CBCS, Centrale Bank van Curacao en Sint Maarten, requested emergency measure for ENNIA

Insurance is a risky business. And for the past few years I have been reading articles in the Daily Herald of St. Maarten about Ennia, and then as you know the hurricanes came.

That insurance company that promises worry free living, was in trouble way before last year, and the wind and water didn’t help.

The story of Ennia involves all kind of important people and deserves a movie script. Basically, a very shrewd businessman by the name of Hushang Ansary who the Minister of Economic Affairs to the Shah of Iran was, escaped to the USA with his fortune, in the billions, when the Ayatollah Khomein took that country over, and he has been operating there since then, with substantial business deals going on in the Dutch Caribbean.

Ennia is one of his businesses. Mind you, he also owns Banco di Caribe.  

Maybe you don’t remember, but Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the last Shah of Iran from 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution in 1979. He was not a good guy. He ruled the country with his secret police and a close group of friends and family members and while the country was secular, the autocratic, narcissistic self-declared emperor, no less, believed himself a man chosen by Allah Himself to transform Iran and create the “Great Civilization.”

In reality he just lined his pockets with billions in oil wealth, and everyone around him profited as well, until their heads rolled.

Ansary was once considered by the CIA to be a member of “the Shah’s Inner Circle.” He must have learned a trick or two, serving the Pahlavi imperial family, in the Iranian government as the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance from 1992. He was also Iran’s Ambassador to the United States from 1967-1969.

We can safely say, that he went to school, during his most formative years so to speak, in one of the most corrupt and totalitarian regimes. And in the USA he did not waste time, he became a devoted Republican and a former friend and business partner of Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, James Baker; got involved with the George W. Bush presidential campaign and later in his son’s Job Bush. He established a university in St Martin, which he later sold for millions.

The Daily Herald in St Maarten ran a number of articles about the subject. Who was involved? The accounting firm of KPMG. They were in charge of safeguarding the cash. But then on their watch, there was a story about 100 million euro missing, and a mafia called the Sopi Group, concluding multi-million-dollar real estate deals without sufficient collateral, over a cup of soup. I also read that there was an attempt to withdraw $100 million from EC investments securities account, which is the mother company, but maybe it is the same story, told twice.

I am sure all the soup drinkers were interested when the news broke that the Dutch government is working on a reconstruction fund for the island.

Not long ago, a friend of Aruba, with St Nicolas roots, the former finance Minister of St. Maarten, Richard Gibson, became the new president and general managing director for Ennia Caribe Holding NV.

From the press release: Recently the central bank on both Aruba and SM identified Ennia Caribe Leven NV, Ennia Caribe Schade NV and Ennia Caribe Zorg NV, (Ennia), as non-compliant with applicable laws and regulations and they decided to take measures to rectify the situation within Ennia.

But when it proved to be insufficient, they applied for emergency measures to restructure the company and this was approved by the Court to safeguarding the interests of policyholders, insured parties.

The emergency measure, we are told, does not apply to Banco di Caribe (BdC), but the central banks can still exercise influence indirectly.

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July 11, 2018
Rona Coster