September 24, 2018
Attorney General of Colombia conceals assets and funds in Spain with a Panamanian façade company he owns
By GONZALO GUILLÉN
Photo of Presidency of the Republic / Photo by Gonzalo Guillén
Madrid (Spain). The Attorney General of the Nation, Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira, conceals assets and funds in Spain under the protection of a Panamanian company that he owns with his family. It is called Amanda Advisors S.A., owns one hundred percent of the shares, all bearer, so its name does not appear in them nor has it been declared before to the Colombian tax authorities.
The goods so far detected in Spain are a luxurious apartment in Madrid, valued at nearly three million euros, as well as bank funds at the Banco de Santander, received, through transfers allegedly from tax havens, Spanish judicial sources indicated.
Martínez Neira acquired in Panama the front company Amanda Advisors SA, created in October 2007 by the law firm of Ciudad de Panamá Rosas & Rosas, whose activity is similar to that of Mossack Fonseca, famous since when its gigantic data bank and the activities were made public through leaks received by the Structured Research Journalism Network and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with which more than one hundred media outlets published hundreds of stories supported by several million documents on the operation of the law firm between 1970 and 2015. This unleashed the worldwide scandal - still in effervescence - known as "Panama Papers".
Amanda Advisors S.A. it has not been registered in the Sole Business and Social Registry of the Chambers of Commerce of Colombia.
Rosas & Rosas has been judicially accused of laundering black funds from the construction company Odebrecht in order to pay bribes around the world, as I will reveal in a report that will be published after this.
Amanda Advisors S.A., the company of the Colombian Attorney General, was registered in the Tenth Notary of the Circuit of Panama City by Eliseo de León and Elisa Edghill. Its directors are three companies of British Virgin Islands, namely: Fairfax Invest Corp., Pointview Financial Limited and Ultra Mega Development S.A. (These last three have the same address in the British Virgin Islands).
The aforementioned Ultra Mega Development S.A. was replaced in the board of the firm of the Attorney General Martínez Neira by HBM B.V.I LTDA, represented by Rosas & Rosas Lawyers.
Eliseo de León, Elisa Edghill and the three firms of the British Virgin Islands also appear in the notarial documents of the founding and existence of the firm Winter Blue S.A. (created by Rosas & Rosas). Regarding this, an investigation by the Argentine newspaper Clarín found that its owner is the former Buenos Aires Customs head Eduardo Bernardi and used it to hide from the tax authorities at least half a million dollars (see). Bernardi was tried and convicted by the Argentine justice under the criminal charge of money laundering.
Apart from the corresponding notarial records, the similarity of the simple directive form of Winter Blue S.A., of the Argentine Bernardi, of the Amanda Advisors S.A., and the Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez, are obvious:
Amanda Advisors S.A. was created - I repeat - by Rosas & Rosas and registered in 2007 with the registration number 187053.
Elisa Edghill, who appears in the companies of the Argentine and the Colombian Attorney General, appears in the same position in another 5,308 Panamanian companies and 4,845 directories of firms founded in Panama. Something similar happens with Eliseo de León.
Rosas & Rosas and their three firms based in the British Virgin Islands (registered as directors of the Attorney General Martínez Neira's company) appear in an asset laundering and evasion scandal that broke out in Britain, whose main head is businessman Derek James Tiney , who received, apparently, black funds from Odebrechet.
As for the offshore firm of the Colombian Attorney General, Amanda Advisors S.A., it was registered in Panama City with an authorized social capital of US $ 10 thousand, divided into 10 thousand shares common to the bearer, all with equal rights and privileges. Each one is worth a dollar. With this structure, the owner of the assets of the company is the one who owns his bearer shares (in this case, Martínez Neira and his nuclear family), which prevents them from appearing on their own behalf.
Experts explained that Martínez Neira and her family nucleus framed in the legal concept of "beneficial owner", developed by the German non-governmental organization Transparency International, dedicated to the promotion of measures against corporate crimes and political corruption in the international arena. It was founded in 1993 and publishes the Perception of Corruption Index annually, which is a corporate corruption list worldwide.
As in Spain, the precept of "real beneficiary" was first accepted in Colombia by the Financial Superintendency and then became regulatory.
Offshore is the term used in the world of finance and law to describe tax havens or tax haunts (in English tax haven, "tax shelter"). They are used to avoid paying taxes, as well as to enjoy banking secrecy to evade and avoid taxes and to launder and hide capital.
It is striking that the authorized capital of Amanda Advisors S.A. -The offshore firm of the Attorney General Martínez Neira- is US $10 thousand and at the same time that firm has in Spain a good valued at close to three million euros, plus funds for an unspecified amount.
The information regarding the constitution, existence and tradition of Amanda Advisors S.A. was legally acquired in Panama by this journalist (me) through the Dato Capital service.
The apartment of Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira and his family nucleus in Madrid, Spain, (placed under the name of Amanda Advisors S.A.), is located at Calle José Ortega y Gasset, number 17, fourth floor B, left door.
The inscription in the municipality of Madrid corresponds to real estate and has the "number 14492 Indufir: 28088000019716". The apartment was acquired in 2014 through purchase and paid with a check of a Spanish bank account.
The official description of the apartment with respect to its location and size, is this:
Photo of Gonzalo Guillén
Through money from Amanda Advisors S.A. located in Spain, the Attorney General Martínez Neira and his family cover the costs of ownership and use of the apartment on the exclusive street Ortega y Gasset.
This journalist (me) knows the name - but does not reveal it, for now - of the intermediary (wife of a prominent diplomat) who searched for that property at the express request of Martínez Neira. Then, when the Colombian Attorney General found that it was to his liking and chose it, she sold it to him.
The previous owner was Isabel Rúa Figueroa-Ortiz, widow of journalist Salvador López de la Torre, who died on February 2, 2011
The apartment does not have a city registration (empadronamiento) because, as explained in the Madrid city council, "it belongs to foreigners".
In the concierge of the building number 17 Ortega y Gasset, on the first floor is a store of the perfumery and italian jewelry called Bulgari, it was reported that, in effect, the floor 4, sector B, left door, belongs to the Colombian Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira, who, by the way, last week he visited his property during the official trip that took him with his wife to Madrid and London.
For this investigation, for about three months, about twenty people were interviewed in Madrid and Bogotá, who provisionally requested anonymity. They said to know with certainty that the apartment in question belongs to Martínez Neira. Several of them indicated that they have been as guests on that property, as well as in two others located in Paris and New York, said some people interviewed.
The Attorney General Martínez Neira was invited to give his version through an email sent to the press office of the Attorney General's Office. He did not answer.
Original source in Spanish:
Translation by: @hackerFiscalia