Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Mahathir's Buenos Aires-Montevideo hideout

No writer's block. Just malas mood to sit and type away on a table.

That is till a friend complained of looking at Abu Juling face on the blog. Whichever way he give his political support, he is too tarnished to be of political value.

The legal discussion on the CJ appointment is an interesting subject to write. But Tan Sri Johan Jaafar's column in The Star here on Tun Dr Mahathir's 1997 trip to South America in the midst of the currency crisis storm is a window of opportunity not to be missed.

It is the awaited lead to uncover more of Buenos Aires to Mahathir in the scheme of things today. It answers why certain things happen in a certain way.

Ann Clwyd and AP Arumugam

More so, Mahathir decided to bring a character from the past, Ann Clwyd into his 1MDB battle.

The Labour MP traces back to the Pergau, arms deal, and familar names like Balfour Beatty, Trafalgar, GEC et al. linked to Tan Sri Appavoo Packiri Arumugam (read back here and Msia Digest here).

Ananda Krishnan is openly known as the Indian crony of Mahathir. Unknown, but only to those that underwent through the period is Tan Sri AP Arumugam.

He is believed to be Mahathir's proxy to allegedly collect commissions and kickbacks for government major purchases and supplies of infrastructure projects.

Free Malaysia Today wrote "AP Arumugam, middlemen defined" but it is not available in the news portal but in an old forum page here. Any supply of generators to TNB - be it from GEC or ABB, must go through him via Mahkota Technologies.

Bet for anyone's salary that it is for and behalf of Mahathir and not for Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana.

The low profile Arumugam emerged in the local market as Hibiscus in 2011 (Read The Star here). Likely consolidating his businesses and perhaps making way for his son (The Star here).

Missing from the posting is the explanation for below:

The company concerned is Biwater.

Without much track record, Biwater managed to secure water projects in Malaysia. It is believed Dennis Thatcher is involved in the deal and suitcase was exchange.

Today, Biwater in Malaysia is synonymous with Antah-Biwater.

Mahathir's Argentine hideout 

Returning back to Johan Jaafar's South American trip. For one, it was not Mahathir's first trip to Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Cuba as mentioned by the official communique. In 1995, he delivered a speech in Colonia, Uruguay (read here).

During the 1997 trip, it is believed he summoned the rouge trader, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed to Buenos Aires for breakfast meeting to educate him on foreign exchange trading.

Back then it is believed that it was his first encounter with the BNM trader.

With more information on the forex trading loss of BNM revealing itself and the RCI begins today, it is now believed that Nor Yakcop took order straight from the top.

He was untouchable to the bosses of BNM. The untouchable meant is not as the Hindu pariah caste variant.

In the meanwhile, Armugam have been donating in the UK and getting on the Board of Trustees of charitable foundations to work his way up British high society and corridor of power. 

When Mahathir went off for holiday after the Davos Forum in February 2002, the late MGG Pillai wrote sarcastically of his holiday and mentioned of his ranch in Argentina. One can find in the old Tranung Kite website here

His ranch in Buenos Aires is no more a secret today. Deny all he can but it is his. He left a trail by having the proxies appear elsewhere. They acknowledged a certain block of shares is not their's. Thus it cannot be Anwar Ibrahim or Muhyiddin or anyone else.

He cannot say I dunno like he tried on the purchase of Scorpene submarine.  No initiative or basically nothing should happen in Malaysia without his clearance. It has to be in sync with any recent new hobby he acquired from the most recent trip overseas.  

It believed now that the ranch was purchased by Arumugam who owns a 600,000 hectare sheep and horse breeding ranch and ski resort in Los Lenas. An online website clamed he also owned a 12,000 ha farm near Buenos Aires. That could be Mahathir's (Read here).

One blogger here described Los Lenas as:
"... nothing more than a two-bit mafia racket administered to by cold-blooded sicilian-argentinians who receive direction from the despicable owner, a Malaysian prince named Tan Sri Arumugam."
Ha ha ha ... the prince! Prince of Belair ...

In March this year, this blog shared an eyewitness account of a pow wow in Buenos Aires involving all the IPP owners:
Before the last general election, Mahathir had a meeting with the IPP owners in Buenos Aires and they were complaining of 1MDB nationalising IPP.

When 1MDB invited Mahathir to launch a CSR for the fishermen of Langkawi for GE13, he turned it down and grumbled as to why nationalise after the trouble to privatise.

So it has to be more than mere issue with policy.

During the last GE, too few and too little of Mahathir's corporate cronies donated to the BN political war chest.
That partly confirmed our decision to leave "Kutty" in this fight. He was lying and hiding the true intention to oust Najib.

If the Los Lenas is such a boondog of a place, why did Mahathir and Arumugam invested there?

All these years, Malaysians were misled to think that Mahathir is looking to Argentina to rear cattle and feed Malaysians with beef. It is not practical for Malaysians to rely on fish as source of protein. In a matter of time, it will get expensive.

The former Ambassador of Argentina knows and one will not be surprise he was "asked" by a wealthy friend to do a rash and brash theatric to criticise the government handling of the North Korean murder case (read back here).

Across Rio Del La Plata

It was till a tip-off to look at Uruguay. Montevideo is just across the Rio De La Plata. It is accessible from Buesnos Aires by ferry, by road and the shortest air trip.

The book, Hot Money and the Politics of Debt described Uruguay as the Switzerland of South Americas:

That is the reason one find German last names with South American first names representing the Uruguay national football team. Nazi fled Germany after the end of World War II to find home and formed colonies in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and many South American countries.

Apparently, someone, who visited Uruguay, noticed the presence of German automakers and aviation manufacturers in Montevideo. The Nazis could still be in control of the industries they developed during the war.

Whenever political or economic crisis occur in Brazil or Argentina or any other South American countries, money flow out and into Uruguay.

The annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) in 2005 identified Uruguay as a money laundering centre for narcotic money. (Read the US Embassy report here.)

Uruguay faced an economic crisis in 2002 till 2008 but today the descripton of Uruguay is glowing (Read Wikitravel here). It is also praised for human rights in allowing same sex marriage.

However, the Uruguay still thrive as a safe haven country and authorities could be merely doing lip service to combat money laundering (read here). Uruguay maintain a low profile to keep its money laundering business intact.

The way is to have a "highly dollarized economy" with "some 80 percent of all banking deposits in Uruguay are done in US dollars" (read here).

Buenos Aires and Montevideo is just across the river.

Your guess is as good as mine, Gringo as to why Buenos Aires was Mahathir and Arumugam destination of investment. No Malaysians realised that the various official trips taken by Mahathir to South America hardly benefited Malaysia economically.

With the general election around the corner, these are relevant information to know. Money from Uruguay could be trying to find its way back to Malaysia.

Must be a thriving business for money changers. Friendly banks, local and abroad, could be busy for months doing set-off services to be payable locally. High security cross border transport business through the more porous border entry point too is lucrative.    

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