The Eco Resources Fund was launched in July 2012 in the Isle of Man. Via a special purpose vehicle called ERF Limited, the Fund invested in bamboo plantations in Nicaragua and South Africa. The bamboo plantations are run by EcoPlanet Bamboo.
A couple of weeks ago, a REDD-Monitor reader sent me an email. I’ll call him Jack. “Have you seen the website alternative-investing.uk?” Jack asked. “I think it could be a scam site given the track record of these types of things.”
Property Frontiers is an Oxford-based investment firm. According to the company’s website, Property Frontiers is “an investment company with a reputation for offering the best-performing international property and alternative investments to both first time and experienced investors”.
EcoPlanet Bamboo runs bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana. A UK company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd sold “bamboo bonds” with a promise of “a 500% return on investment over a 15 year period” on an investment of US$50,000. But in December 2015, EcoPlanet Bamboo wrote to bondholders to tell them that their investment was not doing particularly well.
Between 2 May 2011 and 24 October 2012 a London-based company called MH Carbon sold more than four million carbon credits to members of the public as investments. The carbon credits were worthless and investors lost their money. The company took at least £14.3 million from retail investors.
On 15 November 2016, Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein was arrested when he arrived at Tocumen International Airport in Panama. Monte Friesner, a Canadian who lives in Panama, filed a complaint about what Ornstein had written on his website about Friesner’s business practices. In Panama, defamation is a criminal offence.
A company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd launched a “bamboo bond” in 2011. Investors were encouraged to hand over their money, which would be used to establish bamboo plantation in Nicaragua.
Camille Rebelo, one of the co-founders of EcoPlanet Bamboo, claimed that an investment of US$50,000 would see a return of 500% over 15 years. “It’s a guaranteed return to the investor”, she said.
Earlier this week two men were jailed for their role in London-based scam companies that sold carbon credits as investments. Michale Foran and Kallan Henry were jailed for four-and-a-half years and one-and-a-half years respectively.