The Senator, the Billionaire Pedophile, & the Fugitive Oligarch

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The Senator is ‘George Mitchell.’ The billionaire pedophile is ‘Jeffrey Epstein.’ The fugitive oligarch is “Viktor Kozeny.”  But first, a word about an Able Seaman…

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He hasn’t been heard from in over two months.

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IVAN Durasevic, 29, a seaman on the container ship MSC Gayane, which was seized carrying almost 20 tons of cocaine on June 23rd in Philadelphia, must be feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders.

To date, he’s the only one fingered as the drug kingpin. It’s an awesome responsibility for a second mate.

In court filings that have since been sealed, Ivan described men wearing ski masks hauling nets filled with thousands of white-powder bricks from 14 small boats up to the deck of the container ship, one of the most massive afloat.

Industry observers immediately derided his story for being highly implausible. Still, the definition of what’s considered “implausible” itself is now cloudy, now that Sean Spicer is on ‘Dancing with the Stars.

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The missing owner of the 20 tons of cocaine from the MSC Gayane isn’t an able seaman. I believe that it’s a name lifted right out of Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book.

 

Nothing’s changed since “Casablanca”

doofus-alertIt was a round-up of the usual suspects.

In the aftermath of the release of 2000 pages of previously sealed documents in the lawsuit brought against Jeffrey Epstein by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, news accounts picked only low-hanging fruit for scrutiny.

Bill Clinton. Donald Trump. Woody Allen. Uber-nebbish Alan Dershowitz. He’s now become one of the usual suspects because, despite his vociferous denials, he’s exactly the blend of smarmy and slimy that signals victimizer.

But the goal is to make sense of what Epstein was up to, which remains opaque.

Puzzling out Epstein’s connection to one of those named who’s more of a sexual outlier than a sometime Lothario might be a better bet.

Someone like former Senator George Mitchell, for example.

 

Savoir-Fair-Less

GeorgeJMitchellPortraitGeorge Mitchell doesn’t exactly exude savoir faire.

He’s a temperate-looking man. Gray hair, short and orderly. Mild, hazel-brown eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses. He might have entered the U.S. Senate under Dwight David Eisenhower.

The kind of guy that looked old even in high school.

“George lives his life the way he plays tennis: thoughtful, conservative, doesn’t throw away any shots,” a friend said about him. “Nothing brilliant, or colorful; doesn’t have to make the grand slam.”

Epstein had a documented friendship with Mitchell dating back to the early 2000’s. In a 2003 New York Magazine profile, Epstein was paraphrased as saying Mitchell was “the world’s greatest negotiator,” and Mitchell called Epstein “a friend and a supporter.”

George and Jeff made an odd couple. Why did Epstein gift Mitchell the loan for an evening of one of his stable of not-yet-legal sex workers?

I think I know.

 

A whiff of sexual blackmail…in the 90’s

Kozeny (5)While investigating the personal pilot of one of George Mitchell’s close associates, I learned a secret about the former Majority Leader.

Mitchell looks like a boy scout, but he’s not.

After he resigned from the Senate in 1994, one of George Mitchell’s closest associates became Viktor Kozeny, known as “The Pirate of Prague.”

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Kozeny was the first mega-wealthy oligarch to cut a swath across America from Aspen to Washington D.C.

Mitchell was in business with Kozeny in several ventures, most prominently serving as vice chairman of his oil company, Oily Rock.

Kozeny had dossiers containing embarrassing personal details about top government officials Czechoslovakia, his home country, to use forhttps://www.upi.com/Archives/1994/02/15/Czech-financier-skips-court-date-in-bribery-trial/1291761288400/ purposes of sexual blackmail. It came out when a Czech secret police agent was arrested for selling him information.

And that’s where our story starts.

 

Sad thing

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Amanda Keller, Virginia Roberts

Last week I reported feeling a strange sense of Deja-vu while reading Virginia Robert’s testimony in her own words last week.

I spent almost the entire year in 2002 tracking down Amanda Keller, a young Florida girl whose hardscrabble background was a lot like that of Virginia Roberts. They even looked a lot alike.

At 15 or 16, Virginia said she fell under the sway of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. She used Xanax to detach herself from the sordid reality of her assignment to entertain Epstein’s pals. “It helped release me and make me calm about what I had to do. I was up to eight pills a day.”

Then she said something sad. “But I didn’t want to go back to the life I’d had before.”

amanda-virginiaAmanda Keller couldn’t go back either. Her prospects, at 20, were already dimming. Her life was a train wreck. Her husband, who she said beat her, had her “Baker-acted”— a verb in Florida— and she lost custody of her two small children.

Then she met Mohamed Atta.

 

The Senator and the Cupcake

After he retired from the Senate in 1994, 64-year old George Mitchell re-married. His new bride was 25-year-old Canadian sports promoter Heather MacLachlan.

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It was a May-December affair that had Washington talking.

“In Washington,” reported the Los Angeles Times, “they assume the Senator found himself a cupcake—a pretty young thing with a racy past.”

George and Heather, both tennis fans, met at the U.S. Open in New York. They were introduced by a mutual friend, Ion Tiriac, the flamboyant former Romanian tennis pro and manager.

Turns out, Heather had dated the mercurial Tiriac between 1984 and 1992. So, we’re already behind what used to call the Iron Curtain.

p1166After retiring, Mitchell was asked to help with President Bill Clinton’s visit to Ireland in 1995. London and Dublin requested he tackle the issue of paramilitary decommissioning.

He soon became chairman of the Northern Ireland peace talks.

Mitchell engaged in shuttle diplomacy. He used Viktor Kozeny’s personal jet, according to published reports, as well as Kozeny’s personal pilot, a German named Wolfgang Bohringer.

In exchange, Kozeny got Mitchell’s assistance in procuring what eventually became a half-dozen Irish passports. They were put to good use shielding him from extradition requests by both the United States and Czechoslovakia, until he settled in the Bahamas.

20160221_Reception_DT__A_024The Irish Independent reported:
Kozeny, who owns his own private island in the Bahamas, was traveling on an Irish passport before being arrested. His luxury jets were used during the Northern Ireland peace talks by the talk’s chairman, former Senator George Mitchell.”

A magazine headline about his being wanted: “CZECHS, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE.”

“SUDDENLY the Czech Republic is smelling of muck. Until now, it had seemed that the Czechs had come out of communism rather well: The Velvet Revolution, then the Velvet Divorce from Slovakia, and proper democracy. But now the press is talking scandals, about sex, secret agents and the privatization of state industries. The future of the government could be at stake.”

The U.S. sent an extradition request for Kozeny to the Bahamas.

The Bahamas said no.

 

Meeting for drinks

AMANDA109-2In the days after the 9/11 attack, reporters literally camped out on Amanda Keller’s doorstep. She told them only that authorities had told her not to say anything.

While living in 2000-2001 in Venice Florida, Amanda Keller was a willowy 20-year old with bleached strawberry-blond hair. While working at Papa John’s Pizza, she met Mohamed Atta. Soon she and Atta were meeting for drinks at a bar at the Venice airport called the 44th Aero Squadron.

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Leaving the field of pizza, Keller switched careers at this time, becoming an out-call ‘lingerie model’ for an escort service called Fantasies & Lace in Sarasota, Florida. It was near Cheetah’s; a strip club Atta was known to have frequented.

I arrived in Venice after New Years’ in 2002, three months after 9/11. After reading a dozen local news clips about her, I went looking for Amanda Keller, but she had disappeared.

AMANDA4-Until she told me her story, after I showed up on her doorstep almost a year later, she had spoken only eleven words publicly about her brief relationship with Mohamed Atta.

Today they sound like a Zen koan that perfectly describes “the were things were” in Southwest Florida in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack.

Here’s what she told reporters: “I can’t really discuss anything. I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble.”

 

If you’re tuning in late…

wolfgangkozeny (4)Their names never surfaced in press accounts. But among Mohamed Atta’s closest associates in Florida —all pilots— during the year before the 9/11 attack were a half-dozen non-Arab men, mostly German or Swiss.

I was already familiar with pilot Wolfgang Bohringer. Amanda Keller told me about him.

Atta’s German friends appeared to share a relationship with him of long-standing, according to several eyewitnesses, dating back to his days in Hamburg.

“Wolfgang Bohringer,” said Amanda Keller, describing one of them, “was in his thirties. Him (Atta) and Wolfgang were very tight; they went everywhere together. When he came into the picture, they were together all the time.”

Atta always spoke German with Wolfgang, Keller said.

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This directly contradicts the sworn testimony of Huffman Aviation manager (and famous ‘Magic Dutch Boy’) Rudi Dekkers, who told a Congressional Committee that when he addressed Atta in German, the terrorist ringleader just looked at him strangely.

(If you’re tuning in late, Rudi Dekkers’ was the face of the U.S. Government’s explanation of the terrorist’s activities in Florida in the days after the attack. He was on television constantly. He was interviewed hundreds of times.)

 

Saudi terrrorists, American criminals

On the day after the attack, Dekkers at first denied to reporters that he’d ever talked to Atta or Marwan Al-Shehhi, the psychopaths more genial sidekick. There were dozens of foreign students at the school, he said, and he was a very busy man.

But his memory shortly seemed to improve.

The operations manager at Rudi Dekkers and Wally Hilliard other flight school, Ambassador Aviation in Naples, located 100 miles south of Venice along Florida’s Gulf Coast, later told me there had been an FBI agent coaching Dekkers behind the scenes.

HILLIARDRudi Dekkers was always an obvious criminal. So, too, was his partner Wallace J Hilliard, although in a more discreet ‘white collar crime’ sort of way.

In aviation circles in Southwest Florida, that the American (and the world’s) news media never reported this has always been a source of amazement.

Still, fate finally caught up to Dekkers in 2012. He was busted in Houston for drug trafficking, convicted, and went to prison.

 

A Wolfman in Florida

WOLFGANG (1)Wolfgang Bohringer was hanging out with Mohamed Atta in Southwest Florida in 2000 and 2001, while at the same time serving as the personal pilot for a fugitive oligarch known as the “Pirate of Prague.”

“Wolfgang drove around in a red convertible,” Amanda Keller remembered. “Their favorite place to eat was Hooters in Sarasota. They got kicked out for grabbing a waitress’s boobs.”

Bohringer was instrumental in bringing another of Atta’s German associates to Florida, a pilot named “Stephan,” who’d done jail time in Germany for smuggling, and was still on parole when he came to the States, which is a U.S. Customs ‘no-no’ that should have seen him ‘red-flagged.’

What this means in layman’s terms:

A close associate of Mohamed Atta’s in Florida was flying, at the same time he was “hanging’ with Mohamed,” for a Russian Mob-connected ‘oligarch’ reported to control, after the demise of Communism, fully one-third of the entire economy of the nation of Czechoslovakia.

That’s why they call him “The Pirate of Prague.’

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For an encore, Kozeny tried to bribe his way into ownership of the state oil company in Azerbaijan. Along for the ride, as his vice chairman, was former Senator George Mitchell.

The plot ran afoul of U.S. officials.

untitledKozeny’s Azerbaijani oil play was backed by shady American financing from a managing director of Hank Greenburg’s American Insurance Group (AIG), which had recently bailed out by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of $166 billion.

During the 1980’s AIG Insurance subsidiary Coral Reinsurance had been implicated in cocaine trafficking through Mena, Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Project.

 

From The Sandpiper to sand dunes

227_sandpiper_apartments_2050081722-12102While investigating Mohamed Atta’s associates in Florida, I discovered people with personal knowledge of the terrorists’ activities in the U.S. often had not always pleasant contact with the FBI.

During March and April of 2001, Amanda Keller and Mohamed Atta lived together at the Sandpiper Apartments, right across the street from the Venice Airport.

Amanda’s account of her “Tryst with a Terrorist” was corroborated by numerous local eyewitnesses. At a key moment, five years after the attack, her account was also corroborated—if unwillingly—by the FBI.

 

Treasure chests, automatic weapons

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Chuck Corbett: old school

Here’s what happened:

In early 2006, a startled American surfer named Chuck Corbett contacted me—after doing a google search for “Wolfgang Bohringer,” and discovering my website—with an urgent and chilling tale.

“It was absolutely gut-wrenching frightening,” Corbett told me.

Fanning Island, a tiny speck of coral in the Republic of Kiribati, is located almost a thousand miles south of Hawaii. It is one of the most remote places on Earth. It has no electricity, and is home to roughly 100 souls, including itinerant surfers.

WOLFGANG (1)Wolfgang Bohringer sailed a 45-foot yacht into the lagoon of a tiny island in the South Pacific he was hanging out and surfing on called Fanning Island, Corbett said.

Wolfgang Bohringer and a female companion arrived on the island, Corbett said, laden with a sea chest filled with several million dollars in new bills, automatic weapons, and passports from a half-dozen nations.

Bohringer announced his intention to set up a flight school, said Corbett. He was planning to do nothing but teach pilots how to fly DC-3’s, a 70-year old aviation workhorse still used to ferry weapons and drugs to remote locations.

 

A Terror Alert in the Pacific

vlcsnap-2019-08-30-08h58m54s687Surfer Chuck’s account prompted activity in official circles.

The FBI already knew enough about Wolfgang Bohringer—especially Amanda Keller’ account in Welcome to TerrorLand’— to become seriously alarmed about his latest activities.

They issued a terror alert for Wolfgang Bohringer in the Pacific.

From the Associated Press:

“U.S. authorities raised an alarm over the plan by the German pilot — linked to the Sept. 11 terror attacks — to build a flying school in the remote South Pacific island nation,” stated the AP.

“The FBI is on the trail of a man with alleged links to one of the 9/11 masterminds after he tried to set up a pilot training school on a remote island bordering US territory, despite the island having no airport or telephones,” reported Barbara Dreaver of New Zealand network TVNZ .

“The isolated Kiribati islands are grappling with being catapulted into the world of terrorism. The man causing the alarm is Wolfgang Bohringer, who sailed into Kiribati’s Fanning Island a year ago.”

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Cookout on Fanning: Chuck Corbett, “Ana” & Wolfgang Bohringer
A few years earlier, when I first reported Mohamed Atta’s ties to German national Wolfgang Bohringer, the revelation was met with silence.

Now. however, officials had “uncovered a plot.” U.S. authorities were “raising the alarm.”

The isolated Kiribati islands, news hosts in Australia and New Zealand reported, were “grappling with being catapulted into the world of terrorism.”

The FBI began hunting for Bohringer and his missing yacht.

 

An organizational failure

In some amorphous un-named organization, and at vastly different levels, Jeffrey Epstein and Rudi Dekkers appear to me to have worked for the same—or at any rate similar—organization, one plagued regularly with outbreaks of sexual harassment, and worse.

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At the flight school, women around Rudi Dekkers and Mohamed Atta experienced harassment that would feel very familiar to the 15 to 20 women who testified in federal court this week about their encounters with Epstein.

An 18-year old employee at Huffman Aviation, Nicole Antini, sued Rudi Dekkers for sexual harassment and won a lawsuit that was highly publicized locally.

Around then, a woman with a close relative working for Dekkers reached out to tell me what she knew about Dekker’s sordid sexual past.

nicole“He’s lucky she (Nicole) was the only one with enough nerve to sue him,” she told me. “He sexually harassed nearly every girl there, including all the young 18-year old’s like Nicole.”
Awarded a 5-figure judgment, which Dekker’s neglected to pay, Nicole Antini’s stated they were no longer bound by the confidentiality agreement they’d signed. Details of what happened were released for the first time.

 

Russians, brooms, and blowjobs

atta911rudi23It did not make pleasant reading.

At one point, Antini testified, Dekker’s asked her, “Did you see that Russian girl I had in here? I couldn’t hire her, because she’s Russian. But I did tell her I had a job for her.”

“In the pilot shop?” the young employee asked.

“No, I told her she could give me a blow job,” Dekkers sneered.

Then Dekkers, the girl testified, told her, “You’re beautiful when you’re mad.”

To which she replied, “You have no right touching my pants.”

Another time, Dekkers took a broom and stuck it up underneath her skirt.

rudi-dekkers (3)Allegations of regular harassment by Dekkers were confirmed to me by Amanda Keller, who knew Dekkers because of time spent waiting in the flight school lounge for Atta to land.

About Dekkers, she said, “Rudi Dekkers… He’s a total pervert. A nasty, nasty man. He said to me one time, ‘What would it take for me to have a piece of you?’”

“I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about.”

‘He said, ‘Oh come on you know what I mean,’” Keller stated. He said to me one time, ‘What would it take for me to have a piece of you.”

I looked at him and said, ‘You’re lucky I don’t hit you.’ And his secretary applauded me.”

The secretary—who said she’d contemplated her own lawsuit against Dekkers and the flight school—confirmed the story.

 

Back to George Mitchell & Viktor Kozeny

17114520-0-image-a-30_1565395862912After his stint in Northern Ireland, Mitchell later became Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East.

In June 2009, George Mitchell was called to testify in the Southern District of New York and asked to explain his links with Fred Burke (of AIG) and Victor Kozeny, known as the “Pirate of Prague,” who are accused of handing out bribes in Azerbaijan.”

At the time, Mitchell was vice chairman of Kozeny’s Oily Rock oil company.

During Mitchell’s testimony, the prosecutor played for the jury an intercepted conversation.

JB34c4c6_kozenyTalking with several associates, an Oily Rocks executive boasted that Mitchell’s presence on Oily Rock’s board “can get us out of the criminal and civil liability issues.”

Mitchell was not accused in the case. Although he claims otherwise, in the opinion of observers he nonetheless provided political cover for Bourke and Kozeny, accompanied them to Azerbaijan in April 1998, and met with Azeri president and strongman Heider Aliyev.

Kozeny (1)On March 28, 2012, the Bahamian Privy Council dismissed the U.S. Justice Department’s appeal of a lower court’s decision, foreclosing U.S. efforts to extradite Kozeny to stand trial for the bribery and money laundering charges pending against him in the Southern District of New York.

Kozeny, who owns his own private island in the Bahamas, was traveling on an Irish passport before being arrested. His luxury jets were used during the Northern Ireland peace talks by the talk’s chairman, former Senator George Mitchell.

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Safe at home: Kozeny in the Bahamas

Today Kozeny stands accused on two continents of defrauding thousands of people around the world. He has fought extradition to face felony charges of massive financial fraud.

And won.

 

And an FBI postscript

A month after the FBI terror alert, German pilot Wolfgang Bohringer was arrested. The news remained a closely guarded secret.

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A person close to the investigation told me, “There could be national security reasons for keeping this information quiet.”

The reason for the secrecy soon became clear. An associate in my investigation was visiting the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York and overheard a phone call reporting Bohringer’s arrest.

Wolfgang-Bohringer-Victor-Kozeny“I heard a voice on the speaker phone in the car say, “‘He was a ‘five’ when we got him, but with the first words out of his mouth, he moved up to an eight.”

What had Bohringer said to so dramatically raise the level of interest?

Stated my source, “He said, ‘You can’t bust me. I’m with the CIA.’”

4 COMMENTS

  1. With her language skills and business cover, I wonder if Heather Maclachlan was/is working for the CIA. The good senator certainly seems like the kind of guy that the company would use as an asset or an agent. He reeks of intrigue. He has always reminded me of a shady banker. His investigation into steroid use in baseball was a joke. The guy has always reminded me of a creepy little brown-noser. Yuk!

  2. Senator George Mitchell served in the U.S. Army after his graduation from Bowdoin College in 1954. According to his Wikipedia page, he served in the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) from 1954 to 1956: He held the rank of lieutenant. He is listed under notable CIC agents on the Counter Intelligence Corps Wikipedia page. During his service, he was stationed in Berlin, Germany. He was also on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee from 1993 to 1994. He left the U.S. Senate on January 03, 1995.

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