Cocaine One Bust Lifts Veil on Global Narcotics Cartel

A DC9 registered to a company which once used as its address the hanger of Huffman Aviation, the flight school at the Venice, FL Airport which trained both terrorist pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center, was caught in Campeche by the Mexican military April 10th carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine destined for the U.S.  

Beyond a few half-hearted stabs at pinning blame for the crime on ‘scapegoats du jour’ like the FARC in Colombia or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, authorities in Mexico and the U.S. have had virtually nothing to say about the case.

In the more than three months since, the massive seizure has slipped into a black hole.
 

One of the chief shareholders in SkyWay Aircraft, the company which owned the DC9 airliner (N900SA) seized in Mexico with 5.5 tons of cocaine aboard, is a private investment bank in Dallas  which also raised funds for a Mexican industrialist with reported ties to a Cali and Juarez Cartel narcotics trafficker, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding seizure of the DC9 airliner (dubbed “Cocaine One” for its paint job and Seal impersonation of planes from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security) has unearthed evidence which is beginning to pierce the heavy curtain behind which the biggest taboo in the U.S. mainstream media has remained hidden: the identities of the until-now anonymous American Drug Lords.

Meet the Masters of the Universe

secret-socWhat local officials blundered into at a remote airport in the farthest corner of Mexico’s Yucatan may have earth-shaking reverberations felt around the world… if the true story of what happened there becomes widely known…

The seizure in Ciudad del Carmen has exposed the links of a global narcotics cartel that may be the most powerful political force on the planet.  

Based on court documents, SEC filings, records of incorporation, and interviews with eyewitnesses, the elements which comprise this global narcotics cartel—all of which will be named and covered in this series—include the following:

Rogue U.S. defense contractor Titan Corp in San Diego; CIA proprietary airlines; “fugitive” Saudi billionaires, Gulf States Sheiks and financiers; the Israeli Mossad and right wing Israeli political parties identified with Jewish settler interests; “retired” officers of the CIA and U.S. military intelligence; Texas Republican kingmakers and private investment banks; member of U.S. organized crime…

Also… stock swindlers in Vancouver, Canada responsible for multi-billion dollar financial fraud; officials from the party of Mexican President Vicente Fox; Colombian and Mexican drug cartels; Florida air charter companies which enjoy—as did the Florida aviation companies associated with the terrorist hijackers—apparent official immunity from prosecution; and Lebanese “industrialists” in Mexico known to the Mexican press as the “Narco-Pederastas,” for their penchant for molesting children, with apparent immunity from prosecution, both boys and girls, as young as four.

Five ton shipments must be the the industry standard
 

!!aegToday’s story begins in Dallas, Texas…

As stated in the lead to this story, one of the chief shareholders in the company which owned the DC9 airliner (N900SA) seized in Mexico with  5.5 tons of cocaine aboard is a private investment bank in Dallas which also raised funds for a Mexican industrialist who reportedly financed a narcotics trafficker linked to both the Cali and Juarez Cartel.

In a major irony, the trafficker involved, Manuel Vicente Losada, was arrested in Chile after being linked to another  five ton cocaine shipment, this one over the high seas.

Private investment bank Argyll Equities LLC in Boerne, Texas, is part of The Argyll Group, headquartered in La Jolla, CA., incorporated in Texas, Nevada,, and Delaware, whose undisclosed principals are involved, according to their website, in “providing creative financial solutions globally.”  

joseOne example of the firm’s creative financial solutions: According to documents filed with the SEC in 2005, Argyll Equities LLC was paid to raise a $17.0 million loan for  Mexican industrialist Jose Serrano Segovia’s shipping line, GRUPO TMM.

The Santiago Times, an English language newspaper in Chile, reported on May 5, 1998 that Segovia “provided significant capital” to a “Chilean narcotics trafficker" named Manuel Vicente Losada,  arrested in the Chilean capital of Santiago after being “linked to a shipment of five tons of cocaine which U.S. drug enforcement officials in Miami intercepted over six years ago on the vessel Harbour, as it headed toward Guantanamo Bay.”

“As it headed for… Guantanamo Bay?”

“In September 1997, Mexican newspaper El Universal de Mexico connected Losada to the Juarez Cartel of Mexico, referring to him as "the Chilean narcotics trafficker," the paper reported.

“Both Losada and Jose Serrano denied any connection to the Juarez Cartel.”

Drug trafficker Losada, said the paper, is a partner in some 30 shipping companies.

Jose Serrano Segovia owns shipping lines too, and until recently controlled what used to be Mexico’s flagship airline, Mexicana. This would appear to be an excellent example of what has been called the corporatization of narcotics trafficking which began taking flplace during the late 1980’s, while then-Vice President George H. W. Bush led the DEA’s task force in Miami.  

Juan Serrano Segovia is one of a handful of Mexican  “big corporate guns” lucky enough to have been feted at a private dinner several years ago hosted by Gov. Jeb Bush, leading a Florida trade mission to Mexico.  

"The evening turned into a kind of let's-get-to-know-each-other-socially affair." Joseph Lacher, BellSouth's Florida president, confided to The Miami Herald.

 

Ask Baby Doc: Toxic waste is good business.

Was Argyll Equities LLC the victim of “dashed bad luck” in providing funding for an operation which may be providing cover for something else? Other recent examples of Argyll’s “creative financing globally” provide at least a tentative answer…

Remember the infamous toxic garbage barge which circled the world for more than two years in search of a country willing to accept its cargo of toxic ash from a Philadelphia dump site?  The barge, the Khian Sea, left the territorial waters of the United States, went to the Bahamas, then to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Bermuda, Guinea Bissau, and the Netherlands Antilles. No one would take it…

That is, until it got to Haiti. There, U.S.-backed dictator Baby Doc Duvalier issued a permit for the "fertilizer," and 4,000 tons was dumped onto the beach in the town of Gonalves.

Argyll Equities LLC provided funding to the man who owned the barge, one Louis D. Paolino, who later, and perhaps understandably, tired of the garbage business, and sold his company to Wayne Huizenga’s Waste Management in Miami, which runs, news accounts demurely report, “much of New York's extremely lucrative garbage industry.”

How unlucky can one private investment bank get?  

Maybe somebody left it on the plane?

!!!wallyhilliardMr. Huizenga, readers of “Welcome to TERRORLAND” may recall, flew to the Naples, FL airport in his private helicopter adorned with the symbol of the Miami Dolphins (he owned them at the time) to have a private tête-à-tête on the runway with mysterious financier Wallace J. Hilliard, the owner of Huffman Aviation in Venice.

Alert readers will recall that during the same month, July of 2000, that Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi arrived to attend his flight school, Hilliard’s Lear jet was surrounded by DEA agents on the runway of Orlando Executive Airport.

They found 43 pounds of heroin onboard.

Argyll Equities is currently involved in a still-unexplained imbroglio which may shed some light on this milieu which seems to attract such large quantities of narcotics…

According to a federal indictment, the lucky company was the recipient of $9.7 million dollars it didn't earn, in a “purported stock loan program operated by Argyll Equities, L.L.C,” which resulted in  criminal charges earlier this year against three men.

!!aHUFFAM“The complaint alleges the men made false statements to a hedge fund operator so they could keep $25 million from the fund that was invested this year with Nevada-based American Trade Industries, Inc., according to US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Secret Service in Chicago,” the AP reported.

That's right. THAT Fitzgerald.

 

General Stroessner isn't dead. He's on vacation with Franco.

The men were accused of conspiring to perpetrate a $26 million dollar fraud on  the administrator of a private hedge fund in Lake Forest, IL, who turns out to be mother of “Wedding Crashers” actor Vince Vaughn.

According to the indictment, one of the accused men, Richard E. Warren, apprehended as he attempted to board a plane for London, told Sharon Vaughn that he “had a special government clearance,” was “licensed by USG to participate in secret trading programs.”

cowlesfamilyAlso indicted was Frank L. Cowles Jr., who owns an Arabian horse farm near Washington D.C.,  where he is referred to in news accounts as a “Virginia businessman,” and who is married to the Ambassador to the U.S. of the tiny country of Paraguay, Leila Teresa Rachid de Cowles.

Paraguay, in Latin America’s infamous triangle region, is suspected by the State Dept. of “helping to finance Islamic terrorist groups” through Lebanese traders in Ciudad del Este, a lawless border town, called South America’s "contraband capital.”

Of anecdotal interest only—since a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago recently dropped criminal charges against Cowles— is the fact that Ambassador Rachid is among the five percent of Paraguay's inhabitants of Arab descent. Her father was born in Homs, Syria; her mother is from Ba'albek, Lebanon.

"We used the shares for toilet paper… and still made out like bandits."

Argyll Equities LLC is the second-largest shareholder in SkyWay, according to bankruptcy filings, owning nearly 21 million shares of totally worthless stock, which might be considered something of an investment black eye, unless other undisclosed considerations were involved.

Last week we reported the discovery that SkyWay Aircraft  had been leasing a “repair” facility for more than $20,000 a month at DFW Airport in Dallas—even though the company had nothing to repair— from Richard Rainwater, called “George W. Bush’s biggest supporter” and “the power behind the throne” in news accounts during Bush’s first Presidential campaign.

New evidence unearthed since then has begun to fill in the picture of an operation which boasted a bewildering international cast of characters, in San Diego, Israel, Miami, Dallas, and in the case of two prominent principals, on the lam

SkyWay Aircraft was not a real entity, in the sense of a corporation engaging in commerce for profit. The now bankrupted-firm’s only utility was to serve as a dummy front company which provided cover for the larger operation, and as a vehicle to part innocent people from their investments.

Individuals involved in the operation have extensive and wide-ranging connections to each other which clearly pre-date the brief life span of the front company which ostensibly controlled the twin DC9 airliners.

"Cocaine, TOW Missiles, renditions… We're a flexible airline."

Since the MadCowMorningNews was successful last month in obtaining the FAA registration records for “Cocaine One,” the accumulating evidence has all pointed to a clear conclusion: the DC9 carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine was a CIA plane which belongs to the Agency’s no-longer-totally-secret airline.

ramybabyBased at the Clearwater-St. Petersburg International Airport, both “Cocaine One,” and  its twin, a second DC9 (N120NE) were being used by an operation which includes the former head of the CIA proprietary airline used to ferry TOW missiles to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime in Iran, as part of the Iran Contra Scandal.

Adnan Khashoggi lieutenant Ramy El-Batrawi, who supplied one of the two DC9’s, is the former President of an admitted CIA subsidiary airline.

Jetborne International, a company supposedly owned by El-Batrawi’s long-time boss, Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi, folded after being indicted for illegally ferrying TOW missiles to Iran, an “enterprise” which netted someone—though not the U.S. Government or the Contras it was supposedly funding—a tidy bit of change a U.S. Senate investigation estimated to be $16 million dollars.  

The Tower Commission Report into the Iran-Contra Scandal first exposed Jetborne as a CIA proprietary. When it came time to begin shipping the missiles, said the report, OlliePicOliver North had asked a CIA official for the name of a “reliable” charter airline.

“CIA’s Air Branch suggested the use of a proprietary, the proprietary was told to await a call, and “the airline was assured that the caller (North) had sufficient funds for the charter,” stated the report.

The public commercial charter airline North called was Jetborne International. By the time the firm was “outed” as a CIA airline, it had already gone bankrupt.

Six degrees of deviated septums

But none of this does anything to explain Ramy El-Batrawi and Adnan Khashoggi’s other major connection with the founder of SkyWay Aircraft,  Miami attorney Michael Farkas. Their hidden connections may reveal a larger, previously secret organization.

Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Khashoggi and Ramy Al Batrawi, his lieutenant for the past 20 years, with stock fraud in U.S. District Court for Central California. Both men are both currently on the lam after being accused of orchestrating bseala $130 million fraud, called the “Stockwalk case,” involving the stock price of another firm headed by el-Batrawi called GenesisIntermedia.

GenesisIntermedia was incorporated by the long-time attorney of the man once reckoned by the U.S. Government to be the biggest drug smuggler in American history…CIA pilot Barry Seal.

Seal was assassinated in 1986 at the reported behest of then-Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush, the father of our current President.

Hey. Is it a small world, or what?

How to make a billion dollars without hardly trying

Along with GenesisIntermedia, the stock of two other companies was used to generate fraudulent loans in the Stockwalk scam. One was a company called Holiday RV. Stores. The other was Imperial Credit Industries.

Michael Farkas is involved with both firms.

Holiday R.V. Stores was owned and controlled by Michael Farkas, through a holding company he founded called Atlas Recreational Holdings.

kandgMichael Farkas and Adnan Khashoggi were partners in a $300 million scam. It was called “the largest brokerage industry failure in more than 30 years.”

Michael Farkas, is also on the board of Genesis Realty, founded by Ramy El-Batrawi, a man who is clearly no piker when it comes to pilfering money from a public company…

His GenesisIntermedia exploits put Glenn and Brent Kovar’s $40 million theft at SkyWay in the shade.

“Just three months after GenesisIntermedia’s Initial Public Offering (IPO), the nearly $17 million raised in the offering was gone,” read one wire service story.

“The creative dealings of defendant El-Batrawi partly explains how this money disappeared so quickly,” reported the AP

Board meeting on Tuesday at the Spearmint Rhino

While we can detain ourselves only a moment longer with the colorful Stockwalk Scandal, a brief mention of a few of the other stalwarts involved would include:

Kenneth D'Angelo, a New Jersey stock finder with a criminal and civil record Richard Evangelista, an employee at a New Jersey brokerage and President of Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and  Bradford Keiller, a Las Vegas

Strip club entrepreneur with a tastefully named string of strip clubs in London, Moscow, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, all called The Spearmint Rhino.

A recent headline about Keiller’s business in Las Vegas may have said it all: "FULL FRONTAL BATTLE OF THE BOOBS AS THE WORLD'S GAMBLING CAPITAL GOES BACK TO SLEAZE.”

ConnectedLogoBefore leaving the ties between Michael Farkas and Ramy El-Batrawi and Adnan Khashoggi, we discovered a story from the St Paul Pioneer Press (where the fraud bankrupted one of that city’s biggest firms) that may help explain our contention that what we are witnessing is the daily workaday transactions of a very large but still-invisible organization:

“SEC filings show ties among Imperial, Holiday and Genesis,” reported the Saint Paul Pioneer Press on April 22 2002.

The Israeli Connection, Pt. 1

“For example, El-Batrawi owns a private company called Genesis Diversified Investments, which is an investor in a company called Aviation Group that in 2001 merged with a British Columbia company called Travelbyus.”

“Lee Sanders, the chairman of Travelbyus is a director of Holiday. Riley is a former chief executive of Holiday and its largest shareholder. Riley also is among the largest shareholders of Imperial.”

Michael Farkas’ connections to right wing Israeli political parties, and to Israeli Mossad,  have already been ably covered by others. Farkas was listed in 2005 as president of Manhigut USA. This is the US branch of the Israeli Manhigut Yehudit, involved in fundraising  for the radical settlers who were trying to resist the Gaza withdrawal.

Farkas_Zionist_meeting__Page_11_Image_0001Suffice it to say that he serves as the American representative of an ultra-nationalist Zionist party in Israel; he is also the American sales agent for anti-missile technology developed by Israel Aircraft Industries, and is a Director of spy technology company CCS, along with individuals with histories so colorful that—were we to start—we could go on about them all day.

Oh, maybe just one example: CCS International’s Latin American sales manager, Menachem Cohen, who was convicted in 2002 for illegally exporting passive phone interception equipment to individuals in Colombia conversant with the drug trade.

Titan Corp was thinking ahead, Pt 1

titan_corp22CCS commercializes and brings to market trinkets said to have been invented by innovative minds at the CIA and Israeli Mossad.

If you’re looking for sunglasses fitted with a fiber-optic video camera, or have need of an umbrella that is bullet proof, a baseball cap that is strong enough to repel a hatchet blow, or a surveillance microphone that looks for all the world like a shirt button, Mr. Farkas and his partners can oblige.

Of particular interest for our purposes at least, is the early interest shown in Mr. Farkas by The Titan Corporation, who made an early investment in his obvious potential, in 2000.

SkyWay Aircraft was presumably still a gleam in Mr. Farkas’ eye when Titan put up $72,386 for 1,113,627 restricted shares of the Company which became SkyWay.

Are they forward thinking, or what?

Bankruptcy is a state of mind

!!fleetOne unexpected discovery was that the narcotics trafficking is just one of the lucrative criminal enterprises the enterprise is engaged in.

The registration records of the twin DC9’s involved in the operation reveal that there is apparently something special about owning of these particular planes

You get a free pass to steal from unwary investors.

At least six of the companies associated with “Cocaine One” and its twin airliner have been involved in massive fraud resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars being swindled from innocent investors and shareholders.

SkyWay, Jetborne… even Mexican industrialist Juan Serrano Segovia’s GRUPO TMM defaulted on $377 million in loans several months ago.

We will be keeping a running tally of companies associated with the operation finding it necessary to declare bankruptcy…but only after being stripped of anything not securely tied down.

"The only good Indians… are on our payroll"

abramoff-headress-dollar-thumbJack Abramoff played the Lone Ranger to a whole host of Indian casino Tonto's. But this is just one of the many ways this secret organization has recently used the special status of Native Americans.

In the StockWalk scam, which easily netted as much as Abramoff's casino fraud, the firm used to perpetrate the fraud was native American-owned.

Called Native Nations Securities, it was the brainchild of a Hollywood actress named Valerie Red-Horse. Ms. Red-Horse, the first Native American to control a securities firm, may have been a little light in the bond-trading business, but she learned financial fraud at the feet of the master…

pic10b"Red-Horse got her first exposure to Wall Street while a theater student at UCLA," read one news account. "She went looking for part-time work and was referred through the school's placement office to the Beverly Hills office of Drexel Burnham Lambert, where she landed a job as an assistant to junk-bond king Michael Milken."

Her bio says she's been in a movie called "Naturally Native." She has guest-starred on "Babylon 5." She recently starred in the acclaimed ABC made-for-television movie "The Secret of Lizard Woman."

As an actress she is perhaps best known for serving as the model for Mattel's Pocahontas doll. Probably not on her bio: She helped, or was used, by some well-connected fraudsters steal over $300 million dollars.

Chief Bearskin & "the boys"

One more example will suffice, at least for now:

Express One International is one of the bankrupt firms which was also an owner of the DC9's, a company whose colorful corporate history would make, we think, an excellent episode of Babylon 5.

Express One International'smiami_vice_1 look-alike DC9 was sold to Skyways/Royal Sons just before they went bankrupt. Now they're back.

Today the president of Express One International is David Byers. Mohamed Atta trained at a flight school at the Charlotte County Airport, Charlotte County Sheriff William Clement told reporters four days after the 9.11 attack, before being told to keep his mouth shut.

The airline was founded by the notorious Kenneth Good, who got, with Neil Bush's help, a cool hundred million in loans from Silverado Savings which he never felt the need to repay. Taxpayers ended up footing the bill.

We don't imagine anyone's heard Neil Bush saying "thanks?"

The company issued a press release recently to announce their plans to assist the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma inn developing an aviation business called Bearskin Aviation Service, hiring Bearskin to provide fleet and baggage handling services at two Air Force bases in England.

"Chief Leaford Bearskin, leader of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, founded Bearskin Aviation Service out of his love for aviation and his vision that a well-run aviation company would provide revenue for Tribal health and education programs," said the press release.

Only a cynic would quibble. Right?

 

NEXT: In a land where journalists occasionally turn up dead, authentically brave Mexican journalists, unlike their sleepy sold-out American cousins, have been avidly investigating story of "Cocaine One."

Hear what they're saying South of the Border.

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Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.

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