Baghdad to Pendine?

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

This week’s posting began life as a round-up of four separate stories, but one of them grew and grew until it pushed the others out of the nest.

But don’t distress yourselves, for I shall pick them up and breathe life back into them for the next posting.

RUBBISH, RUBBISH

This piece began when I read something interesting on WalesOnline – and it’s not often I get to write that!

The story was about rubbish dumped behind the Lidl Supermarket in Pontardawe in November 2018. Rubbish that had come from a building in central Swansea.

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The guilty party was Gower Way Limited. Given the name I assumed it was local to Swansea; but no, for Gower Way Limited has its registered address in London.

Where it was Incorporated in July 2015, and there’s been no change of name. Suggesting the company was set up in London with the intention of operating in Swansea. Though, curiously, the address transferred from Swansea to London in September 2018 – without any record of it ever transferring to Swansea.

The only director and sole shareholder is Nasser Saleh Alanizy.

The confirmation statement is currently overdue with Companies House. In fact, the company was struck off late last year and restored just before Christmas. Though the contact name given on the restoration document is not Nasser Alanizy but Baber Wassim.

Whoever this is, he’s never been a director of Gower Way. Though if it’s this Baber Wassim, then he has a string of dissolved companies to his name.

The unaudited, micro-entity ‘accounts’ suggest capital and reserves of £874,900 in 2019, down from £1,820,720 the previous year. Made up entirely of fixed assets, possibly buildings.

That’s what’s suggested when we click on the Gower Way ‘Charges’ tab. For the charges refer to a retail unit at 62 Kingsway, and ‘The Box’, in Welcome Lane. Both in Swansea.

I must confess that for a minute this old Jack couldn’t place Welcome Lane and so I had to resort to Google. It’s a short street running down from Castle Street to the Strand. But there’s nothing there apart from an old public lavatory. Is that ‘The Box’?

Welcome Lane. Swansea. Click to enlarge

Indeed it is. As the title document and plan prove. In two instalments totalling £114,210.70 Swansea council seems to have paid Gower Way Ltd to take this old public loo off their hands on a 125-year lease commencing 14 December 2015. Though the charges are dated 31 March 2017.

Over on the Kingsway we find a similar story. Two charges totalling £174,521.97 against No 62. According to the title document the lease only cost Gower Way £80,500 plus VAT, so why did the council cough up £174,521.97?

Was it payment for disposing of the rubbish?

That gives us a total of £288,732.67. So I’m not clear as to where Gower Way’s assets of £879,000 shown in the accounts come from. There must be assets in addition to the buildings in Swansea. Presumably.

To recap; Gower Way Ltd was Incorporated 9 July 2015. The lease for 62 Kingsway was signed 10 September, 2015, and the lease for ‘The Box’ on 14 December, 2015. The four loans from the Council are dated 31 March, 2017.

Does this mean that the Council signed lease agreements with a company that over a year later needed money from the Council to honour those lease agreements?

UPDATE: It now appears that a Middle Eastern restaurant opened in April 2017 at 62 The Kingsway. This probably explains the council loans in March 2017. A Twitter account was started, but never tweeted; and a Facebook page was also opened, and abandoned.

There was even a short-lived company called Feasting House Swansea Limited. Incorporated March 2017, application to strike-off made 18 January 2018. There may have been a restaurant on the premises for a short while but I doubt if that was the primary purpose to which the building was put.

And what were the loans for the public lavatories in Welcome Lane used for?

Swansea council was taken for a ride.

UPDATE 08.09.2020: A source tells me that the loans were linked with Property Enhancement Development Fund (PEDF) and Homes Above Shops (HAS). This Google link suggest that funding was announced for Swansea in June 2014. Gower Way Ltd was formed a year later, almost certainly to take advantage of the funding.

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Unfortunately the link only opens The Wave (radio station) home page.

HOW THEY ARE RELATED

Nasser Alanizy’s Linkedin entry says that he has also been a director of ‘Old House CMC’ since September 2009. I have no idea what CMC stands for, but a Nasser Alanizy is a director of Old House Group Ltd, a company launched as recently as February last year.

Though his day job would appear to be with the Focus Building Group. Or it was until a couple of years ago. But the Focus Building Group doesn’t appear at all on Alanizy’s Linkedin profile.

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A bit confusing. And now it gets more confusing.

For another of Alanizy’s companies is Canons Lodge Ltd. The accounts are overdue with Companies House but the latest available accounts, up to 31 July 2018, show ‘Capital and reserves’ of minus £237,000.

And yet, if we compare the accounts for 2017 and 2018, specifically the extracts below, we see that what was £630,000 in 2017 has reduced in the 2018 accounts to £63,000. Is this a typo, the sort of thing that happens with unaudited, ‘do-it-yourself’ submissions, or is it something more?

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But perhaps what’s even stranger is that with Canons Lodge we encounter the same four charges with the City and County of Swansea. The total amount – £288,732.67 – is exactly the same as that listed against the two properties in Swansea for Gower Way Ltd.

So Swansea council is shelling out for a building in London!

Canons Lodge Ltd began life with a London address, Then on 24 March, 2017, it transferred its registered address to 62 The Kingsway. The moolah from the council was delivered the following month.

Then, just like Gower Way Ltd, in September 2018 the address was changed to a London address. Both companies eventually settling at 23 Crawford Street, London W1H 1BY.

So what or where is Canons Lodge?

CANONS PARK

It turns out that Canons Park is a municipal park in the borough of Harrow in north west London, with an Underground station of the same name. The Lodge used to serve as the park-keeper’s residence and it seems that Nasser Alanizy has recently bought the place.

I got this information from Friends of Canons Park, who told me “Mr Alanizy is the resident of the Lodge in Canons Park.  He is a property developer and is trying to adapt the Lodge to create an arts centre and meeting rooms, which the Friends are happy to support as they will directly benefit the park.”

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The Land Registry title document for the Lodge tells us, page 3 C5: “(09.04.2014) A Transfer of the land in this title dated 19 March 2014 made between (1) The Mayor And Burgesses Of the London Borough Of Harrow and (2) Intercontinental Developments Limited contains restrictive covenants.” 

So who are the previous owners, Intercontinental Developments Ltd? To begin with, it is registered with Companies House. The only current director is Surmid El Akabi. A previous director – from February 2005 until March 2019 – was Karim El Akabi.

Surmid El Akabi’s Linkedin profile tells us that he is CEO of the FIAFI Group, an Iraqi company, that gets a mention in the Panama Papers. (Click on a node to open links.) There we see Karim El Akabi, and also Namir El Akabi.

It’s reasonable to assume that the three El Akabis are related.

Digression alert!

I came across this reference from 2013 to Namir El Akabi buying the Paragon Hotel in Birmingham. BirminghamLive said: “According to sources, Iraqi owners the El-Akabi family are preparing to invest in a multi-million pound overhaul of the hotel which will see it restored to its former glory”.

The Paragon Hotel was soon being used to house more than 230 young male asylum seekers, placed there by G4S. The owners promised to clean up their act and refurbish the hotel.

The re-named building seems to have operated as part hostel for asylum seekers and part commercial hotel. Last month, the citizens of Brum learnt that it was still housing asylum seekers . . . but without the knowledge of the city council.

Surrendering to the curiosity that would surely have killed me by now if I’d been born with a taste for mice I wondered who owns the Paragon/Rowton Hotel.

The answer is Paragon Investment Estate Ltd, Incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Presumably a front for the El Akabis because the most recent sale recorded with the Land Registry was the one reported in 2013.

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The BVI is also home to Namir El-Akabi’s Almco group of companies. (Again, click on the nodes to open further links.) The man himself is described in this piece from the New York Times of May 2011 as one of ‘The Hot-Money Cowboys of Baghdad’.

Namir El Akabi was one of the wealthy exiles who helped bring down Saddam Hussein . . . and he expected his cut of post-Saddam Iraq. His reach, under Western patronage, also extended to Afghanistan, as this 2019 piece from the Bureau of Investigative Journalists explains.

Namir El Akabi has contacts in the UK government. And so it’s no surprise to find him in 2013 buying a hotel in Birmingham to house refugees, many from his own country. Perhaps he had better contacts than Birmingham City Council.

Recap: This digression came about because the Al Akabis previously owned Canons Lodge which is now owned by Nasser Alanizy who leases the buildings in Swansea with loans from the Council.

Moving on . . .

I can’t help wondering if the modestly-named Intergalactic Developments had plans for Canons Park Lodge that the council made clear would not be allowed. Thwarted, the boys from Baghdad found (perhaps already knew) Alanizy.

There was a bogus ‘sale’, and the council being aware of this subterfuge explains why the Friends of Canons Park tell me, “all his (Alanizy’s) applications to Harrow Council have been turned down”.’

Extract from the Land Registry title document for the Lodge, Canons Park. Click to enlarge

You will recall that one of Alanizy’s companies was the Old House Group Ltd at the popular accommodation address, 23 Crawford Street, London W1H 1BY. The only other director was Mazin Daood.

We find Daood and Alanizy together again at Bombay Development Ltd, which takes its name from property owned in Bombay Street, London SE16. Another director is Ednor Mata of Focus Developments. The shares are divided 400,000 to Focus Developments Solutions Ltd, 700,000 to SSL Investment Ltd, and 300,000 to Mazmo Partners Ltd.

Alanizy is a director of Focus Development Solutions along with Ednor Mata and Gentian Mata. Each holding 100 of the 300 shares. Only formed in June 2018 the first accounts were due 12 March. Companies House is still waiting.

SSL Investment Ltd belongs to a Jordanian family living in the United Arab Emirates.

Mazmo Partners Ltd has Mazin Daood as sole director. But with another person who may be his father also involved.

PENDINE IS VERY POPULAR AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR

But I have little interest in what’s going on in Baghdad, Birmingham, Abu Dhabi or London. Wales is my concern, and those we’re discussing may now have business interests west of the old home town.

Among the companies using the Crawford Street address we find another with Mazin Daood as director, formed as recently as April this year, Pendine Sands Ltd. The Nature of business SIC tells us: “Support activities for animal production (other than farm animal boarding and care) not elsewhere classified”.

Which I thought was a bit odd, why the sudden interest in animals? Are they hoping to profit from the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers?

Whatever the answer, we have an interlocking set of property investors with Middle East connections, one of whom has turned his attention to Pendine Sands, which was famous for land speed record attempts in the first half of the 20th century. You’ll recall that J G Parry-Thomas was killed there in 1927 trying to beat his own world land speed record.

Image: Kevin Trahar. Pendine beach. Click to enlarge

As if that wasn’t enough, there is an Irish company called Pendine Sands 4894 Limited (known as Olympus Leasing 4162 Limited until September 2015). Through a number of intermediaries it is ultimately owned by Goshawk Aviation Funding Ltd, which I assume links with this aircraft leasing company.

There are two other ‘Pendine Sands’ companies at the same Dublin 2 address, Pendine Sands 4832 Limited and Pendine Sands 39621 Limited.

So many companies using the Pendine name could be pure coincidence. Then again, maybe not.

Finally, let’s remember that the UK Ministry of Defence owns over 20 square kilometres at Pendine, which it leases out to QinetiC. We’ve come across QinetiC before. Involved with wayward drones at MoD Aberporth, and through links with Snowdonia Aerospace LLP at Llanbedr.

QinetiC has strong connections with the UK Government’s allies and business associates in the Middle East.

UPDATE 20.09.2020: Well, well, well! RAF lands huge transport plane on Cefn Sidan beach, just a few miles from Pendine.

CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS

As you must know, there’s a lot of money sloshing about the Middle East just looking for a home. Or perhaps a raison d’être.

The City of London and its far-flung empire of tax havens attract this money because no questions are asked.

But I have some questions:

  • When and how did Nasser Alanizy make contact with the Council of the City and County of Swansea?
  • Why were the ‘The Box’ and 62 Kingsway leased rather than sold outright?
  • Why did the Council need to fund the deals for these two properties?
  • Has any work been done on either of these properties?
  • Why would Canons Lodge Ltd – buying a property in London – need to temporarily move its address to Swansea?
  • Were the changes of address connected with the loans, and therefore a deliberate attempt to deceive someone into believing these were Swansea-based companies?
  • If so, was anyone at Swansea Council complicit in this?
  • Now that Swansea Council is aware of the facts, what is it going to do?
  • Is the ‘Welsh Government’ aware of any plans for Pendine relating to the MoD property?
  • Is the ‘Welsh Government’ aware of any Middle Eastern involvement or investment at Pendine?
  • Can the ‘Welsh Government’ be bothered to make enquiries of its masters in London?

What do you make of it, boys and girls? Answers on the dog-eared postcard I’m sure you’ll find at the back of a drawer.

♦ end ♦

 




22 thoughts on “Baghdad to Pendine?

  1. Dafis

    I’ve no answers to the questions you pose, but your entire article reinforces my long held view that corporate skullduggery has long been an international game. Just so happens that London is a major hub for these bastards so it is inevitable that they are attracted to varieties of low hanging fruit that crop up in various parts of U.K. Just as much our enemies as those creeps from the English cities with their submissive Welsh cronies. Indeed Welsh cronies are always on the look out for new “friends” from all over the world just to feed their own bad habits ! Dependency occurs in many forms.

    1. We are dealing here with a very ‘fluid’ situation; people constantly moving between Europe and the Middle East, and with money going into property, offshore accounts, and God knows where else. This much we knew already. But that Swansea council should give them money is taking the piss.

      Then there’s the Alanizy connection with Pendine – does he even know where it is? And the Irish ‘Pendine’ company links with a plane charter company. What’s going on?

  2. Ellie Wales

    A CMC is usually a ‘claims management company’ which makes claims on behalf of people who think they may have been mis-sold a financial product. They usually take a fee of between 25% and 33% of any compensation.More savvy complainants go directly to Ombudsman who will sort it for free.
    I checked the FCA Register but there’s no match either as a company name or a registered individual. Googling Old House CMC in an idle moment today I found that CMC is a clinic in Addis Ababa.
    CMC remains a mystery! Happy hunting.

      1. Dafis

        Rarely does it come up on anyone’s ! Mogadishu gives it a run for its money as a nice place to go to !

        1. Neil Singleton

          I can answer one of your questions. The properties were sold leasehold because Swansea Council NEVER sells the freehold interest in properties. This “convention” began at the end of WW2, when the Council was granted special powers to compulsorily acquire, effectively, the whole of the blitzed city centre. The city was redeveloped by granting 99 year ground leases (with no rent reviews) from the early 1950’s. By the 1980’s , many of the institutional investors who owned those ground leased properties began to get twitchy, and tried to purchase the freeholds. The Council said no, but agreed, in quite a few cases, to grant new 125 year ground leases, with reviews at 5 year intervals, geared (ie calculated) at a percentage of the rental value of the building on the specific site. The main reason for the Council not selling freeholds is because, when the ground leases come to an end, the authority didn’t want a patchwork of freeholds and ground leaseholds scattered around the city centre. In the Council’s eyes, this would cause complications for comprehensive redevelopment, 125 years being a”blink of the eye” in the life of a local authority!!!!

          1. I can see the logic in that, though local authorities always have the power of compulsory purchase. But what about the subsequent loans that seemed to end up buying a property in London?

  3. Brychan

    Usually it’s the simplest explanation that’s the correct one.

    So here’s my suggestion. The Pontardawe find was most likely, a cash-in-hand contract stripped out the premises in Kingsway, loaded up a van, then fly tipped the load behind Lidl in Pontardawe. It was an arrangement organised by the landlord, Nasser Alanizy, director of Gower Way Limited. The fine will be written off as a business expense.

    Gower Way Limited is a property company and looks like it was set up to cash in on the ‘asylum industry’.

    Profits are not made in people trafficking young men for sex, unlike females, it’s made on the profit margin of licensed accommodation provision. It helps if the racket is run by an Arabic speaker, ability to enforce by fear and notoriety, and methods to settle debts at point of origin in the trafficking chain. It helps to have a council who mostly says yes to demands for cash, everything from new kettles, refurbs and bedsteads. Costs of providing accommodation.

    Disused toilet blocks and sheds in parks are rendezvous points for arrivals. It’s where an ‘asylum seeker’ can go to meet up with a pre-arranged chaperone upon arrival at final destination. This is where trafficking debts are settled, and the commodity, the trafficked person, to be handed over for state or third sector intervention. You can’t dump a body behind Lidl in Pontardawe, and there’s more revenue to milk as well as an opportunity to solicit more subjects for trafficking.

    I would expect Alanizy is a runner for El Akabi, who’s untouchable. Although a war-lord, he’s the fixer for matters in Iraq on behalf of the British Government, and has lots of oil money stashed away in offshore bank accounts.

    1. Dafis

      Iraq and surrounding territories like Syria are all in a state of turmoil. Similarly Somalia and it neighbours. All these places are a source of people desperate to get out to stay alive. UK is “marketed” as the promised land for obvious reasons so the entrepreneurial types get organised and get into the trade in displaced people.

      Bit worrying for the Turd Sector if enterprising Camel herders move into their segment of the market and start cutting up rough. Can’t imagine any of our nice caring “nation of sanctuary” types coping too well when some diversified terrorist starts staking out his turf with little bits of Semtex, or similar, stuck to cars, front doors or down one’s trouser leg. This is a distinct possibility when guys with big money, or backed by big money, turn up because they often come from that culture where such “competitive” behaviours are a feature of what they see as normal.

      1. A bigger worry may be that those you describe may have UK government backing, and US backing, for services rendered in removing Saddam Hussein

        1. Dafis

          Having “removed” Saddam they extended their portfolio of “business activities” with notable achievements in people trafficking, contract killing, proxy militias and any other dark deed that the CIA or Brit SIS was happy to pay for. Europe in general and UK in particular was always a rich field for such men to harvest as it seems our “leaders” fail to learn lessons despite repeating that mantra ad fuckin’ nauseam

    2. I’ve just done a bit more checking and I’m thinking that the loans may have been to open businesses. Certainly, there was a Middle Eastern restaurant at 62 The Kingsway called the Feasting House.

      The Twitter account launched in April 2017 without tweeting anything. That is the month following the council loans. And it’s a similar tale with Facebook. Though I have no idea what happened to the former public lavatories in Welcome Lane.

      It could be that this restaurant opened for a while served as a ‘reception centre’ and then closed. It’s permanently closed now, but I’m not sure how long it was open for. But this doesn’t explain the council money being used to buy the Canons Park Lodge in London.

      1. Brychan

        Most of UK Border Agency operations in South Wales is dedicated to raids on restaurants and food outlets. This is because of the opportunities for cash in hand casual labour, as well as unregistered accommodation.

        Although the criminal penalty for employing a person who does not have permission to enter or remain in the UK or leave to remain has expired (a failed asylum claim) is 5 years imprisonment however, it is by means of a civil enforcement process that involves as fine of £20k maximum. It is vary rare for large sums to be issued as a fine dues to the “didn’t realise the papers were incorrect or false” defence. It should be noted that the maximum fines for fly tipping in Wales is twice that of employing an illegal migrant.

        In other European countries employing someone without leave to remain is an automatic criminal offence with mandatory prison sentences. This is why the preferred market for people trafficking is the UK as a monitising destination. It’s also the reason why Calais is the bottleneck of operations, nothing to do with the dangers of the French.

  4. Brychan

    The SIC code for Pendine Sands Ltd would include stud services on a fee or contract basis or farriers of bloodstock horses on a fee or contract basis, hold grazing for livestock export/import or poultry caponising or contract pen sheep sheering services.

    01629 – Support activities for animal production (other than farm animal boarding and care) not elsewhere classified.

    It’s rare for a company to only have this SIC code as type of trade as on the horse side of things it would usually also involve the registration of vet services and be located at a stud of come standing in the lusher parts of Carmarthenshire. On the poultry side of things it would usually involve ownership of and onsite processing within intensive farms, not a registration address in London.

    The thing about Pendine, as you say, is that most of the land and foreshore is owed by MoD and leased to QinetiQ the defence contactors. There are specific cultural values that apply to provision of food to defence personnel under training in the middle east.

  5. Dafis

    nation.cymru reports that : “Conservative MS criticised by Senedd opponent over Extinction Rebellion ‘neo-fascist’ comments”.

    Never had much time for Ms FinchSaunders but on this occasion she was merely critical of the o.t.t behaviours of Extinct Rebellion in its recent attacks on the MSM assets in her usual unsubtle style. Now the Plaid boy has dropped his own bollock by responding to it in kind. Was he just pissed off cos some Tory hijacked the use of the word “Fascist” ? Perhaps he needs to cut down on the bile, wipe the snot off his face and act like he really wants to be a representative politician. There again he belongs to the ishoo festooned Plaid so he’s probably been trained to react in this way.

    1. The boy said, “I along with some of my fellow county councillors met with Extinction Rebellion on Bank Holiday Sunday, and we had very constructive discussions with the group.” A ‘discussion’ is a mutual exchange of views and ideas, which is impossible with groups like ER. You either submit to their agenda or you’re a climate-denying fascist.

      1. Dafis

        I can imagine him sitting there asking if there was anything more they could do to ensure
        E.R’s agenda was adopted in full, and might have been surprised when one of the “saviours of our planet” set fire to his leather shoes because it was a symbol of oppression. Good job he wasn’t wearing an acrylic pullover.

    1. Brilliant Steve Robinson. Neil its now only you and your new Welsh National Party that can ensure the survival of Wales. Please Adam Price, and your real Leader Leanne Wood, and the ‘ishoo labials’, withdraw to English Labour where you really belong.Piss off now!
      As a distraction – re – the old Toilet Block in Swansea in the ‘POSTs’ above – I’m told that not one so called “Opposition” Swansea Councillor has queried this since you Jac exposed it. Why? Come on all you non Labour Swansea Councillors – do your job and ask questions and then PUBLISH the answers. Don’t give us blustering bullshit all the time! Yes – BLUSTERING OPPOSITION BULLSHIT in your timid fear of Swansea Labour !

  6. Dafis

    More meaningless intervention from likes of Cah-wen and the panto dame from the Rhondda

    https://nation.cymru/news/former-first-minister-carwyn-jones-criticises-telegraph-over-racist-use-of-welshing-in-an-article/

    The Telegraph is a renowned jingoistic supremacist rag – w.t.f do they expect from such an shoddy Anglo mouthpiece ?. Carwyn’s appetite for pointless outbursts seems to be on the increase, does he see it as banking some credit with the Welshies just in case they ever do spring a shock and break free ? Or is it more of the anti Telegraph posturing so common among the pseudo left nouveau shitbags that infest Islington and seem to be enjoying alarming growth here in Wales ? Carwyn and his kind should recognise that Wales’ real need is some sincere and sustained effort to improve the lot of its common people and that independence has a key role to play in realising that aspiration.

    1. Rhosddu

      No harm in CJ bringing the matter up; after all, Welsh-Americans protested against the use of ‘to welsh on a deal’ several years ago.But I think the Internal Market Bill might be a marginally more important issue in Cymru right now, Carwyn bach.

      1. Dafis

        That in a roundabout way is what I’m getting at. Likes of CJ should be making statements about the big issues that will either enable us to survive and prosper or sink us without a trace. I’m still of the view that he will keep on sniping about likes of D.T but will avoid any major conflicts just in case it blights his chance of wearing that ermine that he’s earmarked in the House catalogue. In the meantime trashing the Telegraph can be left to the lower echelons of activists,like us, although the kind of stuff that Jac persists in dredging is normally of greater importance.

        As I said earlier – “Wales’ real need is some sincere and sustained effort to improve the lot of its common people, ……independence has a key role to play in realising that aspiration”. That probably causes CJ some anxiety as it would mean that he and his kind have to get off their arses and engage in some heavy lifting !

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