June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006: Kazakhastan, Silk Road Group, Banks, Shipping, & More

I have added new posts and bumped others to the top.

Today's posts:

June 22, 2006: Kazakhastan, The Silk Road Group, Banks, Shipping, & More [Relevant Maps, Completing the French Connection ... forged Niger Documents, Addax & Oryx Group]
June 22, 2006: Blogger, MS Explorer, Firefox & A Space ...
June 22, 2006: Military, Ethics Bill, UN Millennium Goals, Mortazavi, Divorce...
June 22, 2006: AG: Foundations Hiding Tax $$$ From Public Scrutiny
June 22, 2006: Found -&-Terror Incidents & the Media
June 22, 2006: Advocacy-Commission a Poll, Home Boy, Art -&- Daycare Links



The maps below may have significance ... or not. You might note where Afghanistan and Pakistan lie, in relation to what the map shows, and their significance in the drug and terrorism world, in relation to the Silk Road Group Transport Routes and their offices outside Geneva, Switzerland.

The post which follows these maps will give some indication why these maps might be of interest. I found them most intriguing.


Silk Road Group Offices




Silk Road Group Transport Routes





June 22, 2006: Kazakhastan, The Silk Road Group, Banks, Shipping, & More

[Kazakhstan? -- I run into different spellings.]



This is a Google map and thus far, I haven't had time to put in a link to these wonderful maps ... but I shall, eventually.

That map has a purpose, if you continue reading. There is much information to follow so ... pour yourself your favourite libation, relax and ... read. If any of this serves a purpose, please leave a comment one way or another. I am considering whether doing all this has any value to anyone ... not because I need a pat on the back, but because I don't know whether it is of interest ... or useless to most readers ... in which case, I waste my time. Honestly, I do feel it is of great importance, but sometimes, I wonder if anyone else does. Having said that, here goes ....... Prosit! (or is it Prost? ... Never mind: bottoms up!)



Kazakhstan satellite enters orbit Bagila Bukharbayeva, June 18, 06

[....] Kazakhstan is planning space exploration missions and has reached an agreement to participate in Russian projects involving Baikonur, said Serik Turzhanov, who heads the national space agency, Kazkosmos.

Set in the isolated western steppes of Kazakhstan, Baikonur was the scene of the historic launches of the first satellite to orbit the Earth and the initial flight of pioneer cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Today, it's Russia's main launch site for manned space flights.

[....] Kazakhstan, flush with oil profits, has begun forming its own squad of cosmonauts, who have been training for several years in Russia.

KazSat 1 will be followed by KazSat 2 and KazSat 3 and several scientific satellites that could predict earthquakes and are equipped with remote sensing devices. The country's plans include eventually providing satellite launch services to other nations, Turzhanov said.

The Kazakh space agency also plans to built a control centre in the capital, Astana, that would monitor all launches from Baikonur and another centre to monitor satellites flying over Kazakh territory.



There was some connection between ex-PM Jean Chretien and Kazakhastan -- something David Olive wrote.



Eureka! I found the David Olive reference ... and more.

[Thank you, David.]

Search the following but note that spelling may vary: Kazakhistan / Kazakhastan / Kazakstan

Frost Hits the Rhubarb: Aug. 28, 05 to Sept. 3, 05 -- or the specific post, Frost Hits the Rhubarb: posted Aug. 29, 05 -- "Update: PetroKazakstan, Bernard Isautier & Jean Chretien" [spelling Isautier/Isaultier?]
http://
frosthitstherhubarb.blogspot.com/
2005_08_28_frosthitstherhubarb_archive.html

http://
frosthitstherhubarb.blogspot.com/2005/08/
update-petrokazakstan-bernard-isautier.html
August 29, 2005

Update: PetroKazakstan, Bernard Isautier & Jean Chretien

Somewhere, I read that Bernard Isautier is linked to Total of France; would that be through his work with Aquitaine? And, of course, there is the Jean Chretien link to PetroKazakhstan. [....]

Frost Hits the Rhubarb Mar. 27, 05 to Apr. 2, 05
http://
frosthitstherhubarb.blogspot.com/2005_03_27_frosthitstherhubarb_archive.html

PetroKaz [Kazakhstan], Onex bosses strike gold [Kazakhastan?]
Elizabeth Church, Mar. 31, 05
[http://
www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.200
50331.wonex0331/BNStory/Business/]

The Toronto Star. Ex-PM's resumé grows longer -- Chretien's "appointment as special adviser to PetroKaz for international relations." David Olive, 2004-02-04 [....]

[Or check this copy from another website: ]

2004-02-04, David Olive, The Toronto Star. "Ex-PM's resumé grows longer" ...

"Dear Jean,

I was surprised yesterday to see the announcement of your appointment as special adviser to PetroKaz for international relations....... "


[....] Meddlesome newspaper editors have awakened to find [....]

Funding these activities, in part, is the $1.2 billion (U.S.) in Nazarbayev-controlled monies, derived largely from oil revenues collected from PetroKaz and other producers, recently revealed to be stashed away in a Swiss bank account, and [....]

[...] even if the above makes a hash of all your speeches on civil rights in the developing world, and a mockery of your government's hectoring of Talisman Energy's activities in Sudan and Robert Friedland's search for mineral wealth in Myanmar. [....]

Your new client, PetroKaz chief executive Bernie Isautier, [....] In his eight-year association with PetroKaz, Isautier has been blindsided like that maybe half a dozen times. The Kazakh government is still claiming it's owed some $30 million (U.S.) arising from PetroKaz's "price-gouging."

The company is an investor-relations nightmare. Buying PetroKaz stock is a bet on the Nazarbayev family's conception of private-property rights.

PetroKaz is billing you .... exports being a minor concern ... your pressing mission is to help extricate PetroKaz from its domestic fixes.

[....] your two-year stint as energy minister in the early 1980s will have given you at least a taste of what you're in for now.

[More links:
http://
www.kazakhstanrevenuewatch.org/inc/
show.php?id=29&page=smi_z


http://
www.petrokazakhstan.com/index.html [in Russian]

http://
www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/082405_world_stories.shtml]






Frost Hits the Rhubarb Mar. 27, 05 to Apr. 2, 05
http://
frosthitstherhubarb.blogspot.com/2005_03_27_
frosthitstherhubarb_archive.html [the week of Mar. 27, 05 to Apr. 2, 05]
April 1, 2005

UN, Frechette, McKenna, Marijuana, PetroKazakhstan, Chretien, CPC Art Hanger Does NOT want Brothel Tour, Rifle-Roszko, Ont-PQ Hydro Deal, ER, Kazemi [....]

Also, note this from that same week: New Hydro Deal? March 31, 2005, Alan Findlay, Toronto Sun

THE Ontario government is bidding to spend billions of dollars on a Labrador power project that would supply enough electricity to power 550,000 homes. Energy Minister Dwight Duncan yesterday announced a joint proposal with Hydro-Quebec to construct a hydro-electric plant on Labrador's Lower Churchill River that could be up and running by 2011.

[....] Then, there is the agreement arranged between some chief(s) of the Innu and the Minister responsible for native affairs, Andy Scott. [....]





Completing the French Connection ... forged Niger Documents

Caveat: The following is from an online forum, not a mainstream news source; the author is unknown (paperjam???). Nevertheless, the writer appears to know a great deal. I found it fascinating. I have included a long list of phrases at the bottom of the excerpt to give some indication of what is covered and why it might be worth reading.


Completing the French Connection (The reasoning behind the forged Niger Documents) Posted on 11/21/2005 6:34:19 AM PST by paperjam -- or here -- Note many comments at bottom of webpage too.

On January 2, 2001 the Niger Embassy in Rome was broken into. A short time later the home of Aarfou Mounkaila, the second secretary, was also broken into and ransacked. Both incidents were reported to the Italian Carabinieri and since nothing of importance seemed to be missing, the stories received scant attention. However, we now know that the incidents were very important as the break-ins were the source of forged documents that reportedly detailed attempts by Iraq to purchase 500 tons of Yellow Cake uranium. President Bush mentioned it his State of the Union address in January, 2003 and set off a firestorm of heated debate ever since. This single item is a hot point of contention used by those against the war to infer that Bush lied to the Americans and to the world in the run up to the war with Iraq over weapons of mass destruction (WMD.)

What follows next is a story that would put the Bond 007 story writers to task, as we now have the clearest picture yet of what happened in the Niger document scandal, the major players involved and why. It’s a twisted story of OIL, MONEY, and POWER. But, it wasn’t the United States who made the grab for it, it was the French and I think the proof is right here in these pages.

Let us start out by thanking the Italian government for continuing to follow up on a story that seemed lost on most of us. They managed to get Rocco Martino, a known agent for hire to admit to magistrates in Rome that he was working for the French Government and that it was they who created the forged Niger documents. Without that bombshell piece of information we wouldn’t know now what we know today. [....]

It’s also reported that Rocco Martino has since tendered his resignation with a letter to the French DGSE intelligence service. [....]

The French oil company Total had managed to secure contracts to develop the massive Majnoon and Bin Umar oilfields in southern Iraq. Those contracts were worth billions. In fact, estimates put their value at over $100 billion. David Perle, former US Assistant Defense Secretary said “What’s distinctive about the Total contract is that it’s not favorable to Iraq, it’s favorable to Total.” He called the contracts “extraordinarily lopsided” in favor of the French oil company and the well connected Canadian shareholders. [....]

With the help of people like Li Ka-Shing [Li Ka Shing / Li Ka shing], China continues to position itself in the world. The China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) recently won a bidding war to buy Canadian oil company PetroKazakhstan for a whopping 4.18 billion US dollars. [....]

The French have courted Venezuelan President Hugo Chaves, another OPEC member nation. The French oil giant Total, is working to develop the countries oil sands through a consortium called Sincor I and Sincor II. Chaves said in Paris that “Venezuela could double its output from 200,000 to 400,000 barrels a day after several billion dollars were invested.” [....]

Update: Keywords

I just heard that what follows is not clear at all. To clarify, it was intended as simply a list of words and phrases from the above-mentioned article to indicate what is in it ... and why it might be worth reading. It is lengthy, and covers a lot of territory. I had intended that this make it easier to decide whether to read further ... and, it seems, I failed ... again.

Note the caveat at the top of this section.


China International Trust & Investment Corp (CITIC) , In investigating the background of former US Ambassador , Joseph Wilson IV , Valerie Plame , Jacqueline , woman of mystery , Gabon , Omar Bongo's daughter , Ambassador to Gabon , In 1999, the French oil company Total , Belgian oil company PetroFina , TotalFina , Elf Aquitaine , TotalFinaElf , Bin ‘Omar oil fields , started working with the Iranians , North Field , Lukoil , West Qurna-2 fields west of Basra , Gazprom , contracts to develop the massive Majnoon and Bin Umar oilfields , contracts “extraordinarily lopsided” , Canadian shareholders , hold a controlling interest in , Desmarais [not here, but sometimes written as Demarest/Desmarest] , Jean Chretien , Power Corporations subsidiary Consolidated Bathurst Inc. , Prime Minister on 12 December, 2003 , lead a delegation to China on trade , Iran on behalf of , "special adviser" , Calgary oil company PetroKazakhstan , oil to China and Iran , part of the Silk Road Group [more follows] , Paul Martin and his mentor Maurice Strong , Banque National De Paris-Paribas or BNP Paribas , Belgium’s top 10 , Groupe Bruxelles Lambert , Power Corporation , BertelsmannAG. (BAG) , named to the BAG board , China International Trust & Investment Corp (CITIC) , Hutchison-Whampoa , Li Ka-Shing , "port operations, petroleum, mining, and telecommunications." , French President Jacques Chirac recently , Legion of Honor , won a bidding war to buy Canadian oil company PetroKazakhstan , Single European Act , combining of their national monetary systems , Euro became the new currency , three years to convert , banned the United States, Japan, Britain and Switzerland from selling , “the 661 Committee,” , French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte , Iraq’s denomination from the dollar to the euro , France recognized an opportunity , A strike against our financial heart , rumors of attempts to sell uranium to Iraq are floated , reported attempts by Iraq to purchase yellow cake are false , Italian reporter Elizabetta Burba , CIA could not verify the accuracy , relied on information from other sources than the French or the forged Niger documents , The French were counting on exposing , purpose of the forged documents? , to threaten Turkey with a “No” vote , "France, Belgium, and Germany, also opposed NATO support for Turkey" , Iraq being tied to the euro , conducted in dollars , national debts might become unserviceable , to increase usage of the euro , converting fully to euros for their oil currency , French exports to Iran , Russia and China have begun to move their central reserve funds into euros , French Foreign Minister de Villipin flew to Algeria , Other activities to expand use of the euro over the dollar , OPEC, in its April 14th 2002 meeting , On December 7th, 2002 North Korea .........

Note: this is the end of:

21 November, 2005 Paperjam
Completing the French Connection
(The reasoning behind the forged Niger Documents)


There are many familiar names ... if you are interested.




The Silk Road Group -- one of many possible lines of inquiry

Silk Road Group
http://
www.caspenergy.com/cibc/member/silkroad_e.html

About company: The Silk Road Group has developed transportation and trade activities in different countries with a regional focus on the Caspian and Central Asian region. In 2004, the total quantities of crude oil and oil products moved by the Silk Road Group exceeded 3m MT. Since 2003, the Silk Road Group has been jointly working with the Addax & Oryx Group in the trading of oil products.

The Silk Road Group operates a fleet of about 3,000 rail tank cars on “South” and “West” routes. [....]



There is a Swiss address (Address: 5, rue Neuve-du-Molard 1204 Geneva, Switzerland), telephone number, email.


http://www.silkroadgroup.net/main.html [our representative offices in many locations .... corporate services entity located in Geneva, Switzerland. ....]

[Switzerland seems so far from the centre of company activities. Now, what is it that Switzerland is known for? ... Chocolate? ... Mountains? ... ]



Silk Road Group Countries include Russia, China, Iran, Afghanistan ... &




www.silkroadgroup.net/SiteMap/index.html

www.silkroadgroup.net/BusinessLines/infrastructure.html [a fleet of about 3,000 rail tank cars]


To transport water? Would there be any business potential for a Canadian business?



http://
www.silkroadgroup.net/BusinessLines/transportation.html

The Silk Road Group is engaged in the movement and trading of crude oil and petroleum products from Azerbaijan and Central Asian states (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan) to the Georgian Black Sea ports of Batumi and Poti and to Iran as well as in forwarding of container cargoes from the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea ports of Georgia to the Caspian and Central Asian region.

[....] The transportation of crude oil of Kazakh origin as well as petroleum products from Turkmenistan to the Black Sea port of Batumi has been one of the main drivers of the growth of the Silk Road Group. In particular the opening and operation of the "Southern Route", passing through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, which has successfully been used for crude oil and increasingly for oil products, has marked an important cornerstone of the recent development of our transportation network.

[....] The Silk Road Group currently operates "round-trip" cargo circuits for mostly westbound traffic of oil and petroleum products and eastbound traffic of dry and frozen cargoes. The Silk Road Group effectively handles a large share of the quantities shipped on the Caspian Sea ferries.

[....] Since 2002, the Silk Road Group has been delivering crude oil and petroleum products to Iran, in particular to Rey and Bandar Abbas terminals. More recently, the Silk Road Group has also started the transportation of oil products to Afghanistan. China is another important destination of the future.

[....] Technology

The Silk Road Group has
designed and implemented its own computer based tracking system, .... up-to-date information about each batch of goods ....

If required, customers can obtain instant information on the whereabouts of their cargo .... makes possible to coordinate logistics across the region from any office in the world, to monitor locally the movements of the cars by the Silk Road Group offices, thus allowing the logistics department to react to unexpected delays and to duly communicate the changes to lifting schedules and transshipment throughput to the entire region.


www.silkroadgroup.net/BusinessLines/realestate.html [hotel(s)]

www.silkroadgroup.net/BusinessLines/financial.html [Silk Road Group SA Company Business Lines Business Partners News ... FINANCIAL SERVICES. Together with Bank Turan Alem , a major private Kazakh bank , the Silk Road Group owns BTA Silk ... ]

Together with Bank Turan Alem, a major private Kazakh bank, the Silk Road Group owns BTA Silk Road Bank, a Georgian banking outlet. BTA Silk Road Banks provides financial services in support of the Silk Road Group’s transportation and trading business. These services comprise commercial banking and private banking products, which are available in selected locations within Georgia.

[.... Investments] other non-strategic investments [....] These range from mineral water production to car dealerships and retail businesses. [....] develop other businesses jointly with new business partners [....]


Silk Road Group Offices Outside Switzerland



Silk Road Group Transport Routes -- Note neighbours



www.silkroadgroup.net/NewsandLinks/links.html [INDUSTRY LINKS Search for oil companies, oil products and services, industry related news and trends - a standby source for ideas and analysis]

www.silkroadgroup.net/NewsandLinks/news.html [Iveria hotel]

www.silkroadgroup.net/NewsandLinks/articles/10.html [Presidents of Kazakhstan and Georgia Presented a First Joint Investment Project in Georgia 03 October 2005 ]

www.silkroadgroup.net/NewsandLinks/articles/9.html [A Conference was held on 22 March 2005 in Tbilisi on the occasion of signing memorandum on the strategic partnership in banking sector of Georgia. ...]


The Kazakhstan Bank Comes to Georgia 22 March 2005
www.silkroadgroup.net/NewsandLinks/articles/9.html

A Conference was held on 22 March 2005 in Tbilisi on the occasion of signing memorandum on the strategic partnership in banking sector of Georgia. The memorandum was signed by the Georgian group of Silk Road companies (SRG) and Kazakh “BankTuranAlem” (BTA). It was agreed that a strategic partnership will be carried out through a joint participation in the authorized capital of the Silk Road Bank, which will be renamed as BTA Silk Road Bank, with BTA owning 49% and SRG - 51%.

[....] The Bank is willing to contribute to developing the financial sector of the country, introduce innovative banking products, develop partnership relations with local authorities in order to be engaged in municipality programs; promote Georgian companies and Georgia in general to the world investment community, contributing thus to attracting the foreign investments to the country. It aims at improving the welfare of the country via introducing retail financial services, developed and approved in the BTA system.

Upon working effectively on the development of the transport corridors of CIS in the framework of TRASECA in Kazakhstan since 2001, SRG has acknowledged the reality of perspectives of development of the own business in Georgia, and hence, has initiated the number of comparatively large-scale projects since 2004. Having been one of the old key clients of BTA, SRG, first of all, has invited Kazakh partners for engaging in development of the Silk Road Bank. Secondly, SRG considers setting up cooperation with the French BNP-Paribas.

[....] subsidiary banks in CIS and 10 representations in CIS and China.


Search: international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service , Standard & Poor's

Search elsewhere for more on the Addax & Oryx Group which is mentioned on the Suisse office website.





Addax & Oryx Group

As a start, I found these links for more information but I ran out of time. Incidentally, I was struck by a Zambian link. (Didn't another company, something to do with Maurice Strong, have a head office in Zambia? I posted on Frost Hits the Rhubarb concerning this in Jan. 06, or Feb. 06. It had to do with UNESCO in Canada, an alternative to ICAAN ... or something like that.)

http://
www.mbendi.co.za/orgs/czak.htm
MBendi Information for Africa ..... The contact person is in Zambia: Contact Person: Mr MG Cajoly (Marie-Gabrielle)
http://
www.
mbendi.co.za/pers/peo6.htm

http://
www.herbertsmith.com/NR/exeres/3257EB28-4CC2-4
B72-BEC4-1E2B5FAF4672.htm
Herbert Smith advises BNP Paribas on major innovative financing deal for Addax Petroleum

Addax Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Addax & Oryx Group, was set up in 1994 to develop and exploit oil and gas fields in West Africa. Addax Petroleum NV is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Addax & Oryx Group. In Nigeria, Addax Petroleum operates two Production Sharing Contracts covering four blocks as Contractor for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Current production is some 31,000 bopd from eight fields both on and offshore. Identified prospects contain over 200 million barrels of proved and probable reserves of oil. Following the successful establishment of operations in two African countries (Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire), Addax Petroleum intends to extend its portfolio of producing fields, field developments and low-risk exploration ventures by pursuing acquisition opportunities throughout Africa.



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