Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another suspicious death in Enron probe

Wayne Madsen Report - Home

July 13, 2006 -- Another suspicious death in Enron probe. A British banker who was involved in the criminal investigation of Enron was found dead yesterday in Waltham Forest, in east London. Neil Coulbeck, 53, was the former Head of Group Treasury at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the bank that purchased National Westminster Bank (NatWest), the bank which is the subject of the Enron investigation. Three NatWest bankers -- David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew, and Giles Darby -- have been ordered by a British court to be extradited to Houston to stand trial in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme involving Enron. British business leaders have condemned the decision to extradite the three. Coulbeck, who was based in the United States, allegedly approved a deal by Bermingham, Mulgrew, and Darby, in which NatWest sold a Cayman Islands company to Enron for less than its actual value. The three had purchased shares in the company before they sold it, raking in 1.5 million British pounds each. The Cayman company, SwapSub, was later used by Enron to secretly move large sums of cash and support off-balance sheet transactions of its subsidiaries.

The British civil rights organization Liberty has stated that FBI agents "hounded" Mr. Coulbeck, who was reportedly a key figure in the case against Enron. FBI agents traveled to Britain to interview Coulbeck. The fact that FBI agents were threatening to a citizen of another nation on foreign soil is yet another indication that the Bush regime continues to trample on the rights of Americans and those abroad. If Coulbeck was as important to the case against the NatWest bankers and Enron as the British media is reporting, there is no reason why the FBI should have threatened Coulbeck unless they were engaged in witness intimidation, a crime. There is also a question as to what role the FBI may have played in Coulbeck's suspicious death.

Coulbeck's death, which some British sources are reporting to be a "suicide," is eerily similar to that of British Ministry of Defense weapons expert Dr. David Kelly. The bodies of Coulbeck and Kelly were found in the woods. In Kelly's case, the Hutton Commission concluded that his death was a suicide, even though many questions remained unanswered about his death. Most of the corporate British press are speculating Coulbeck's death was a suicide, there is hardly any mention of the more likely scenario -- that he was murdered to keep him silent about a politically-charged criminal investigation that may link to Number Ten Downing Street and the White House. The Enron probe has been wracked by "suicides" and untimely deaths, including that of former Enron officer Cliff Baxter in Houston and Kenneth Lay in Aspen, Colorado.

Enron bodies continue to pile up: First it was chief witness Cliff Baxter (left), then Ken Lay (right), and now Neil Coulbeck.

Coulbeck's death followed the arrest of Tony Blair's close friend, major fundraiser, and tennis partner Lord Michael Levy. Levy, the architect of Blair's "New Labor" program, which saw the traditional workers' party turn away from labor unions and to big business for contributions (the mirror image of that "Third Way" initiative in the United States is the Democratic Leadership Council, which also turned away from unions and toward big corporations for contributions), was arrested by London Metropolitan Police for his role in selling House of Lord peerages and New Year's honors in return for large contributions to the Labor Party.

The death of Coulbeck, the granting of extraterritorial rights to the FBI in Britain, and the arrest of Levy suggests that the Blair regime is merely a corrupt adjunct of the Bush crime cartel. It is strongly rumored that once he leaves Number Ten, Blair will be offered a lucrative spot on the international board of the Carlyle Group -- joining George H. W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, and former British Prime Minister John Major. Yesterday, just after Coulbeck's body was discovered in the East London woods, the elder Bush and Baker attended Enron founder "Kenny Boy" Lay's memorial service in Houston. Lay died in Aspen on July 5 from a reported heart attack. Lay's wealth, including any that may have been hidden in off-shore locations like the Cayman Islands, will now remain with his estate instead of being confiscated by the government. Lay's body was reportedly cremated.

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