On 18 January 2019, Sami Raja was sentenced to eight years in prison at Southwark Crown Court. He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Four other men were sentenced in September 2018. Between January 2012 and August 2013, they miss-sold carbon credits to retail investors through two companies, Harman Royce Ltd and Kendrick Zale Ltd.
Since May 2018, if you buy ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in Wardour Street, London, you will also buy a small part of a carbon credit. For every scoop of ice cream, a penny goes to buying carbon credits from the Cordillera Azul National Park REDD project in Peru.
A company called “NLC Partners” is contacting people who were scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. NLC Partners claims to be able to sell the carbon credits. Needless to say, this has all the hallmarks of a recovery room scam.
A company called Radley Ventures Nominees is involved in selling shares in Med Cell Plc, a UK registered company linked to a stem cell research company in the Bahamas. REDD-Monitor has seen a copy of Radley Ventures Nominees’ “Confidential Private Placement Agreement”. Needless to say, this so-called “investment” raises plenty of red flags.
Michael Nascimento has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for his role in a series of boiler room companies.
Between July 2010 and April 2014, the scammers cold called members of the public promoting investment schemes in Madeira. They promised guaranteed returns of between 125% and 228%, and convinced more than 170 people to hand over a total of more than £2.8 million. Of course, no one who invested ever saw any returns.
In December 2007, Norway’s then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Stoltenberg announced that Norway would be handing out more than US$500 million a year “to prevent deforestation in developing countries”. Stoltenberg was convinced that stopping deforestation would be quick and cheap.
Capital Alternatives Limited was part of a network of scam companies that offered “investments” to the general public including a rice farm in Sierra Leone, and carbon credits from projects in Sierra Leone, Brazil, and Australia. Last week, the High Court in London found that these “investments” were illegal collective investment schemes.
Last week, José Ilanga the Director General in charge of forests at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced that plans were underway to lift the country’s 16-year-old moratorium on new logging concessions. Today, more than 50 environmental and human rights organisations have written to key donor governments and agencies, including Norway, UK, France, USA, and the World Bank, calling on them to suspend funding immediately to the DRC government for forestry and forest conservation.
The Kariba REDD+ Project covers an area of 784,987 hectares in four districts of northwestern Zimbabwe. The project started in July 2011, and aims to generate almost 52 million carbon credits from reduced deforestation over its 30-year project life. The project is certified under the VCS and Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard systems.
Asia Beijing Corporation is cold calling victims of Renwick Haddow’s scam, Bar Works. Asia Beijing Corporation claims to be able to “exchange the toxic asset” for shares in Ant Financial Services Group. Of course, Asia Beijing Corporation is running a ridiculously obvious recovery room scam.
Last year, REDD-Monitor wrote a series of posts about Renwick Haddow’s latest scam, Bar Works. The most recent post was in July 2017, after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a legal complaint against Haddow. The complaint alleged that Haddow fraudulently raised almost US$38 million from investors.