The “Pregan Foundation” company involved in the controversial “Panama papers’will be engaged in the implementation of the Belarusian project worth one billion dollars via the Canadian companies.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed the relevant decree on the implementation of large-scale project on August 8, 2016.
Lukashenka has called insignificant this year’s publication of “Panama papers”, which led to the corruption scandals in several countries.
“This is just an attempt to reveal the corrupt practices of the worldwide Mafia, headed by the politicians. There are plenty of journalists among them, even the publications that were allegedly involved in the investigation of the “Panama papers” scandal. It is not worth saying that it is a powerful anti-corruption wave. But there is another side: they will become trickier, but they will steal further. There has not yet been found a way to hit at the core of the corrupt officials. Let’s see what will happen next…” said the head of state.
According to the document, factories for the production of lysine, threonine and tryptophan, plants for the production of animal feed and oilseed processing, grain storage complex, motor pool, as well as a research laboratory will be built in the area of around 160 hectares near Rudzensk in the Pukhavichy region.
The “Agriculture” project will have 300 hectares of land allocated for it, which will involve lands to grow grains, grain legumes and oil seeds.
The project to create a full cycle high-tech agricultural production is designed for 2016-2032. Financing will also involve loans. Now the authorities are dealing with the issue of attracting preferential Chinese loan.
The project will be implemented by the CJSC “Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation” (BNBK). The company was registered on August 11, 2016.
According to naviny.by, BNBK’s largest shareholder will be Minoblispokom (Minsk Oblast Executive Committee) with a 33% stake, but the main owners will be two Canadian companies — ‘Biotech Agriculture International Inc’ and ‘Agro Industries International Inc’ with 27% and 25% respectively. Another 15% will be owned by the Russian company “Viren-Invest”.
According to the Quebec’s enterprise register, ‘Biotech Agriculture International Inc’ and ‘Agro Industries International Inc’ are registered at the same address in Montreal.
Both companies’ main shareholder is the ‘Pregan Foundation’. This company appears in the “Panama papers”. The ‘papers’ contain 11.5 million files that mention a lot of current and former world leaders, high-ranking officials and celebrities and their names associated with offshore companies, used to avoid paying taxes.
‘Pregan Foundation’ is a shareholder of another 16 firms represented by the Swiss lawyer Andre Zolty. This lawyer represents the interests of 912 companies mentioned in the papers. In the Swiss press his name appears, in particular, in connection with a lawsuit against two American businessmen who had been sentenced to prison for tax evasion.
The Minsk Oblast Executive Committee does not comment on this information. Other shareholders of CJSC BNBK and company management were unavailable for comment, naviny.by reported.