Dear Cyril ...
Oh, there are some more outstanding new issues.....
Since the ANC government is cracking down and arresting people for smoking, walking, and surfing; could you kindly update us on the progress of a few other cases?
- ANC’s Multi-billion $ Arm’s scandal
- E-tolling scandal
- Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla Homestead Project (Project Prestige)
- Nkandla Freeway Project
- Misuse of the plastic bag levy funds
- Police Buildings and the exorbitant lease saga
- Tony Yengeni’s arrest
- Jackie Selebi and everything about the trial
- Jackie Selebi’s parole
- Shabir Schaik’s trial, during which Zuma was implicated but no prosecution followed
- Schabir Shaik’s parole on medical grounds, but suddenly, he has fully recovered
- Richard Mdluli’s slush fund
- Richard Mdluli’s abuse of safe houses
- Richard Mdluli’s travel agency scam
- Richard Mdluli’s abuse of state-owned vehicles
- Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s liver transplant
- Nathi Mtethwa’s private residence upgrade with public funds
- Julius Malema’s Limpopo feeding programme
- Ntau Letebele’s transport tender in Limpopo
- Julius Malema’s transport tender in Limpopo
- School feeding schemes in the Eastern Cape
- Ms Dina Pule and the ITC Indaba
- Limpopo textbooks saga
- Moses Kotane Development Agency corruption
- Msunduzi municipality officials using more than R1m of taxpayers’ money to fund an ANC rally.
- Mthatha corruption case over fraudulent legal jobs didn’t exist
- Ekurhuleni municipality corruption in awarding water meter contracts to Lesira-Teq
- Thaba Chweu local municipality’s misuse of R3m in 2009
- Endemic corruption at Nala Local Municipality to the point that treasury have cut them off
- Desiree Tlhoaele’s axing after going after corrupt officials in sports, arts and culture
- Viking testing station’s corrupt examiners
- Police officers Linda Mlambo and Mahlang Shaku fraudulently conning motorists out of cash
- Sandton officers arrested for corruption after extorting money from motorists
- Willie Hofmeyer’s axing
- Mvula Trust and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ job creation fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of rands
- Government’s endemic over-use and over-pay of consultants
- Glynnis Breytenbach’s axing
- The spy-tape saga
- Thosan Panday corruption in KZN
- KZN’s misuse of R785m in 2011
- Madibeng municipality awarding millions in tenders to its own employees
- Madibeng municipality’s taxation scam with its employees
- Madibeng municipality paying money to fictitious companies for fictitious work
- Madibeng municipality paying for funerals that never took place
- Madibeng municipality paying for home renovations for its employees
- Taung municipality paying triple-digit increases without consultation
- Morake Incorporated Attorneys & the Rustenburg provincial department – R13m paid in fees for a disciplinary hearing
- Endemic corruption at Mbhashe municipality to the point of the mayor and 7 others being fired
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Rustenburg and Madibeng local municipalities
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Moses Kotane
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Bojanala District
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Ventersdorp
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Greater Taung
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Tswaing
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Ramotshere Moiloa
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Mahikeng
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Maquassi Hill
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Moretele
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Lekwa-Teemane
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Ngaka
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Modiri Molema District
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Ditsobotla
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Kagisano
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Kgetlengrivier
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Ratlou
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Dr Ruth Mompati District
- Corruption exposed by SIU at Naledi Local Municipality
- Awarding of tenders to Vivian Reddy following Zuma intervention
- Twenty five cases, involving R768 827 043 in KZN in 2010 alone
- The Glen Agliotti case
- Diverting of public funds to Swazi King
- Diverting of public funds to Robert Mugabe
- Diverting of public funds to Zanu-PF
- Funding of military equipment in Zimbabwe with SA public funds
- Zuma’s corruption in numerous cases prior to his presidency
- Fraud, corruption, tender-rigging, kickbacks and irregular appointments at Tshwane municipality
- Endemic corruption at the heart of Mpumalanga municipality including physical violence to avoid publication of facts
- Public Works’ endemic misuse of public funds for private residences of government officials, disguised as security upgrades.
- Public Works leasing back property from its own employees for official use, while footing the initial bill too
- BEE fronting for SAPS land deals outside of the main contract for PTA head office through Roux Shabangu
- R2.4bn in improper bonuses paid out by SABC to directors
- SABC paying fictitious staff
- ANC controlling SABC with threats of fund withdrawals
- SABC awarding tenders to its own employees
- Ekurhuleni employees signing off on deals that do not exist
- Land fraud in KZN worth R50m involving three officials and a businessman for farms and other properties
- Department of arts and culture misuse of R42m during the soccer world cup
- Loss of dockets relating to high profile corruption cases
- Education department officials involved in examination selling
- Parastatals’ inflated sponsorship of events hosted by the Guptas and New Age
- New Age website having massive funds diverted its way from government budgets without readership stats to speak of
- The City of Johannesburg rigging a large tender in favour of Regiments, an ANC-connected empowerment firm central to a consortium that made the JHB mayor’s wife a *multimillionaire.
- On-Point Engineering securing Limpopo tenders through Julius Malema and his accomplices
- Amathole district municipality awarding irregular tenders relating to vehicle tracking
- John Block’s R112m tender fraud relating to water purification equipment
- Gaston Savoi’s R112m tender fraud relating to water purification equipment
- DoC official awarding R500k tender to his wife
- Martin Masemola from Dept of Minerals & Energy receiving financial kickbacks and land for favours to friends and family
- Bosasa and Correctional Services corruption to the tune of R3bn in tender rigging
- Public Works corrupt relationship with Saab and the blacked out agreements that not even they are entitled to
- R63 million tender fraud at Limpopo traffic department involving Mbhazima Sithole, 45, Felix Baloyi, 34, Mphateleni Musubu, 43, and Lufuno Muladi, 27, all directors of various companies that secured tenders illegally
- Gauteng Finance dept awarding R23m in IT tenders fraudulently
- Kelly Group securing labour broking tenders worth R372m by BEE fronting
- Eastern Cape health department and their tender fraud worth over R800m in just one single case
- Obed Mlaba securing tenders to the value of R3bn in KZN
- KZN misuse of public money to the tune of R532m in 2009
- Public Works in Limpopo involved in tender fraud for undisclosed sum late last year
- Tshwane kickback scheme for tenders to the tune of R1b
- Tshwane maladministration in their financial dept for undisclosed sum
- Philemon Mohlahlane (ex Land Bank CEO) embezzling R19m out of the Land Bank for his personal and business use
- Prestige Portfolio tender corruption at Public Works as investigated by SIU (this appears to be linked to Project prestige – Zuma’s development)
- Bobby Motaung’s multi-million rand fraud involving stadium tenders
- Ekurhuleni Metro IT tender for R21m that was used to buy Porsches and Mercs
- Limpopo transport tender fraud of R63m
- Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale’s influence in awarding tenders
- Buffalo City Metro tender fraud of R12m
- Ekurhuleni Chief Financial Officer Mr Zakes Myeza, Chief Director Water and Sanitation Mr Slindokuhle Hadebe, Acting Head of Department of then Roads and Stormwater Mr Moses Maliba, Junior Official Water and Sanitation Ms Nomusa Malimabe and Independent Contractor Mr Miyelani Holeni’s all involved in tender fraud worth R166m
- Julius’ cousing Tshepo Malema involved in corruption and fraud through the government worth R63m
- Pikitup tender fraud relating to contracts awarded through City of Johannesburg for undisclosed sum
- Vivian Reddy’s company awarded an inflated contract of R1.25bn for smart electricity meter reading in Joburg despite never having done anything like it before
- Xhariep district mayor Mongi Ntwanambi’s fraudulent travel expenses claims costing half a million rand a year
- Free State Government paying R140million for their website created with a $40 WordPress template
- Limpopo Health’s unaccounted for R739m tender spend for 2012
- Gauteng Health’s R1bn corruption in 2010
- ANC’s investment body, Chancellor House, receiving yet another state tender worth billions of rands
- ANC’s investment arm, Chancellor House, receiving millions from the Medupi and Kusile deals
- ANC’s investment arm, Chancellor House, to benefit significantly from R40bn Eskom tenders
- The spending of more than R13.5m on Nomvula Mokonyane’s home. A home that was purchased for R11.5m
Zuma’s position weakens as he loses battle to keep ‘spy tapes’ under wraps
- Bankrupt SAA
- Bankrupt Post Office
- Bankrupt SABC
- Corruption and takeover of the Media
- The Gupta’s
137 Bankrupt Eskom
138 Bashir saga
- Safa president Danny Jordaan allegedly turned to the Gupta family to cover up a $10 million (R138 million) hole in the organisation’s books
- 12 000 ‘dead people‘ doing business with SA government, says Treasury
- 14,000 state employees who are listed as directors of companies that have been awarded state contracts in violation of regulations
- In the 2017/18 financial year, R45.85m was spent on maintenance for official ministerial residences in Pretoria and Cape Town
- Senior intelligence officers could land in hot water after a parliamentary committee proposed that they be investigated for allegedly “pilfering” more than R1bn from the intelligence account.
- Trevor Manuel approved a R200 million salary golden handshake to Coleman Andrews of SAA
- The corruption around Bidvest and Ramaphosa’s business
- Truckloads of evidence of corruption of Pravin Gordhan made rounds. Multi Billions missing in Treasury. Mountain of corruption in PIC. Banks he is a shareholder in.
- Gordhan award of a R10 million Contract in Treasury, to his own daughter Anisha Gordhan
- Top black “executives ” in the SABC earns more than R 12 million
- Florence Radzilani, the Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in Limpopo and the Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality took a R300 000 bribe for not withdrawing the money her municipality invested with VBS Mutual Bank.
- The South African Revenue Service’s head of legal, Refiloe Mokoena, who wasat the center of granting the controversial Gupta family in a reported R420m VAT refund.
- Suspended commissioner Tom Moyane is still getting full pay while being suspended.
- The South African Revenue Service (Sars) paid a law firm R120,000 to read a book to establish whether suspended Commissioner Tom Moyane was mentioned in it and whether its contents was defamatory.
- SARS executive Luther Lebelo has racked up more than R750,000 of taxpayer money to prepare his submission to the Nudgent commission.
- Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has been subpoenaed to answer why his department allowed an unpaid R67 million invoice owed to an information technology (IT) company undergoing liquidation to balloon to almost R800m.
- Controversial North West MEC for social development Hoffman Galeng has been given until Tuesday to explain why more than R600 000was spent on security at his private residence.
- ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is at the centre of a criminal investigation into the disappearance of a valuable Pierneefpainting from the premier’s office in Bloemfontein.
- Ace Magashule was fingered for mismanagement amid fears that the province will be placed under administration. The Free State government’s finances are in a dire state. There are various reasons for this: the botched R250 million Vrede dairy farm project; millions of rands shelled out for demolition works for the new provincial legislature complex; and more than R100 000 in monthly rentals for the provincial treasury department.
- The Free State provincial health department is facing R1.5 billion worth of lawsuits for malpractice,while the education department is alleged to have recorded a bank overdraft of R800 million to help alleviate the financial crunch.
- A defence force project meant to give jobless matriculants a foot in the door has degenerated into a job creation project for the children ofdefense force generals.
- Denel accumulated a staggering loss of R 1.7 milliard rands- it’s boss Riaz Saloojee still gets a hefty bonus.
- The South African Airways (SAA) will get R5bn, SA Express R1.2bn and the South African Post Office R2.9bn in new funding from the government (tax payer again)
- Recently fired Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama will still receive his salary for the next six months despite not having to report for duty.The fired Transnet boss will still be paid R3 million for doing nothing.
- Hundreds of millions of rands have been spent by Prasa on dodgy security contracts. Roy Moodley implicated in deals worth over R300-million.
- Jacob Zumja and Tina Joemat Petersen illegally sold off 10 million barrels of crude oil left the country, at $28 a barrel.
- A new factory are going to build R51bn locomotives that South Africa can’t use
- Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the 55 000 Nigerian oil barrel sacndal
- Tony Yengeni and his R349 950 Merc scandal
- Pnuell Maduna and the oil scandal
- Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been asked to clean up tender irregularities in exess of R52 million in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), as more allegations pile up against senior officials
- SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe says that the public broadcaster’s top management cannot let the SABC collapse due to its poor finances that makes it technically insolvent
171.Then there were the humiliation for the SABC incompetent robbers when SCOPA chased them away to go and find R 4.9 BILLION they have wasted
- An in-depth forensic investigation by Grant Thornton and SizweNtsalubaGobodo Advisory Services into the awarding of a SAPS/SITA contract to Keith Keating’s Forensic Data Analysts amounting to R61 million for the provision of forensic light sources, has uncovered massive potential fraud and/or collusion between at least 20 senior SAPS officials and FDA employees.
- The ANC received a R2 million election campaign donation from the bosses of VBS Mutual Bank.
- Stanley Khanyile‚ a former social development head of department in the Eastern Cape province‚ was allegedly instrumental in stripping some R30-million from the National Development Agency budget over two years via “rigged tenders.
- With cash-strapped non-profit organistations (NPOs) struggling to stay afloat, there are concerns that the R1 billion being spent by the KZN Social Development Department on NPOs annually, is being channeled to bogus welfare entities.
- A former acting municipal manager of Makhado municipality in Limpopo, Johannes Kandwendo, is to face disciplinary action over his involvement in the irregular investment of R63m at VBS Mutual Bank.
- What was meant to be the start of a thriving multimillion-rand protea farming project is yet to get off the ground in an Eastern Cape village – despite R2.5m apparently already having been paid for 290,000 plant cuttings.
- Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises is now part of a “campaign” aimed at destroying Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. This is according to the embattled minister, following reports of a leaked preliminary report into electricity provider Eskom. According to Business Day, Gigaba and former public enterprises minister Lynne Browne are among 44 people and 25 companies who should be criminally investigated over alleged mismanagement and corruption at the utility.
- The quality of diesel produced by PetroSA has become so poor that it is on the verge of losing its last big client, Shell South Africa, which could cost the oil company billions.
- The SA Police Service (SAPS) is planning to promote 37 former black only Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) and Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla) “freedom fighters “ to the top rank of General – a move that could see some of them skip as many as five ranks.
- In what Daily Maverick suggested in February 2018 was the largest state-sanctioned, corporate-sponsored fraud in the history of Big Mining in democratic South Africa, an insight was provided into how 350,000 mostly unemployed members of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela were robbed of their inheritance.
- DA leader Mmusi Maimane has implicated the son of Cyril Ramaphosa in questionable financial dealings with controversial government service provider BOSASA‚ alleging that Andile Ramaphosa received a suspicious R500‚000 payment from the company.
- THE civil rights movement Afriforum is going to take South Africa’s government Health Services head on about the waste of R 10 MILLIARD rands in the 9 provinces.
- The Travelgate scandal
186: Nkosazana Zuma’s R 50 million AIDS scandal
- The Amersfoort Police apprehended a ANC Chief Whip Obed Thulani Shabangu (41) in connection with corruption relating to RDP houses on 18 December 2018.
- PRASA is a cesspit of mismanagement, breached procurement rules and looting of billions of rands in taxpayers’ money.
- SABC Boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng was illegally paid a R11,5-million “success” bonus.
- Old Ramkraal prison: Another R 120 million ANC failure
- Fraud “on an enormous scale” has been uncovered in the land reform program in which ANC government officials handed out farms and millions in grants to beneficiaries who did not qualify.
- Hlaudi Motsoeneng has confirmed Agrizzi’s claim that Bosasa paid more than R1 million to the former SABC head.
- Soweto owes Eskom R17 billion, half of the total national debt- another very expensive ANC “free bee.”
- Former acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Rail, Mthuthuzeli “Mthura” Swartz, made a brief appearance in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday. Swartz faces an array of charges including fraud, money laundering and theft of over R1.5 million.
- A leaked AG report reveals Tshwane’s R12bn GladAfrica contract was irregular
- Ramaphosa’s son Andile paid a monthly amount of R 300 000.00 to Cyril Ramaphosa which came out in the Bosasa scam hearings.
- South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) Worker Health Programme (SWHP) former CEO Colleen Khumalo (51) has appeared in the Cape Town Regional Court on charges of fraud involving R50-million.
- EFF R12billion Tshwane scandal resurfaces, similar to VBS
- ANC bigwigs scored millions of rands from a botched broadband project for the City of Johannesburg while its costs more than doubled to nearly R1.7bn
- KwaZulu-Natal’s Asset Forfeiture Unit on Thursday swooped in on top ANC KwaZulu-Natal politician Mike Mabuyakhulu and seven of his co-accused in a corruption case, seizing their property and cars in an early morning raid related to their involvement in the North Sea Jazz Festival graft scandal.
- ANC bigwigs scored millions of rands from a botched broadband project for the City of Johannesburg while its costs more than doubled to nearly R1.7bn. Public service & administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy defense and military veterans minister Kebby Maphatsoe and former diplomat Lerema Kekana were directors of the BEE partner involved, CitiConnect Communications (CCC).
- Vhembe municipality has reportedly lost R1 billion of taxpayers’ money
- Eskom paid R300 billion (and counting) for 2 deeply flawed coal-fired dinosaurs
- R 220 million rand for drought relief went “missing” in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
I know you are very busy catching surfers and smokers, but if you have a bit of free time, an update would be highly appreciated. Sincerely yours, South Africa.
EDIT: I copied this from a message. https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/a-list-of-government-corruption.501116/
submitted by poeseligeman
Throwback to the Caterham - Forza Rossa deal in 2014, in which Ecclestone played a big role (Very long read)
This is the story (or the mess) surrounding the Caterham - Forza Rossa deal in 2014. The story is very entangled. I translated this because I feel the effects of F1 withdrawal and maybe, for some of you, will kill the time til Friday. Added some parts of mine too. Lots of politics, corruption. It's a godamn thriller.
I will not do a TL;DR because it simply cannot be done more than the title says. If you have trouble sleeping, read it. AND READ THE NOTES AT THE END FIRST
The ties are maintained by greedy ministers, controversial oligarchs, dentists who have become trusted people, floor washers turned overnight into Directors of Formula 1 teams, plus two key figures: Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old with a fortune of nearly $5 billion, and Victor Ponta, Romania's 42-year-old prime minister (ages in 2014), passionate about motorsports. One of the most influential people on the planet, Ecclestone is turning his favorite toy, Formula 1, to eastern Europe in search of new sources of income, regardless of color and smell. Ponta needs such a toy for which he is willing to pay, but not out of his own pocket.
Old Romulus Kolles, real name Colesnic, laughs at the rumor that he was Ceausescu's dentist. "I was a mechanic, I finished Polytechnic." His son, Calin, or Colin as he is known in Formula 1, with whom he emigrated in the 1980s to Germany, is a dentist by profession, but for a while he works as a "firefighter" in the sport transformed by Bernie Ecclestone in his own business. He saves teams," says the proud father. For the past 9 years, Colin has been director of Jordan, Midland, Spyker, HRT F1 Team and Force India. Of those, only the last one still existed in 2014 in Formula 1, and Kolles' reputation certainly is not one commensurate with his father's praise.
The story begins with the two Kolles, or Colesnic, as you prefer, because they hold the key to Romania's entry into Formula 1. They are the turntable between Ecclestone and the crew supported by Victor Ponta.
Let's go back in time by 10 years.
The ProSport reporter asks: "How did your son get into Formula One?"
"I can't tell you.", Romulus Kolles said, but fatherly pride takes control of the tongue: "A Russian billionaire came to visit us. We asked him to do a Formula 3 team and he said he will not do that. He said to Colin: . My son bought Jordan . The Russian locked his son in a room with all the papers. For months, he checked all the papers. Then he took Jordan and... This Russian had a Ukrainian partner, a university professor. He didn't like Formula 1. The Russian was a smart man. A smart Jew. I'm not Jewish, but I esteem them."
The Russian billionaire Kolles senior is talking about is Alex Shnaider, a Canadian billionaire born in Leningrad 43 years ago but settled in Toronto after his family initially emigrated to Israel. A business partner with Donald Trump, Shnaider bought the Jordan team in 2004 for $60 million, and Kolles was appointed director. The first Russian Formula 1 team launched their car in Moscow's Red Square and scored 12 points in 2005. In 2006, renamed Midland F1 Racing, the team did not produce any more points, and at the end of the year the Russian-Canadian businessman exited Formula 1, selling the team/spot for $102 million. $42 million more in less than two years!
Alex Shnaider has a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.5 billion in real estate and metallurgical industry. Kolles senior is right. In 2004, Shnaider had a Ukrainian associate, Eduard Sifrin, a university professor. Meanwhile, the two broke business ties. Sifrin remained with 1.6 million square meters of commercial, residential and hotel spaces in Russia, and Shnaider took over the business part of Canada and the Dominican Republic.
Like other Russian oligarchs, Shnaider got rich overnight in President Boris Yeltsin's tenure from the privatisations of the remaining industrial colossus legacy after the breakup of the USSR. Coincidentally or not, the marketing director of Midland F1 Racing was named Boris Yeltsin junior, grandson of the former Russian president.
Shnaider's image is not impeccable. He was accused of giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Moscow police to put pressure on a business partner. Islamist media speak of his ties to Mossad, the Israeli secret service, and conspiracy theorists suspect the recruitment of two major pawns in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.
What was Alex Shnaider, a controversial billionaire, doing in the Kolles family home in 2004? Colin was involved in several Formula 3 projects, but nothing of the scale sought by Shnaider. The explanation came right out of Bernie Ecclestone's mouth: "I feel a little guilty that I advised Shnaider to buy Jordan," the Formula 1 master said in February 2006. So the billionaire visited the Kolles family on Ecclestone's advice. But what relationship did the Romanian-Germans have with the most influential man in motorsports to be recommended by the man nicknamed El Supremo?
According to the statements, Kolles is handled by Ecclestone, a disclosure containing a significant dose of conflict of interest and influence peddling. Why does the F1 boss need a team director that he places as a chess pawn in some hot areas of the phenomenon?
Bernie Ecclestone is the emperor who has been leading Formula 1 since the late '70s, the auto-moto version of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president increasingly accused of corruption in recent years. The son of an English goon, a former director of the Brabham Formula 1 team, Ecclestone built his position in sport by controlling TV rights: 47 percent of the money went to the teams, 30 percent to the FIA, and 23 percent went into the F1 boss's pocket.
"Abuse of influence in Formula 1 is huge. It's a lot of business. You know, it's not what you see on TV that's Formula 1. There are other things, many. If I wrote a book about what's in there, you'd be scared." - Romulus Kolles, November 2014.
In 2006, the investment giant CVC Capital Partners bought all Formula 1 Group shares, including Bernie Ecclestone's share, from the market. After trying to bribe the officials of the German bank Bayerische Landesbank to sell their shares to CVC, the head of F1 bought shares in the newly established firm Alpha Prema that controls the Grand Circus.
During the trial, Ecclestone was accused of bribing three team executives, Eddie Jordan, Alain Prost and Tom Walkinshaw, $10 million each to sign the new TV rights agreement.
Accused by German prosecutors of paying $44 million in bribes to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former director at Bayerische LB, Ecclestone escaped conviction by paying $100 million to Bavaria. During the trial, Gribkowsky told investigators that Ecclestone had tricked the British IRS by avoiding paying nearly $1.5 billion in taxes, a third of his estimated wealth in 2013.
A possible explanation for tax evasion ignored by the UK authorities can be found in a case in 1997 under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The Blair government's drastic tobacco advertising policy suffered a sudden sweetening after a secret donation by Ecclestone to the Labour Party. Ecclestone needed major F1 tobacco sponsors and had ways to get government favors, too. Health Minister Tessa Jowell, later secretary of state for sports, was also involved in the scandal. Her husband had worked for Ecclestone. Following British media pressure, the Labourists revealed they had received a £1 million donation from Ecclestone. Tony Blair publicly apologized for the scandal, but lied about making the decision. After the term ended, the internal memos from 10 Downing Street showed that the change in tobacco advertising policy was taken immediately after meeting Ecclestone.
17 years after the scandal in which he took the Prime Minister and the Social Health Worker in the UK, the head of F1 turned to the Social Democrat government in Romania. In December 2013, Ecclestone announced the opening of the Formula 1 gates for new teams. In the first wave of registrations appeared Forza Rossa, a project led in plain sight by Ion Bazac, a former Minister of Health, with controversial relations inside the Social Democrat Party from Romania, and supported from the shadows by Prime Minister Victor Ponta through the current Minister of Health, Nicolae Bănicioiu. The interface between Ecclestone and the Romanian part is provided by Colin Kolles. "In the FIA app, Colin's name appears because he got all the approvals from Ecclestone," reveals Romulus Kolles, father of the "firefighter" Colin.
Here are the main events in 2013-14. It helps us to better understand the behind-the-scenes of the case.
December 2013: Ecclestone announces FIA awaits new teams in Formula 1
February 2014: A delegation led by Nicolae Banicioiu, Minister of Youth and Sport of Romania, meets in Geneva with FIA representatives
April 2014: Ecclestone announces the filing of the files of two teams: HAAS and Forza Rossa, and says the FIA wants to accept them.
June 2014: Ecclestone says the new projects submitted have been accepted by the FIA.
June 2014: Forza Rossa announces that the team director will be Colin Kolles.
July 2014: Romulus Kolles is appointed director of Caterham Sports Limited.
July 2014: Constantin Cojocar, a former footballer at Steaua Bucharest, arrives at the Caterham factory in Leafield, who is employed as a carer. Cojocar was hired to clean the factory.
July 2014: 40 employees at the Caterham factory in Leafield are sacked by new investors and are suing the company.
September 2014: Cojocar is appointed director and sole shareholder in Caterham in place of Romulus Kolles.
October 2014: Cojocar officially introduces Caterham into insolvency.
October 2014: Although Colin Kolles denies he is behind Cojocar, and Engavest announces that he has sold Caterham, the former footballer admits that his boss is Kolles.
October 2014: The international media takes possession of Cojocar's statements before the Supreme Court in London in which he says the Caterham factory is going to draw and build cars for Caterham and Forza Rossa. Kolles is suspected of wanting to secure Caterham's assets for Forza Rossa at a reduced price.
October 2014: Forza Rossa announces that it has nothing to do with Kolles' involvement at Caterham and that he is still awaiting official confirmation from the FIA regarding his participation in the 2015 F1 season.
November 2014: Caterham does not participate in F1 races in Austin and Interlagos. Marussia is in the same situation.
November 2014: Court administrators at Caterham claim they have received offers to sell the F1 team.
November 2014: FIA announces the provisional list for the 2015 season. Forza Rossa wasn't on the list. The final list is expected to be announced on November 30, the date by which new teams must pay $518,000.
November 2014: Caterham's judicial administrators launch a fundraising campaign for the team to participate in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. In the first 24 hours, they raise £400,000, and Bernie Ecclestone condemns the initiative.
And now, let's dive deeper into this complicated story
On 2 June 2014, renowned F1 journalist Adam Cooper wrote that the FIA had accepted the Forza Rossa dossier, a team to be led by Ion Bazac, "the president of a consortium of private and state investors whose reason is to promote Romania's interests and which has the support of the government". Immediately after this information emerged, Bogdan Sonea, marketing director of Forza Rossa, told the romanian website Gandut that the project is "entirely private".
Things don't add up. At the end of February, the then Minister of Youth and Sport, current Minister of Health, Nicolae Banicioiu, had met with representatives of FIA in Vallery, near Geneva. The reason for the visit was, according to another renowned journalist, Joe Saward, to present the file to FIA engineers led by technical director Bernard Niclot.
If the project is "entirely private," what did a minister look for visiting the FIA to expose the technical details of some Formula 1 car? If the answer is "promoting Romania's interests", then why the information that Nicolae Banicioiu is lobbying for a project of national interest did not appear on the Ministry's website?
If Banicioiu is the "right hand" of the current Socialist Democrat Party leader Victor Ponta, the man who runs the project, Ion Bazac, is a businessman brought into politics in 2000 by former Socialist Democrat Party chief Adrian Nastase, who also recruited Ponta politically.
A former Employee of the World Bank, Bazac is a capitalist who has fallen at one point into the clutches of social democracy. He has several apartments in Monaco, has Ferrari's franchise for Romania and Moldova and runs his business with his wife Camelia through the holding company Forza Rossa, an offshore firm that has the registration address in a mailbox in Nicosia, Cyprus. Ion Bazac and Camelia Bazac have an estimated fortune of 15-16 million euros by Forbes magazine. Both were doctors, but in 2005 they were granted the right to import the Ferrari brand into Romania.
In June, all Forza Rossa employees declared, black on white, that the project would be led by Colin Kolles. On October 30, after the start of the ProSport investigation, they said: "We have no agreement with Colin Kolles at the moment." Untrue! According to Romulus Kolles, Colin is listed in Forza Rossa's application at the FIA.
But what links Ion Bazac and Colin Kolles, Ecclestone's trusted man? According to Joe Saward, if he enters Formula 1, Forza Rossa will use the technical facilities of the Kolles family in the Bavarian town of Greding. From here Romulus and Colin Kolles coordinate the activities of their Lotus Kodewa team in the World Endurance Championship.
The key is Lotus, the British manufacturer of cars and motorcycles. The Kolles family is the official Lotus importer, Ion Bazac is also the official Lotus importer. In 2012, Bazac, the Romanian businessman opened the world's first Lotus Originals store in Monte Carlo, and the ribbon was cut by Prince Albert of Monaco himself.
Therefore, the team suspected of fueling the money of Romanian citizens, Forza Rossa submitted its application for entry into Formula 1. But what is the participation cost?
Given that it's a small team, the spending is comparable to those at Caterham. The British team's latest accounting balance shows that in 2012 spending on a season was $73 million: $27 million on staff costs, $27 million on research and $19 million on administrative costs. If Forza Rossa wanted to build a team from scratch, tens of millions of dollars were added at the end of the line for the car and equipment. If, however, the Romanian project takes over the assets of another team, the costs decrease. How competitive a team can be that competes with slow cars taken from others and repainted is another discussion. In Formula 1, small teams know their place, but money has to flow.
Coincidentally, in June, after Ecclestone announced acceptance of the Forza Rossa project, Colin Kolles, the man who is to become the team's director, returned to Formula 1 as an advisor to Caterham, a team bought by Engavest, a mysterious "Swiss-Arab" company. Hence begins the fast moving of the events leading to the conclusion that the British team Caterham was sacrificed by Ecclestone to make way for the Romanian low cost project supported by Victor Ponta, the Romanian Prime Minister.
To resume it a bit: Colin Kolles' first move was the appointment of his father, Romulus, as director. Then was Constantin Cojocar, a former team-mate of Hagi at Steaua in the spring of 1988, former bus station chief in Brasov, who posted a CV on the Internet announcing that he wanted an unskilled worker position abroad. Coming to the Caterham factory in Leafield as a caretaker, Cojocar became a director and shareholder of the firm in just one month, in place of Kolles senior, while another 40 employees, mainly engineers, were fired. The fired officials immediately sued the company.
In a discussion with ProSport reporters on 31 October 2004, Romulus Kolles revealed that he had paid three Romanians, including former footballer Cojocar, to spy on employees at the Caterham factory. A few days later, Kolles senior told ProSport: "We kicked 40 employees out because there are 300, sir, and they do nothing except drink coffee all day. I have written data, I have information. There's pictures of them sitting for coffee instead of producing. Yes, it was a an easy life at Caterham. One night there were over 80 people on the computers and sometimes the power went out and they didn't do anything. In England, you get paid after you produce."
After finishing his job as a "carer" and "spy", Cojocar was appointed director by Colin Kolles – a fact recognized in an interview for ProSport – and put the company into insolvency. According to financial experts consulted by ProSport, insolvency is a perfectly legal way to reduce a company's liabilities. Caterham had debts of 23 million debts and if someone from the outside who wants to take over the team at a reduced price manages to infiltrate the company, insolvency is the cheap solution.
The situation was summed up at the end of October 2014 by Racecar Engineering, the world's leading motorsport technology magazine: "Caterham is now on sale, and all the pieces Forza Rossa needs will be sold at a low price."
Definitely, Forza Rossa will compete with already used cars, let's call them secondhand. "Romania does not have the technology to build a Formula 1 car. If Forza Rossa intended to do this, we would have found out from the distributors. The cable part comes only from the US, UK or France, tanks are made only in the UK, gearbox in the UK or Austria. No one has given any signal in the market that they want new products," British journalist Sam Collins explained.
At the Supreme Court in London, Constantin Cojocar, the newly appointed director of Caterham, said: "I bought Caterham Sports with the intention of drawing and building cars for Caterham and Forza Rossa." "He bought" = he was named by Colin Kolles as director. The problem is that the "Romanian investors" who had to pay down Caterham's debts stopped paying, Cojocar argues. (what happened was that soon after the Prime Minster of Romania said the Government isn't involved in any way and no public money were to be spent, official papers submitted to FIA were published by the media. The Prime Minster himself and one Minster from his Cabinet have signed the papers and they committed to invest public money into the team. The day after, Forza Rossa made an official statement saying that they need another call of confirmation from FIA - they already had the file approved, this was just the bailout -. Ofc, the new confirmation didn't came, FIA didn't needed to do it again. So Forza Rossa didn't paid the entry fee).
This is where the corruption that Kolles senior was talking about comes into action again. Having prepared Plan A at Caterham, Colin Kolles and the people at Forza Rossa can easily turn to plan B. Even C or D. The financial crisis in Formula 1 allows them.
The surprise could've come from the Russian team Marussia who had just announced that they were severing their work and laid off 200 employees. According to F1 specialists, Marussia is a cheaper option than Caterham, where Kolles is fighting former owner Tony Fernandes. "By the first tests in 2015 there are 10 weeks left, and the Marussia is slightly better than Caterham. The important work on the Marussia MR03 model is already done. Adaptations for the Ferrari engine, transmission, regular chassis, aerodynamic tests. Kolles has nothing to do but a discreet redesign. He's done that before with the HRT F1 team. Caterham uses Renault engines. If Forza Rossa wants Ferrari engines, working on Marussia chassis will be easier," says Sam Collins. Outside the Marussia plan, Kolles has two other options: Sauber and Force India, teams that were in great financial difficulty. Marussia is a bargain, the other two cost.
Mid November 2014, FIA announced the provisional list of teams for 2015. Caterham and Marussia were on the list, but no Forza Rossa. At this point, Romanians decided to back down because everything transpired in the media. With an approved file to join, they took the easy way out. They didn't paid the entry fee of $518.000 by November 30.
Constantin Cojocar was targeted by an investigation in the UK following the events. Last thing I knew about it was from 2016. I have no idea what happened to him.
\this is a translation of the investigation work made by the journalist Costin Stucan*
\I have modified the text to give it more sense, but I haven't changed the narrative*
\A lot of the article has been cut because it involved too much politics and corruption*
\Even if I cut like 25% of the article, there's till much politics involved. Because that's how F1 works. If I would've removed it completely, this would had zero logic*
\There are 4 or more articles about this matter. The interview with Cojocar is very good. He is a simple and ... quite stupid individual. So he told everything with a sincerity of a 5 years old child. If you are interested in that, let me know and I will translate*
\First events regarding Jordan and the entering of Kolles occur in ~2004. The Forza Rossa story is ~2013-2014. Don't get confused by that. You will get confused anyway by the names*
\If any mistakes slipped in or if it's something that you cannot understand (doesn't make sense), let me know and I will sort it out. On such a long text, I am sure I fucked up many times*
\Even if everything colapsed in a mater of hours, 50M EUR were transferred from Romania to some Swiss account for Forza Rossa's beginning in F1. No one knows anything about the whereabouts of the money.*
\I might do more edits on the text for formatting or other grammatical errors. I'm sorry, English is not my native language and I've never studied it. I've learned it on my own and I lack a lot of stuff still.*
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