of into the Moscow River or
    in one of the city's back streets. He had his own team
    of killers never further away than a phone call.

    These two were the men Maxwell had chosen as
    his partners. The question that would be asked was:
    why? Why did a tycoon still listed among the top ten
    publishers in the world, among men like Murdoch,
    not only rub shoulders with, but treat as equals,
    Lukanov, Janchev and Mogilevich?

    Maxwell's enjoyment came from being seen in public
    with kings and queens, with Prince Charles and
    Princess Diana, with Hollywood stars. Through them
    he could continue to fill not only the pages of his own
    newspapers, but those of his rivals. But with his three
    new partners he dared not even be photographed by
    a hostess in a Sofia nightclub. He could meet his
    partners only in the shadows, in one of their fortified
    palaces where even he had to undergo a body scan
    before gaining access.

    He could never invite them, even in the dead of night,
    to visit him. He could never take them for a cruise on
    the Lady Ghislaine. He could do almost nothing that
    he normally liked to do to show his power. He was
    just their business partner. No more. No less.

    He knew their business was corruption and
    pornography of every kind: fortunes were made from
    prostitution and drug trafficking, from trading in men,
    women and children for the sex industry, from the
    mass marketing of obscene films, from contract
    killings, blackmail, extortion.

    What was Robert Maxwell doing in their world?
    The answer would come within a few months of their
    alliance. Maxwell, who was not averse to hiding behind
    other respectable figures - the Rothschilds, the Lehman
    Brothers and that epitome of respectability, the governor
    of the Bank of England, Robin Leigh-Pemberton - would
    now find himself fronting for three of the world's most
    powerful godfathers. There is only one reason why he
    would do so, feel he must do so: the attraction of making
    still more money to satisfy his insatiable desire to be the
    richest man in the world. The obsession may have gone
    all the way back to that time when he walked barefoot
    in the summer, shared his shoes with his siblings in the
    winter, when he slept under a quilt smelling of sour straw
    and when his mother had told him that to be an Englishman
    was to be different. He had become an Englishman of sorts.
    He was certainly different - if that meant being wealthy. But
    he had not yet enough money. Lukanov, Mogilevich and
    Janchev had offered him a means to come that much
    closer to getting what he wanted.

    Through his own connections to international finance,
    where his very name could still open doors to the
    bankers at Goldman Sachs and the House of Morgan,
    he had paved the way for the godfathers to enter with
    him. Israel's superspy had now become an associate of
    criminals. Fraud by now was nothing new to Maxwell.
    But to be a partner with criminals on every watch list of
    police and intelligence services was something new.

    It marked his fall, rise and fall again: he had fallen
    after the damning report by the British government's
    inspectors that he was not fit to be a director of any
    company; he had risen again to own the Daily Mirror.
    But now he had embarked on a journey that could only
    lead to another fall.

    Nevertheless, he must have believed he could still
    count on the protection of Mossad. He could only have
    believed that because he knew so much of their own
    dark secrets that, if his own criminal connections had
    surfaced, he could depend on Mossad to help him.

    In New York, the FBI chief, John P O'Neill, later
    identified the global threat posed by organised crime
    and its links to Maxwell:

    'Some of Maxwell's associates were involved in
    narcotics, illegal weapons and contract killings, of
    which there may be as many as five hundred a year.
    They were also into smuggling precious metals and
    counterfeiting. They had links with the Russian
    military. Any Russian banker that didn't do their
    bidding knew what to expect. He got a grenade tossed
    into his car. A hit like that could be arranged for as
    little as two hundred bucks. People who tried to cross
    them had nowhere to run. They could hunt you down

    'These people had sophisticated operations for
    washing money in London and New York. It came
    from drugs, financial fraud -just one step beyond
    what Maxwell was doing - prostitution and extortion.

    'Their operations looked something like this. In
    Britain it was money laundering. Same in Switzerland.
    Italy was drugs and traffic in people -mostly women
    for prostitution. In Belgium and Germany, it was stolen
    cars and more laundering of profits. Albania and
    Poland was fraud, arms and drugs. Maxwell showed
    how an intricate, complex web of shell companies
    under a group umbrella could move money around
    the globe. When New York became a target for
    Eastern Bloc criminal syndicates and we looked at
    how it operated, the Maxwell model was there for
    all to see.'

    [ . . . ]
    At a meeting with Lukanov, Maxwell said he wanted
    a new stake in BZK and for his Bishopsgate Investment
    Trust to handle a substantial portion of Bulgaria's
    current $10 billion foreign debt.

    He also wanted something else: the pick of Todor
    Zhivkov's palaces and villas, now all about to come
    on the market. They were being offered at bargain-
    basement prices. Maxwell would buy the choicest
    for himself and acquire the others either for resale
    or high rentals to the foreign investors he would
    bring into Bulgaria.

    Accompanied by Nick Davies and his photographer,
    he travelled to Perla on the Black Sea. It was famous
    for two reasons. It produced the best rikea drink in
    all Bulgaria and was the site of the former president's
    most luxurious holiday palace. It had its own harbour
    and a cinema.

    When Maxwell returned to Sofia, Doinov was
    anxiously waiting.

    'I told him I had decided I was at risk - that I knew
    too much. Mr Maxwell told me to leave Bulgaria
    right away without telling anyone and promised to
    install me in Vienna as his consultant,' said Doinov.

    Maxwell also promised Doinov a large salary and
    an ongoing secret role in laundering money from

    Lukanov, when he later faced scrutiny for his links
    to Maxwell, turned the tables on Doinov with a letter
    he published, within which he cited Doinov.

    A Bulgarian federal prosecutor would later threaten,
    'I will personally go to Vienna and bring Doinov back
    to Sofia in a bag if I have to.'

    With no extradition treaty, that had proved impossible.

    Another man who crossed Maxwell's path was Michael
    Chorney [Mikhail Chorny], a Russian Jew with an Israeli
    passport. Young and flashy, he impressed Maxwell as
    someone who would go a long way. Chorney had his own
    eye on setting up banks, hi-tech businesses and buying
    a football team in Bulgaria. In time he would learn a lot
    from Maxwell's flamboyant style and hard-nosed strategy.
    He would also subsequently become a controversial

    With Doinov in Vienna and Andrei Lukanov running
    the country, Maxwell had achieved his goal of making
    Bulgaria his own.

    But events at home, in Russia and in Israel were about
    to threaten all that.
    [ . . . ]
    Like sex in Victorian England, the reality of Big Business today is our big dirty secret. Ralph Nader

  2. #2


    Welcome to the forum Jeff.
    What a fascinating post. I was wondering how long it would take for PROMIS to get an airing here. There is certainly a lot of very interesting information here. I look forward to more :fisheye:
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

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