As mentioned in yesterday's report, Epstein, Lazard & Banker Contacts Including Edmond Safra (Russia/Browder/Magnitsky) one name included in the "black book", that of Edmond Safra, took me back in time.
Back to 2011, when a few of us got together and worked on this article Tuesday, 16 August 2011 Magnitsky Report at the then cooperative blog Suspicious Deaths.
Edmond Safra was connected, in a very shrouded manner, with Browder & Magnitsky. Take notice that the Lazard family is mentioned in the 2011 post. As reported in yesterday's report Lazard employees loomed large in the black book of Jeffrey Epstein.
"In reviewing the stories of the Safra murder, as well as another associate of Browder who died in suspicious circumstances, Edouard Stern, it becomes very clear that these people -- Browder's close partners and associates -- are extremely wealthy people. Stern, for instance, married into the Lazard family, one of the top banking families of the world. These are Browder's peers. Stern was supposed to meet Browder the morning he was discovered dead in a latex bodysuit in his penthouse Geneva apartment, a murder which shocked the financial elite. Many people thought Safra and Stern were Russian mafia hits related to business deals, but both mysteries were supposedly solved otherwise"Russian mafia hits? Who or what constitutes the Russian mafia in the late 90's? If we could define or clarify those questions it might help to understand these suspicious deaths.
Partying like it's 1999?
"DEEP MYSTERY is surrounding the murder of one of the world's wealthiest men, the banker Edmond Safra who died from smoke inhalation after two masked men set fire to his penthouse flat in Monaco
The attack - a month before the completion of the pounds 7bn sale of Mr Safra's New York and Luxembourg banks to the British banking giant HSBC
The bodies of Mr Safra and a young woman, believed to be the nanny of his wife's granddaughter, were found in a bathroom where they had taken refuge. Mr Safra's bodyguard, who was stabbed by the raiders, was in a critical condition last night in the Princess Grace memorial hospital."In time murder changed to accident and the "nanny" became a nurse. Doubtful this was an accident and it's a question to me if the 'young woman' in the bathroom was either a nanny or a nurse, when one considers the reports of Mr Safra having two bullets in him!
Wouldn't starting a fire on the balcony of the "apartment" in Monaco attract a whole lot of attention?
"The two masked men, unable to break down the bathroom door, started a fire on the balcony of the apartment, which spread to the roof of the sea-front building and the flat itself."
Safra Fortress Fire
"The deal, agreed in outline in May, was held up when two employees of a subsidiary of Republic New York were accused, by a Japanese company and others, of helping a US financial guru to mount an elaborate fraud.
Legal claims in the "Princeton affair" are still outstanding but HSBC completed the Republic National deal last month after Mr Safra volunteered to take a $450m (pounds 280m) cut in his $3bn share of the sale"1999 - Safra death raises questions and inspires reflections on banking dynasty
"The tragic and mysterious death of international banker Edmond J. Safra inspired reflections on a banking dynasty that dates back to the Ottoman empire, but had lately been tainted by scandal.
Safra, a devout Jew, was born in Beirut in 1932, and by the age of 16 he was working at the side of his father Jacob. In the late 1940s, when anti-Semitic riots swept the city, the younger Safra moved the family business to Brazil, which was a major refuge for Aleppo Jews fleeing Syria.
The Safras founded Banco Safra, Brazil's fifth largest private bank, catering to the wealthy.
He later sold his interests in Brazil to his brothers and moved to Switzerland, where he started the Trade Development Bank, another private bank.Keep the Republic National Bank name in your mind...
In New York, he launched Republic National Bank in the former Knox Hats Co. building on Fifth Avenue. Today, Republic New York Corp. has $67.8 billion in assets and is the 16th-largest bank holding company in the United States with branches in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Delaware and Washington."
"In 1983, he sold the Trade Development Bank to American Express, but their relationship quickly soured. When Safra started a competing company in 1988, American Express launched a smear campaign, linking Safra to drug trafficking and the Iran-Contra scandal, according to Bryan Burrough's book "Vendetta."
Did American Express "launch a smear campaign" or did they simply 'leak' some inconvenient truths out to the public in order to pressure Safra for some unknown reason?
1999- Iran/Contra and the Safra Mystery - Robert Parry
"Press accounts continue to state erroneously that banker Edmond J. Safra, who died mysteriously when a fire swept his Monaco penthouse apartment, was cleared over involvement in the Iran-contra scandal and related money-laundering investigations.
Contrary to reports in The New York Times and other leading news outlets, Safra’s Republic National Bank was implicated – not cleared – in connection with the Iran-contra affair. According to the final report by Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, an officer of Republic National Bank in New York arranged clandestine cash transfers to Oliver North’s secret network in 1985-86."
After escaping any Iran-contra fall-out – thanks largely to the U.S. news media’s failure to examine the details of Walsh’s investigation – Safra’s Republic National Bank went on to become a major recipient of money from Russia. (in the 90's when the Western bankers were plundering Russia) Millions of rubles poured into the New York-based bank from Boris Yeltsin’s government and from the shadowy world of Russian business.
Safra sold the bank to American Express in 1983 for $550 million.
After the deal, American Express executives grew suspicious about Safra’s rumored links to the Iran-contra operations and drug money laundering. Given their corporate responsibility for the Trade Development Bank, top American Express executives hired private detectives to examine those suspicions, some of which began surfacing in the international press.
When Safra got wind of the American Express investigation, he ordered counter-investigations of American Express, with Safra’s private investigators tailing the private eyes working for American Express. Safra then sued American Express for alleged defamation. At that point, American Express chose to avert a costly legal battle and limit the negative publicity by agreeing to apologize and donate $8 million to charities of Safra’s choice.
The American Express retreat was big news at the Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers that took Safra’s side and portrayed him as an innocent man smeared by a business competitor.
So, by the time Walsh’s report appeared in 1993 – confirming that Safra’s bank indeed was implicated in both the Iran-contra affair and illicit money laundering – the U.S. news media showed no interest in correcting the record. The false conventional wisdom held."
Millions of rubles poured out of Russia, into the New York bank while IMF funds that were supposed to go to Russia made there way to the Republic National Bank and stayed put.
For now this post will end with an odd but informative little documentary made by the BBC covering the intrigue around Safra, Browder, Magnitsky, Boris Berezovsky, Safra's bank in New York and Browder's Hermitage Capital Fund.
Stay tuned for Part 2