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Fri Nov 13, 2015, 09:41 AM

FOUND After 35 Years: CIA’s Fugitive Banker (Nugan-Hand partner)

Holy smokes.


FOUND After 35 Years: CIA’s Fugitive Banker

How Michael Jon Hand, who founded an Australian bank with ties to American military and intelligence officials that defrauded depositors and investors, was tracked to Idaho.

By Raymond Bonner, Special to ProPublica, 11.10.151:00 AM ET


Amid a swirl of allegations and rumors that the Nugan Hand Bank was involved in arms smuggling, drug-running, and covert operations for the CIA, the institution’s American founder vanished from Australia. Thirty-five years later, that man, Michael Jon Hand, was tracked to a small town in Idaho where he has been living under the name of Michael Jon Fuller.

Hand was found by an Australian writer, Peter Butt, whose just-released book, Merchants of Menace, discloses Hand’s whereabouts after decades of mystery.

If finding Hand, now 73, solves one mystery, it raises another. How could he have lived in the United States so long without being detected? He changed his name only slightly, from Hand to Fuller, and did not get a new Social Security number, according to Butt.

Hand’s company, G.M.I. Manufacturing, is registered with the Idaho secretary of state. The company “now manufactures tactical weapons for US Special Forces, special operations groups and hunters,’’ Butt writes. Has Hand/Fuller been brazen, foolish, or, as Butt asks, does he belong “to a protected species, most likely of the intelligence kind?”


Suspicions about the bank’s links to the CIA arose almost immediately after Nugan was found dead. His wallet contained the business card of William E. Colby, who had been director of the CIA from 1973 to 1976.



"Hand told colleagues that it was his ambition that the bank 'become a banker for the CIA.'"

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Reply FOUND After 35 Years: CIA’s Fugitive Banker (Nugan-Hand partner) (Original post)
Octafish Nov 2015 OP
think Nov 2015 #1
Octafish Nov 2015 #2
leveymg Nov 2015 #3
Octafish Nov 2015 #6
MinM Nov 2015 #13
MinM Nov 2015 #14
Octafish Nov 2015 #18
Octafish Nov 2015 #15
Octafish Nov 2015 #17
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2015 #4
Octafish Nov 2015 #7
Hotler Nov 2015 #5
Octafish Nov 2015 #8
JEB Nov 2015 #9
Octafish Nov 2015 #11
lonestarnot Nov 2015 #29
valerief Nov 2015 #10
Octafish Nov 2015 #12
Octafish Nov 2015 #16
MinM Nov 2015 #23
Octafish Nov 2015 #26
LiberalArkie Nov 2015 #27
Octafish Nov 2015 #28
LiberalArkie Nov 2015 #30
Wilms Nov 2015 #19
Octafish Nov 2015 #20
Wilms Nov 2015 #21
Octafish Nov 2015 #22
bobthedrummer Nov 2015 #24
Octafish Nov 2015 #25

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 09:52 AM

1. Ghosts do exist


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Response to think (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:13 AM

2. Jonathan Kwitny

The guy busted open this story in his WSJ coverage and book.

Then, he got a fast cancer and died.

A crime reporter unravels tale of Nugan Hand Bank scandals

By Leonard Bushkoff
Christian Science Monitor, SEPTEMBER 18, 1987

The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, by Jonathan Kwitny. New York: W.W. Norton. 424 pp. $19.95. January 1980: The body of the 37-year-old Frank Nugan is found in his car - a presumed suicide - some distance from Sydney, Australia. Nugan and Michael Hand, a 39-year-old American (and highly decorated Green Beret in Vietnam), are the co-owners of the Nugan Hand Bank. It rose from nowhere in the mid-1970s to become an aggressive, well-publicized investing and money market enterprise, with its Sydney headquarters directing affiliates throughout Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

This empire quickly collapses with Nugan's death, as rumors spread of narcotics and arms dealing, currency laundering and smuggling, outright embezzlement - and close CIA involvement. Many small investors, attracted by promises of big returns, lose everything; the insiders, sales staff, and others do not. As several investigations begin in Australia, the international financial and political personages, and the retired American generals and admirals whose reputation and contacts had helped the bank enormously, all run for cover; Michael Hand disappears and still remains a fugitive from justice.

Jonathan Kwitny, a veteran investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal, tells this story with dash, much detail - often scattered, not always relevant - and angry condemnation of the Central Intelligence Agency and anyone close to it. This is full-blooded muckraking, and certainly Kwitny relates some good horror stories.

A Nugan Hand branch in the Thai opium-producing country, for example, abutted the office of the American Drug Enforcement Administration - and even shared a receptionist with it. Important American companies in Saudi Arabia backed Nugan Hand's aggressive sales there to American workers; big investment money was raked in, sometimes being carried away in plastic garbage bags, much of it disappearing forever. In 1979, Nugan Hand hoped to gain United Nations money to settle Indochinese refugees in the Turks and Caicos Islands, seen as ideal Caribbean transshipment points on the narcotics routes from South America.

The official investigations after 1980 (which Kwitny uses heavily, but without offering page or even title citations) provide evidence, according to Kwitny, that the Nugan Hand hard core - none of whom have been prosecuted - were in effect pirates wielding briefcases rather than cutlasses and exploiting the incredible negligence and foolishness of both clients and businessmen.

Kwitny's real target, however, is not Nugan Hand but the CIA and an alleged military-intelligence-big business cabal that he sees as a virtual secret government, fueled by anticommunism, personal greed, and lust for power as it manipulates American policy in the third world. Kwitny first advanced this populist and conspiratorial interpretation in ``Endless Enemies'' (1986), an impassioned, black-and-white account of CIA operations. Having begun as a crime reporter writing about the Mafia and other conspiracies, Kwitny remains a crime reporter at heart. His concern is not with long-term forces, let alone ideas and attitudes, but with illegal business relations, associations, ``connections,'' as crucial to politics. Who said, ``Behind every great fortune stands a crime''? Kwitny doubtless would agree.



Like other reviews of Kwitny's "Crimes of Patriots," the reviewer goes to lengths to diminish the book's veracity by pointing out its failings due to lack of total documentation. That, unfortunately, is the way things in are when the parties being investigated have access to industrial strength shredders and allies hidden within the bowels of the secret government.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:24 AM

3. I'd be the last to doubt Kwitny's credibility, but lack of citations makes follow-up much more

difficult and unlikely. Protect human sources who require it, but otherwise fully footnote and identify sources. It simply advances the research to be transparent and share one's own sources.

As for Mr. Hand and CIA money, one hand washes the other.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:49 AM

6. Absolutely correct. The thing is, Kwitny does source his book, published in 1987.

It's clear where he gets the information he cites throughout "The Crimes of Patriots." It has a complete index. While he did not use footnotes at the bottom of the page or footnote every sentence some academic studies often do, he makes plain where he got the information he uses.

Personally, I've found the technique necessary to make complicated history readable. From an academic perspective, it's not perfect.

In his book's Acknowledgements, Kwitny details an earlier article by James A. Nathan, published in Foreign Policy (Winter 1982-83), that included incomplete citations from questionable sources -- what might be termed misinformation or disinformation. Kwitny also wrote about how Peter Dale Scott used Nathan's article to source his own writings about Nugan Hand. "And so it goes in academia."

Kwitny also included an appendix of "The Questions Whose Answers Are Secret." One example (p. 388):

51. Has any U.S. intelligence agency ever had any dealings with the Wing-On Bank, Nugan-Hand's Hong Kong bankers? What was the nature and duration of those dealings?

These are the kinds of questions the People in the United States have a right to know.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 02:14 PM

13. BTW - Kwitny was featured in "Fear and Favor in the Newsroom (1996)"

An excellent documentary about the issues in the news business (which are much worse today than a dozen years ago when this was produced) by Studs Terkel:

Fear and Favor in the Newsroom (1996)
Terkel: The Public Broadcasting System is supposed to be immune from corporate pressure, and PBS does occasionally air hard-hitting news programs. The half-hour weekly Kwitny Report, which first aired in 1988, was such a program. Produced by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Kwitny, the show frequently exposed hidden skeletons in the closets of the powerful.

Kwitny: WETA in Washington and WNET in New York both welcomed us, invited us to come produce out of their studios, and would feed us to the system which wanted to broadcast us. The trick is that in order to do that, you have to pay them for those studios. They expect you to go out and raise the money, which means getting underwriting from corporations.

Nader: They are heavily based on local business donations, national corporate donations like AT&T and IBM, and also corporate foundations. And they have clipped their wings, and they’re as much subject to self-censorship as the commercial media.

Terkel: Shows such as this one, which examined the U.S. links to Guatemala’s dictatorship, did not endear The Kwitny Report to corporate sponsors.

Kwitny : Guatemala. Thirty-five years after we intervened in that then-peaceful and democratic country, human rights groups say Guatemala runs on state-sponsored murder, torture and pillage of property from the destitute millions. And just as American business had spearheaded the overthrow of Arbenz in 1954, it was deeply involved in the new repression.

Speaker : In all, there were more than a dozen American firms where workers attempting to organize unions were assassinated. At the Coca-Cola plant, more than a dozen workers were assassinated.

Kwitny: The public-affairs shows are funded by corporations who want certain views put forward. Take a guy like John McLaughlin — bear him no animosity — but what kind of reporting credentials? He was a kind of cantankerous editor of a conservative publication, the National Review. I don’t know of a single story he broke, or a reporting award he ever won. But the head of GE loved McLaughlin to such a degree that they gave him three — not one, which is all I ever wanted; not two; but three national television shows, because he was saying the kinds of things that the number two defense contractor and major corporation would like to have said on television. And they could spend out of their pockets as much as it took to put him on.

Terkel: After its second year, in which it won the prestigious Polk Award for investigative journalism, The Kwitny Report went off the air because it could not secure corporate funding...




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Response to MinM (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 02:26 PM

14. Kwitny: White Paper on El Salvador

Borrowed from the thread Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador? by DUer Judi Lynn...

Jonathan Kwitny was one of the few, and perhaps the only, mainstream reporter(s) doing any real reporting on this part of the world.

Scott Simon of NPR on the other hand seems to have fallen into the Bill O'Reilly camp here .. along with most of the other mainstream reporters. I recall at the time that it sounded as though Simon was doing mostly solid reporting from that region.

Looking back at it now though and given what we now know really went (goes) on down there it's clear that the reporting from the likes of Jonathan Kwitny was the exception.


BTW thanks for the kind words, Octafish. Keep up the great work.

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Response to MinM (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 03:26 PM

18. David Bonior

A great Democratic Whip, the guy ran for Michigan Governor and lost in the primary to a corporate Dem who now has a bright future in television if not the Supreme Court. Too bad, seeing how he is a REAL Democrat who cares about ALL people, including those we bomb and enslave, the kind Kwitny wrote about in Central America.

Democrats Warn of Nicaragua 'Disaster'

April 06, 1986|SARA FRITZ | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The United States already has spent nearly $1 billion--some of it illegally--on an undeclared war in Nicaragua that will become "an American disaster" similar to Vietnam if Congress continues to fund the insurgency, Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich.) said Saturday.

"We've been down this road before," said Bonior, a Vietnam veteran, in the weekly radio address by Democrats. "Americans remember how, step by step, dollar by dollar, before we even knew what was happening, we were caught in the Vietnam War. We remember how advisers became troops and troops became casualties--57,000 in all."

Despite strong opposition from Democratic leaders, the House is expected to reverse itself this month and approve President Reagan's request for an additional $100 million in aid for the Nicaraguan insurgents, known as contras. The Senate approved it March 27.

Along with his speech, Bonior released a table of figures showing that the U.S. government already has supplied $100 million in direct aid to the Nicaraguan rebels since 1981 and that it also has given $627 million in military and economic aid to Honduras and has allocated $220 million for U.S. military maneuvers and the construction of five airfields in Honduras.

"When we add up all the pieces, we see the true cost to the American people," he said. "This is already a billion-dollar war."

Bonior noted that these past expenditures--adding up to $947 million--do not include the money currently being requested by the President.

"Does America want to spent $1 billion in a war against Nicaragua while family farmers face bankruptcy and ruin at home; millions of dollars for new airfields in Honduras while in our cities and towns, streets and bridges and sewers decay. . . ?" he asked. "Does America want to spend $1 billion on a new war while the veterans of the last war are still denied compensation for the ravages of Agent Orange?"



That was before Hasenfus' plane was shot down and all Iran-Contra broke.

The guy would've made a great Governor of the State of Michigan. Who knows? He could still be. I know Bonior would be great and he'd make a great President of the United States.

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Response to MinM (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 02:30 PM

15. Corporate Funding

It is to laugh.

"This is a superbly researched and exceptionally well-told story." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

What a small world. Koch Brothers funded PBS big time and until recently enjoyed a pass on it.

Speaking of FARC:

When it comes to making money, Columbia is wicked awesome!

Ask Richard Grasso (left, photo below), then-head of the New York Stock Exchange, as he gives a nice warm hug to Raul Reyes, (photo, right) then-living FARC #2.

The Real Deal: The Ultimate New Business Cold Call

NYSE's Richard Grasso and the Ultimate New Business "Cold Call"

Monday, 18 February 2002, 10:13 am
Column: Catherine Austin Fitts

Lest you think that my comment about the New York Stock Exchange is too strong, let's look at one event that occurred before our "war on drugs" went into high gear through Plan Colombia, banging heads over narco dollar market share in Latin America.

In late June 1999, numerous news services, including Associated Press, reported that Richard Grasso, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange flew to Colombia to meet with a spokesperson for Raul Reyes of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the supposed "narco terrorists" with whom we are now at war.

The purpose of the trip was "to bring a message of cooperation from U.S. financial services" and to discuss foreign investment and the future role of U.S. businesses in Colombia.

Some reading in between the lines said to me that Grasso's mission related to the continued circulation of cocaine capital through the US financial system. FARC, the Colombian rebels, were circulating their profits back into local development without the assistance of the American banking and investment system. Worse yet for the outlook for the US stock market's strength from $500 billion - $1 trillion in annual money laundering - FARC was calling for the decriminalization of cocaine.

To understand the threat of decriminalization of the drug trade, just go back to your Sam and Dave estimate and recalculate the numbers given what decriminalization does to drive BIG PERCENT back to SLIM PERCENT and what that means to Wall Street and Washington's cash flows. No narco dollars, no reinvestment into the stock markets, no campaign contributions.

It was only a few days after Grasso's trip that BBC News reported a General Accounting Office (GAO) report to Congress as saying: "Colombia's cocaine and heroin production is set to rise by as much as 50 percent as the U.S. backed drug war flounders, due largely to the growing strength of Marxist rebels"



Har har. Secret government.

PS: Thank you for the heads-up on Kwitny, MinM. Remember the Federal Witness Removal Program.

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Response to MinM (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 03:11 PM

17. The fact there is so little coverage about this demonstrates corrupt nature of news media.

At least Stein swings for the fences...

The Ghosts of Nugan Hand: A New Chapter in a Long-Running CIA Bank Mystery

Newsweek 11/12/15 AT 3:00 PM

Ask Australian authorities about Michael Hand, and you get a big collective shrug. The fugitive former Green Beret and onetime CIA operative went missing 35 years ago after his mysterious, scandal-drenched bank went bust following the alleged suicide of his Australian business partner, Frank Nugan. A subsequent official commission “found evidence of money-laundering, illegal tax avoidance schemes and widespread violations of banking laws,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

But now he’s suddenly popped up under a new name in Idaho, insisting he did nothing wrong, and Australian authorities seem in no rush to get him back.

Officially headquartered in Hong Kong and chartered in the Cayman Islands during the Cold War, Nugan Hand had a roster of top ex-military officials and CIA figures that attracted suspicion that it was deeply involved in unsavory activities. “Over the years, the two words Nugan Hand became shorthand for drug-dealing, gun-running, organised crime and clandestine intelligence activities,” The Sydney Morning Herald wrote this week.

“Nugan Hand had enough generals, admirals, and spooks to run a small war,” the late Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Jonathan Kwitny wrote in his definitive 1987 book about the bank, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA. Nugan Hand, he wrote, was “a giant theft machine” involved in CIA operations from Angola to Iran. In Saudi Arabia, where interest-charging banks are illegal, it acted as a cash depository for American expats.

In 1976, the attorney general of New South Wales, Frank Walker, launched an investigation into Nugan Hand, saying the bank had engaged in “serious crimes...and it wasn't just in Australia. It was all over the world where this bank was operating.”



Like all good articles published in Corporate Owned News, though, the article fails to connect the dots for the reader. What matters most is the guy's a protected, made man of the BFEE. Like banksters and politicians who lie America into wars for profit, they never go to jail because they never are held to account for their crimes -- whether money laundering or arms dealing or child trafficking -- when committed under cover of "national security."

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:38 AM

4. I can't tell from the article if he's actively wanted in Australia

With depositors and law enforcement authorities in pursuit, Hand, with assistance from a former CIA officer, secured a forged Australian passport, donned a false mustache and beard, and fled Australia in June of 1980. He flew to Fiji, then on to Canada, from which he could cross into the United States without a visa.

So are their law enforcement authorities still in pursuit after 35 years? Now that he's been unmasked, will the American authorities have to stop protecting him? (Or were they never even asked to look for someone using that Social Security number?)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 11:05 AM

7. Hand changed his name, but, for some reason, wasn't tracked by Uncle Sam for extradition.

Good questions, yours. Newsweek says Australia investigated then said, Meh. From what I know, if I committed a $50 million fraud, the authorities wouldn't take "meh" for an answer and let me be. Perhaps we'll find the answers one day.

Seems someone, somewhere, likes to protect their own.

Nugan Hand Bank fugitive found in US

The true story of Sydney's shadowy Nugan Hand Bank, and its connections in the 1970s to the CIA, arms dealing and the Asian drug trade, may be closer with the discovery of Michael Jon Hand alive and well in Idaho.

The Saturday Paper (AUS) NOV 14, 2015


Hand fled Australia after the bank’s collapse in 1980, aided by a false passport and disguise. Butt tells me the trail mostly went cold after about 1982, when declassified ASIO documents recorded a sighting of Hand on the Nicaragua–Honduras border. I have seen the cable, sent from ASIO’s Washington, DC, office to “Scorpion” – the codename for the director-general of the intelligence agency. The document reports that an Australian police officer, Inspector Paul Lawrence, was sent to the States on the trail of Hand. Lawrence wanted ASIO to confirm for him what a source had supplied – that Hand was training the Puma Battalion, a band of Nicaraguan rebels that was receiving United States support. Neither ASIO nor the FBI seemed moved to help the police officer.


Peter Butt spent a lot of time speaking with an old army mate of Michael Hand’s, Douglas Sapper. According to Sapper, Hand was an exceptional soldier. “There was a battle in Vietnam,” Butt tells me. “Hand had to save himself with a knife because he was out of ammunition. According to Sapper, Hand killed up to 20 people. It was a dark experience. He met death front on. Sapper told me that Hand stabbed one Vietcong soldier in the stomach, then tore the knife up through his sternum. There were pieces of bodies everywhere.”



Hand's company makes high-tech knives for outdoorsmen and the military. Sgt. Scorpion goes for $165.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 10:41 AM

5. Kicking.... n/t

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Response to Hotler (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 11:15 AM

8. I'm not to blame for bank collapse: Hand

Geelong Advertiser, AAP
November 10, 2015 2:45pm

MICHAEL Hand, the fugitive US banker who vanished from Australia 35 years ago, says he is not to blame for the collapse of the infamous Sydney-based Nugan Hand Bank.

THE 73-year-old also rejects claims he's been in hiding in the US, but says he left Australia because of "numerous" death threats he and his wife received.


The bank collapsed with $A50 million in debts and Hand became one of Australia's most wanted fugitives.

TOPS Knives, which Fuller created out of "a garage with minimal tools and materials" and has grown into a source for knives for US military clients, including Special Operations personnel, released a statement defending the founder.


"A recent news story has surfaced from 60 Minutes Australia condemning Michael Fuller as a criminal because of an incident that occurred in Australia over 35 years ago," the statement begins.

"This is untrue and inaccurate.

"While we empathise with those who lost money, as with any investment, Michael Fuller is not to blame.

"... After serving in the US military, Michael lived in Australia for a time and when a business that he was a part of collapsed, he left the country due to numerous death threats that he and his wife had received.

"He was never charged with any crime or arrested and has not been extradited because he did not commit any crimes in conjunction with this incident.

"Michael Fuller has not been in hiding in the US.

"He has had to work hard and long hours to make a living just like anyone else.

"Since living in Idaho, he has been running a small business, which started out in a garage with minimal tools and materials, and with money that was invested by people that helped to design the first knives the company made."

It is not clear if Australian authorities plan to seek extradition for Fuller.



I'm searching for the press release. Will post in full if I find it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 12:07 PM

9. K&R for the original post and subsequent informative posts and links. Bookmark.


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Response to JEB (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 12:57 PM

11. The great DUer MinM reported on Nugan Hand and its connection to Rupert Murdoch in 2012...

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Response to Octafish (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 11:51 AM

29. Rup rup rup for the home team.


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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 12:35 PM

10. I found Mr. Hand on YouTube right away.

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Response to valerief (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 01:16 PM

12. Gnarly! Nugan Hand goes with BCCI in more than the annals of high class corruption.

The secret government and bankster types have a history of working together, not only to fight godless communism, but to make big bucks without anyone really being held to scrutiny, let alone account.

Zum beispiehl:

Bankers to the New World Scum Class :

BCCI and its ilk flourish because they serve the needs of spies, tyrants and crooks.

ALEXANDER COCKBURN | Alexander Cockburn writes for the Nation and other publications
The Los Angeles Times, August 01, 1991

To do their dirty business, spy agencies like the CIA need dirty money and the services of dirty banks, which is why we find the Central Intelligence Agency using the same institution as did Abu Nidal, Manuel Noriega, the Contras and the Medellin cartel.

One day they'll probably make a soap opera out of the daily business life of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, whose sordid affairs are slowly coming to light and many of whose officers have just been indicted in New York. The soap opera could use such authentic scenes as:

-- The CIA depositing millions to the account of the Contras, in straightforward defiance of U. S. law;

-- Agents of Abu Nidal making withdrawals and deposits in a BCCI London branch, where the manager has said that British intelligence monitored the account, whose balance usually stood between $50 million and $70 million;

-- Mrs. Manuel Noriega depositing millions in London on behalf of her husband in BCCI's Sloan Street branch, whose manager, Amjad Awan (son of a former head of Pakistani intelligence) will be the U.S. government's main witness against Noriega;

-- The South African government making secret deposits in the BCCI account of the Zulu Inkatha movement.

BCCI is not the first and will not be the last bank to stand at the crossroads of international knavery. In January, 1980, the body of Frank Nugan was found in a car on a back road in New South Wales, Australia. Nugan was half-owner and chairman of the Nugan Hand Bank, whose specialty was, like BCCI's, the no-questions-asked acceptance and transfer of large sums of cash from one country to another. In the wallet of the deceased Nugan were found the business cards of William Colby, former director of Central Intelligence and subsequently a legal adviser to Nugan Hand Bank, and of Bob Wilson, at that time ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, and guest at a dinner Nugan had recently held.

Nugan Hand, which started its existence in Sydney, Australia, in 1973, operated in 26 countries including the United States. It shunted drug money from one haven to another; smuggled money out of the Philippines for the Marcos family account; financed such CIA schemes as the sale of a spy ship to Iran in the 1970s and the funneling of money to the UNITA rebels in Angola. Eventually the bank, its payroll resplendent with retired U.S. generals and admirals, collapsed just like BCCI in scandal and ruin.

The reason drug moguls and CIA agents stood shoulder to shoulder in line at Nugan Hand or BCCI branches was that their interests often ran in tandem, whether in Central America, the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia or in Pakistan, home of Agha Hasan Abedi, founder of BCCI.



FAIR reports Cockburn's LA Times essays are the only places where US media mentioned the BCCI-Nugan Hand connection.

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Response to valerief (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 02:46 PM

16. Banking CIA-Style : How the Money Moves Under The Table to Fund Covert Operations.

"What S&L crisis? Is that like the Wall Street bailout thing?"

Banking CIA-Style : How the Money Moves Under The Table to Fund Covert Operations.

August 04, 1991|Burton Hersh | Burton Hersh's new book, "The Old Boys," about the origins of the CIA, will be published next year by Scribner's

BRADFORD, N.H. — The worldwide dredging operation on the Bank of Credit and Commerce International has carried with it to the surface the Central Intelligence Agency. This is an old story by now. Sink any hook deep enough, haul on it hard enough and up comes the CIA, again.

Perhaps this is inevitable--the consequence of climbing into bed for almost half a century with talent that ranged from the Mafia (repeatedly) to drug lords of every odor from Canarsie, N.J., to the palaces of Bangkok, Thailand. The CIA has always promoted itself as an equal-opportunity employer.

Created by the National Security Act of 1947 to counter by any imaginable means--preferably foul--the postwar depredations of International Communism, the CIA was expected to immerse itself at society's tangled depths. What it was not to do was join the heavies.


Dulles had long served--with certain ill-disguised misgivings--as general counsel and board member of the New York affiliate of J. Henry Schroder. Almost as his dowry, Dulles laid before the U.S. intelligence community the international amenities of the Schroder group once he became involved with the agency in the late '40s. Schroder retained its long-standing ties throughout South and Central America, as well as durable associations with senior German industrial and intelligence personalities--including many former Nazis. It was this network that became the flywheel of innumerable CIA projects in Europe--especially after Dulles himself moved up to director in 1953.

Even then, the question arose who was using whom. By 1980, when the Nugan Hand Bank in Australia collapsed shortly after the apparent suicide of its founder, Frank Nugan, another incident of massive CIA involvement in a profoundly corrupt banking empire slowly reached public awareness. Like BCCI, the Nugan Hand Bank amounted to a global Ponzi scheme. After recruiting a reputable-appearing assortment of retired senior U.S. military and ex-CIA personnel, the Nugan Hand entrepreneurs scoured U.S. military installations worldwide for deposits. They pledged to pay double-digit interest--offshore and tax free. They used this stake to underwrite rogue enterprises throughout the planet.

The renegade ex-CIA arms merchant, Edwin Wilson, financed his catastrophic weaponry empire through Nugan Hand, including, by the end, the transfer of tons of plastique to Moammar Kadafi. According to a galvanizing 1982 series in the Wall Street Journal by Jonathan Kwitny, the bank not only financed, but arranged for the trans-shipment of, millions of dollars worth of heroin--often by the contract pilots who flew for Air America, the CIA's huge proprietary fleet. "Air America was a Vietnam War-era airline," Kwitny wrote, "with close connections with the CIA. U.S. drug enforcement officials now acknowledge that the airline also occasionally ran heroin out of Southeast Asia's famed 'Golden Triangle' poppy-growing areas." A Joint Task Force study by Australian officials confirmed the extensive use of the Nugan Hand Bank as a blind depository by CIA leaders. The fast-moving co-founder of the bank, ex-Green Beret Michael Hand, bragged regularly about his intimacy with CIA operatives before he disappeared. By then the bank itself had collapsed.

With Nugan Hand down, the rise of the BCCI was more than providential. Had not a coalition of Pakistani and Saudi sharpshooters set it up, the agency would probably have contrived to reinvent it. U.S. diplomacy of recent decades has depended more on whom we can pay off quietly than whom we can talk around. It remains much cheaper to bribe than invade, as our intelligence mentors, the British, always insisted. Yet still they object, because BCCI payments went out at CIA request to winkle out the unpublished details of English arm sales and overseas contracts.



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Response to Octafish (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 02:26 PM

23. billmon: Koch CIA is actually headed by hack GOP oppo researcher .. classic "deep state" stuff

Billmon has some great stuff on the [font color=darkred]Koch CIA[/font]...

@billmon1: [font color=darkred]Koch CIA[/font] is actually headed by hack GOP oppo researcher, paid $286k a year. But connection with REAL CIA (PT) is classic "deep state" stuff.

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Response to MinM (Reply #23)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 10:17 AM

26. Proto-Fascist Infrastructure: The NSA, Booz Allen, Unysis, Verizon... And The Koch Bros.

Thank you for the heads-up on the Koch-privatized intel, MinM! Keeping things off the books is a speciality of spooks banking at Nugan Hand, a system now copied by banksters everywhere.

Proto-Fascist Infrastructure: The NSA, Booz Allen, Unysis, Verizon... And The Koch Bros.

By Ray Pensador
DailyKos, Monday Jun 10, 2013 6:06 PM EDT


ALEC is fascistic corporatist cartel who has been able to infiltrate our entire system of government, both at the federal and at the states level. They mainly operate behind the scenes, but they are responsible for pushing thousands of laws and ordinances specifically-designed to weaken human rights, workers rights, and environmental protections so the citizenry can be manipulated, exploited, and enslaved, and the environment can be ravaged in the name of profit.

Some of the key players behind ALEC are people like the Koch brothers. In the latest news about the NSA, one person of interest is U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who signed an order requiring Verizon to give the National Security Agency telephone records for tens of millions of American customers, attended an expense-paid judicial seminar sponsored by a libertarian think tank that featured lectures from a vocal proponent of executive branch powers.

- "Secret court judge attended expenses-paid terrorism seminar"

And guess who funds the organization that paid for this seminar:

From 2005 to 2009, FREE received a total of $430,000 in general operating support from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, of which billionaire businessman Charles Koch is a director.

In the New York Times article "Leaker’s Employer Is Paid to Maintain Government Secrets," published on June 9th, it is reported the following:

* Thousands of people formerly employed by the government, and still approved to deal with classified information, now do essentially the same work for private companies.
* The Obama administration’s chief intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., is a former Booz Allen executive.
* The official who held that post in the Bush administration, John M. McConnell, now works for Booz Allen.

“The national security apparatus has been more and more privatized and turned over to contractors,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that studies federal government contracting. “This is something the public is largely unaware of, how more than a million private contractors are cleared to handle highly sensitive matters.”



Don't know how I missed that story. Oh, well. Not that Corporate Owned News is just another wing of Capitalism's Invisible Army or anything, they just can't control people with, eh, integrity without violence and all that MK/ULTRA.

PS: Every OP I write is for seemslikeadream.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 11:21 AM

27. If you look at BCCI, then you have to look at Stephens, INC

And Systematics, Alltel and the Clintons.

Systematics Incorporated was a data processing company acquired in 1968 by Arkansas superinvestor Jackson T. Stephens. In 1990 it was sold to Alltel Corporation, and today is a part of Fidelity Information Systems.

Fidelity Information Systems still uses the name 'Systematics' as the name of a retail banking software product suite.

Systematics employees have held two reunions, most recently the 40th Anniversary Reunion in 2008. Pictures from both reunions and current information about former employees is available at the website - www.sireunion.org.

Systematics was founded in 1968 by University of Arkansas graduate Walter Smiley, who learned of the high software costs and other difficulties faced by small banks in trying to use data processing software from his experiences working with IBM and in the banking industry. Smiley recognized a niche that could be filled for medium-sized banks in this space, and sought funding to start his own company. Through Jon Jacoby, Smiley was introduced to the Stephens family, who agreed to invest $400,000 in Walter and Systematics in return for 80% equity stake.

Systematics distinguished itself early on from other players in the industry. "In the data processing business," according to Walter, "it’s real easy to get yourself in a position where you’ve got to sell for tomorrow for the sake of today. The Stephens people were just the opposite. They always encouraged us to prepare for the long term, to do it right."[1]

Walter quietly expanded his business over the next 12 years, eventually finding a way to license its software to banks, and ultimately going public. In 1990 it was sold to Alltel Corporation. The name was changed to Alltel Information Services (AIS) in 1994. The Stephens family remained an investor, acquiring Alltel stock in the transaction. In 2003, Alltel sold the Information Services subsidiary to Fidelity National Financial. This business is known today as Fidelity National Information Services (FIS).

One of the lawyers Stephens hired to represent the company was a bright young attorney named Hillary Rodham. After she joined the Rose Law Firm, Stephens employed the firm and engaged its partners — including the now-married Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell — in several of his ventures.[2]

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 11:42 AM

28. Small World, Inc.

Knew you knew the story of the life and work of the great investor Jackson Stephens of Walmart fame, LiberalArkie.

For those new to BCCI and its connections to the present day:

His story goes from BCCI to AQ Khan to the heart of the military industrial complex, and back to Walmart.

Guess his lawyer?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #28)

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 09:03 PM

19. That's an impressive story.


Here's another good one.

The most problematic death was William Colby's. Director of the CIA between 1972 and 1976 as the US wound down its involvement in Vietnam, Colby became a legal adviser to the Nugan Hand bank. He was found face-down in the water after leaving his Maryland home on a solo canoe trip in 1996.


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Response to Wilms (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 11:03 PM

20. Canoeing without a life jacket...

People were surprised to learn about Operation PHOENIX. Some if not most of what Mr. Colby told Congress about that was in Executive Session. He never got the opportunity to bring up his side of events for the record with his untimely demise. One army officer who knew him...

Edward Lansdale, who was the model for Graham Greene’s Quiet American, considered Colby to be the most effective American to serve in the Vietnam War.

...another wrote about his investigation into the circumstances around Mr. Colby's death. Nothing to see here, apart what he found.


William E. Colby: A Highly Suspicious Death

By Zalin Grant

This was Saturday, April 27, 1996. William Colby, a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, was alone at his weekend house across from Cobb Island, Maryland, 60 miles south of Washington, D.C. Colby, who was 76 years old, had worked all day on his sailboat at a nearby marina, putting it in shape for the coming summer.

After he got home from the marina, Colby called his wife, Sally Shelton, a high-ranking State Department official who was in Houston, Texas, visiting her mother. He told her that he had worked hard all day and was tired. He said he was going to steam some clams, take a shower, and go to bed.

Colby made the call at 7 p.m. He was seen a few minutes later by two sets of witnesses in his yard watering a willow tree. One of the witnesses was his gardener who dropped by to introduce his visiting sister. His two next-door neighbors saw him at the same time from their window. After he finished watering his trees, he went inside and had dinner.

The witnesses saw him at 7:15 p.m. The sun set at 7:57—42 minutes later.

When he was found dead in the water nine days later, it was said that he had gone out paddling his canoe at nightfall and drowned. I was in Paris when I read the story in the International Herald Tribune. I knew William Colby. And I didn’t believe that for one second.



The poor guy never got the chance to tell his side of the story.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 13, 2015, 11:11 PM

21. He was up the creek without a paddle.


From your link:

But when Akers searched the area he couldn’t find a life jacket or paddles anywhere.

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Response to Wilms (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 16, 2015, 12:47 PM

22. BFEE License to Kill, DeFraud, Lie, etc.

All can be forgiven, as long as it's done in the name of fighting communism, except for talking and Colby was a patriot who told the truth when asked by Congress.

Intelligence agency friends hide corruption

Paul Malone, Canberra Times columnist, Nov. 14, 2015


For sceptics who think it must be some wild flight of fantasy to suggest that a small merchant bank set up in Sydney in 1973 could have significant links with the CIA and gun running, let me name a few of the bank's personnel and associates as documented in official sources.

Passing over the bank's founders, let's look at other players as identified by the Commonwealth-NSW Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking published in June 1982.

The first president of Nugan Hand International was US Rear-Admiral Earl P. Yates (retired), formerly head of planning for US Pacific Command who joined the bank in 1977;

US Brigadier General Edwin F. Black was introduced to Nugan Hand by Yates and became the bank's representative in Hawaii;

Dale O. Holgrem was an officer in the US Army stationed in Taiwan, who worked as flight services manager for the CIA airline, Civil Air Transport (later Air America). He joined Nugan Hand in 1978 and became its Taiwan representative;

US Lieutenant-General Leroy J. Manor accepted an offer to become the bank's representative in Manila in February 1979;

Dr Guy Pauker, who has been described as a CIA operative, was a consultant to the bank in 1979-80;

US Admiral Lloyd Vasey appears to have had an "unofficial" role with the bank while US General Earl Cocke was believed to have had an executive position in the bank and provided office space for the group in Washington;

Walter McDonald was employed as an economist for the CIA for 25 years and joined Nugan Hand as a consultant in 1979;

and, to top it all, William Colby, the head of the CIA from 1973 to 1976, was introduced to Nugan and Hand by a "mutual friend" and worked as legal adviser to Nugan Hand International in Washington. A card bearing Colby's name was found on Frank Nugan's body.
The coroner found that Nugan had shot himself with a rifle he had bought two weeks earlier.

In the month following his death many of the Sydney records of the group were destroyed.

The Joint Task Force discovered Hand's means of escape. A former US Special Forces CIA associate of Hand, James Oswald Spencer, arrived in Australia on May 14, 1980, giving a contact as H. Boreland of Sydney. Helen Boreland was Hand's wife.

Spencer left Brisbane aboard an Air Pacific flight for Fiji, accompanied by Hand travelling under the name Alan Glen Winter.

Former CIA Indo-China station chief Theodore (Ted) Shackley told investigative journalist Brian Toohey that Hand had worked for him in clandestine CIA activities in the 1960s. Other sources told Toohey that while in Laos, Hand worked with US-backed mercenary armies drawn from the Meo hill tribes.



It's a safe bet someone has profited from Mr. Colby's demise. Theodore Shackley, the Blond Ghost, was one of Poppy's friends sacked by Jimmy Carter's CIA director, Adm. Stansfield Turner. Shackley would come back to haunt America through the Safari Club, which helped sack Jimmy Carter via the Ayatollah Khomeini, Reagan's arms-for-hostages partner.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 03:14 PM

24. K&R n/t


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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 09:58 AM

25. Mark Lombardi – An artist’s look at Nugan Hand

SOURCE: https://nuganhand.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/mark-lombardi-an-artists-look-at-nugan-hand/

The New York Times described Mark Lombardi as “an investigative reporter’s conceptual artist. His subject is conspiracy and scandal, his method is to ‘follow the money’.” He died in 2000 after taking his own life (or did he? muse some of his friends). A number of friends like Andy Feehan were mystified by Mark’s death: “When the news of Mark’s death arrived, all of us thought that he was murdered. We assumed that he had made one too many accusations, and that someone made a phone call. We still don’t know what happened. We’d read that the medical examiner ruled Mark’s death a suicide, but we’re unable to understand or accept the idea that Mark would kill himself right when he was at the top of his game.”

Sounds like another famous ‘suicide’ – that of investigative journalist Danny Casolaro, who was investigating Nugan Hand as part of an inter-connected global network he called ‘The Octopus’.

Lombardi called his artworks ‘narrative structures’ that were not unlike the sociograms constructed to show complex social networks.

Here’s how he envisioned the Nugan Hand affair (note: the image is low-res and therefore detail minimal) – imagine if he had teamed up with a good investigative reporter!

frank nugan, michael hand and nugan hand ltd. of sydney, australia, c.1972-80 (8th version), 1998

More works by Mark Lombardi: http://www.pierogi2000.com/artists/mark-lombardi/

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