Venezuelan Club Investments, and a Colombian billionaire

This post is not about the Panama Papers, and the New Zealand connections, but has a bit about Panama. That is where the Colombian billionaire, Jaime Gilinski, comes in. The post is just about some of the South Americans that Cone Marshall has created companies for, and has not felt the need to disguise at all. There is a small question about the paperwork, but the usual one applies: why do wealthy South Americans use New Zealand trusts and companies, when they are spoiled for choice for tax havens in their own region?

So first to Jaime Gilinski and his family’s company ownership in New Zealand. They have a couple of companies with simple titles: JG Private Trust Company Limited; IG Private Trust Company Limited; and the Gilkar Private Trust Company Limited. JG is the one in which Jaime and Raquel Gilinski are directors, along with Cone, Marshall, and Claire Cooke; IG stands for Issac Gilinski, JG’s father, and Cone and Marshall are the current directors of that company. Issac and Perla Gilinski of Monaco are now its former directors. Jaime and Raquel Gilinski are also directors in Gilkar Private Trust Co, based on an address in Panama, where Raquel is from. They do live in Panama, sometimes, along with London and various houses in the USA. Gilinski’s millions come from banks in Colombia, but he is apparently behind the “most audacious real estate project in the world,” according to a recent article on Forbes.com. The real estate project is, of course, the Panama Pacifico, in which Gilinski, some London friends (named Livingstone), and the Qatar Government’s investment arm have converted a former American airforce base into a new settlement. There are plenty of other articles about Gilinski on-line.

The Gilinskis are obviously new wealth, unlike the Vollmers of Venezuela, who go back to some German immigrants who set up a rum factory. I’m just assuming this is the connection, though the Alberto C. Vollmer who runs the company is not part of Club Investments Ltd, even though he does like playing rugby union. I am referring to a company administered by Cone Marshall in New Zealand called Club Investments, and which features four gentlemen with the Vollmer surname, and three other Venezuelan directors. When the company was set up by Geoffrey Cone in 2002 he was the only director, then swapped himself for 8 Venezuelans in one fell swoop (in one document). Of the original eight all remain as directors, except Luis Enrique Lopez, and all were given the same address at an office building in Miami,Florida. Apart from the Vollmers, the other three are: Domingo Torres Pantin, Francesco Torres Pantin, and Luis Sanabria Ugeto. Francisco Torres and Luis Sanabria have been directors of a Venezuelan insurance company called Mercantil Seguros, which, in turn, is part of a financial empire known as Mercantil Servicos Financeros. While Domingo Torres is also a director in two other New Zealand companies: Petinct Inc. Ltd and Crimbo Holdings Ltd. Francesco Vollmer Acedo is also a director of both these companies.

Now looking into the role of the other Club Investments directors, using the addresses for the other companies mentioned above, three are based in the Banco Orinoco building in Caracas. This includes Domingo Torres, Federico Vollmer Acedo, and Carlos Vollmer Sosa. This seems to be the base for a company called Corpalmar, or Palmar Corporation S.A., which is in turn owned by E.D. & F Man Holdings, a London company involved in commodity brokerage around the world, especially in coffee. Palmar also seems to have a connection with an oil industry company called Prodek Inc. This seems to be apparent from the address of Francesco Torres Pantin, who was the director of Pastoria Ltd, and two other companies of that name administered by Cone Marshall (Pastoria Holdings and Pastoria Partners). The other directors from Prodek Inc in Miami included: Javier Riera Melendez, Raul Riera Hernandez, and Jose Alvarez Rosas. The latter was also the director of five other companies that were administered by Cone Marshall, but all have now been removed. And from the original 8 Club Investments directors the final two are: Ignacio Vollmer Sosa, and Gustavo Vollmer Sosa (who seems to be linked to a transport company called Inversiones Maritimas Antuco S.A.).

As a final point, I shall note that Club Investments Ltd owns two other New Zealand companies: Alval Ltd, and Zealando Holdings Ltd. Zealando’s original shareholder was Gordon Stewart of Wellington, even though Cone and Marshall have been the two directors since 2005; Club Investments only took over the shareholding in 2014. Meanwhile, the two directors of Alval Ltd are Valentina de Vollmer and Alfredo Vollmer Acedo, who share the same address in Yaritugua, Venezuela. Perhaps they are a normal affluent couple who are related to the Vollmers, so happen to have trusts and related companies based in Auckland.

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