Mysterious Chinese company that bought GTT shares is actually owned by Guyanese

 

Mysterious Chinese company that bought GTT shares is actually owned by Guyanese

 
 
 
 

Georgetown, Guyana; – For years, Guyanese have been misled into believing that it was a Chinese-owned company that had bought out 20% of the government shares in the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Ltd (GTT).

But bits of digital data scraped from the filing records of an entity that deals with company formations in Hong Kong is now showing that the actual owners of Hong Kong Golden Telecom Company (HKGT), the supposedly-Chinese company that bought the shares, is actually owned by Guyanese and a Guyanese offshore entity that has very close connections to a clique of prominent political and business figures in Guyana.

Moreover, additionally unscrambled data shows that a large Chinese company that operates in Guyana had also played a key role in the investment, and remains quiet on the sideline, as the current government struggles to understand who actually owns the company.

In essence, the shares in GTT was actually bought by a Guyanese business syndicate which had established the Hong Kong company in June 2011, (two weeks before the then government had announced that it is seriously looking to sell its 20% shares in GTT to a Hong Kong company).

So when it was announced several months later (in 2012) that Government had finalized the sale with a Hong Kong company, details on its name or its principals were evidently elusive.

Independently identifying the company or its owners was even more difficult, because of Hong Kong’s strict secrecy laws, which bars the display name of a person or owner affiliated with a company.

But around mid last year, Hong Kong entered into an information exchange agreement with about a dozen Western Countries, making it easier for countries like the UK and the United States, to dig into the identities of shareholders in several hundred shell companies that were incorporated in Hong Kong.

This was as a result of the fact that many of these front companies were being used to conceal money laundering, and other transnational crimes that can threaten the credibility of the world’s financial system.

So once the buyer of the GTT shares was identified by the government as Hong Kong Golden Telecom Company (HKGT), harvesting ownership information via third-party entities became slightly easier.

But to add more mystery to the buyer’s identities, some of the benefactors on HKGT are known shell companies that were incorporated in other jurisdictions; again with the objective of erasing the trail leading to the true identities of the owners of the Hong Kong Golden Telecom Company.

But in the end, a knitted grouping of investigative journalists from the Al Jazeera network and Guyana Guardian was able to determine that a small circle of Guyanese, including those with strong political connections, are the real principals behind the entity which had long portrayed itself as Chinese-owned.

This has since begged the question as to whether the State was aware of the true identities of the HKGT principals at the time when the then government had selectively sold its shares in GTT to the Hong Kong entity, or whether some of the company benefactors were the actual drafters of the sale.

Moreover, it also leaves one to wonder why the head of the controversial company had never come forward or why the actual owners are afraid to make themselves known.

Whatever it is, the transaction has always been shrouded in mystery, in so much that it had caused Minister of State Joseph Harmon to go on a wild goose-chase to China in a bid to meet with the company owners, but practically came back empty-handed, since there were no real owners to meet there.

And while the evident identity of the owners remains elusive to the current government, the Guyana Guardian understands that if Guyana should file financial crimes proceedings against HKGT, it will then be able to make a better case to the Hong Kong government to reveal the true identity of the company’s owners beneficiaries.

The Hong Kong registered company first came into the spotlight after the previous government subsequently identify the entity as the once-secret buyer of its then 20% shares in GTT.

And while the sale of the 20% stake in GTT had remained a largely dormant issue prior to 2016; – it became a burning subject matter when the APNU/AFC government came into power, and found out that the State had never received the remaining US$5 million (from the US$30 million sales) that was still owing by the Hong Kong Golden Telecom Company (HKGT).

(Additional reporting from Hong Kong by: Liana Wu)

 

Original Post

QUOTE: "This has since begged the question as to whether the State was aware of the true identities of the HKGT principals at the time when the then government had selectively sold its shares in GTT to the Hong Kong entity, or whether some of the company benefactors were the actual drafters of the sale."

FACT: The State in 2011 was governed by the PPP.

Let's wait for an explanation from the PPP. Meanwhile, I think it is unfair at this stage to blame Big Joe Harmon for the missing US$5M. We have to be fair.

Gilbakka posted:

QUOTE: "This has since begged the question as to whether the State was aware of the true identities of the HKGT principals at the time when the then government had selectively sold its shares in GTT to the Hong Kong entity, or whether some of the company benefactors were the actual drafters of the sale."

FACT: The State in 2011 was governed by the PPP.

Let's wait for an explanation from the PPP. Meanwhile, I think it is unfair at this stage to blame Big Joe Harmon for the missing US$5M. We have to be fair.

Skelly,

thinks otherwise about the missing US$5M.

Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:

QUOTE: "This has since begged the question as to whether the State was aware of the true identities of the HKGT principals at the time when the then government had selectively sold its shares in GTT to the Hong Kong entity, or whether some of the company benefactors were the actual drafters of the sale."

FACT: The State in 2011 was governed by the PPP.

Let's wait for an explanation from the PPP. Meanwhile, I think it is unfair at this stage to blame Big Joe Harmon for the missing US$5M. We have to be fair.

Skelly,

thinks otherwise about the missing US$5M.

Don't you think I know that? Are you attempting to foment strife between Skelly and me? What makes you think you will succeed?

I was hoping that the article will unveil the name of the owners. If they have the names, why were they not revealed?

I think that there are many unanswered questions in addition to who the owners are. These include 

Who did Harmon meet when he went to China and from whom did he receive documents that the money was paid to the ppp government?

Where are the documents?

Did NCIL do due diligence in examining the background of the company that purchased the sale?

Were the shares sold for less that the market price of the shares? If so, by how much? 

 

NCIL and the PPP beet to explain and answer questions about this matter if this story is true.

Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:

QUOTE: "This has since begged the question as to whether the State was aware of the true identities of the HKGT principals at the time when the then government had selectively sold its shares in GTT to the Hong Kong entity, or whether some of the company benefactors were the actual drafters of the sale."

FACT: The State in 2011 was governed by the PPP.

Let's wait for an explanation from the PPP. Meanwhile, I think it is unfair at this stage to blame Big Joe Harmon for the missing US$5M. We have to be fair.

Skelly,

thinks otherwise about the missing US$5M.

Do you know the Guyanese identities of the owners of this company? Do you know who has the money? Do you happen to know if the money was stolen from this company and given to any individual? Could this HKGT outfit be a PNC shell company?

skeldon_man posted:
Django posted:
Gilbakka posted:

Let's wait for an explanation from the PPP. Meanwhile, I think it is unfair at this stage to blame Big Joe Harmon for the missing US$5M. We have to be fair.

Skelly,

thinks otherwise about the missing US$5M.

Do you know the Guyanese identities of the owners of this company? Do you know who has the money? Do you happen to know if the money was stolen from this company and given to any individual? Could this HKGT outfit be a PNC shell company?

Did you read the article ??

Possibly HKGT is an PNC shell company and maybe they were doing back door deals with the PPP selling out resources with no money paid.

I'm not sure that the Guyana Guardian article is true since they come up with some outrageous stories at times. But nothing would surprise me, knowing the crookishness of the PPP under Jagdeo. If they really own this company, they would be the ones owing the $US 5 mil to the people of Guyana. They also set up a shell company in CGX to try and corner the oil market for themselves. The only problem is that CGX had no clue where to find the oil so Exxon picked up where they failed to produce. Jagdeo and his cronies would have been smiling today had CGX hit some oil.

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