Tying up more loose ends. Thanks to all the people at behindmlm.com for the great leads.
In September 2015 (the same month that ESOL bought a stake in Capital Bank), a man named Martin Henry Beckett was arrested in London as part of a gang smuggling cannabis into the UK.
A gang smuggled cannabis worth £24 million in industrial tubes wrapped up in CARPETS.
The smugglers created a company called ‘Mogafish Flooring’ to purchase and transport the carpets across the continent using legitimate transport firms.
Over six months they managed to get around 2.5 tonnes of high grade cannabis into the UK.
Beckett and his cronies were not only involved in drug smuggling, however. Filings with Companies House show that Beckett had been a company director of no less than four companies. One of those companies was Zala Group Ltd. It was created on the 9th of June 2015, and used the same address as Mogafish. Beckett was also the sole director of Oculus Europe Ltd. (registered on the same day as Zala and at the same address).
Beckett was convicted in March 2016 and sentenced to 9 years and 10 months for “…conspiracy to import class B drugs.”
In a post on 20 March 2016 behindmlm.com wrote that OneCoin had suspended its “MasterCard processing and card loading’.
“In effect, cards issued to OneCoin affiliates are currently useless “until further notice”.”
The website managed to find out that OneCoin was using Zala Group Ltd. as “the issuing merchant”. That is, the company that Beckett (who was now in prison) had been the sole director and shareholder of.
But here is where the story takes another twist. There is also a Zala Group LLC that was registered in Florida in June 2013. The name on the paperwork of this company is one Gilbert R Armenta (the shareholder of ESOL and Capital Bank). The company is still active and was registered (until just a few days ago) at 110 E. Broward Blvd. 1900, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301. As I mentioned in my original blog post, this address was the same one used by both BlueNRGY and the Florida company that OneCoin was using after their activity at Capital Bank ended in November 2015. Also registered at this address was a company called Oculus GW LLC. The name on that paperwork is Armenta’s partner at ESOL, William C Morro.
Zala Group’s website offers “general purpose reloadable cards” via MasterCard (which appears to be what OneCoin was doing). The idea being that you could exchange your
fraudulent OneCoins for money to be spent at your local Starbucks (for example).
Zala’s contact page looks like this:
One final note: Beckett was taken off the paperwork of Zala and Oculus on 1 March 2016 (just before his conviction). He was replaced by Baron Menzel at both companies. There is a Baron Menzel who has been floating around the gambling world for some time (let’s just say he’s not exactly clean).