23 Wall Street – China Sonangol – Rearing It’s Not-so-Kosher Head Again…

jsr capital 23 wall

Jack Terzi’s JTRE sues Chinese firm Sonangol over 23 Wall deal

Jack Terzi’s $140 million deal to buy the former JPMorgan building at 23 Wall Street is in jeopardy because the seller, China Sonangol, allegedly refuses to play ball.

According to a lawsuit Terzi filed against Sonangol in Manhattan Supreme Court that his deal isn’t moving forward because of Sonangol’s refusal to cooperate with the escrow agent. The escrow agent has refused to release the down payment on the purchase, because of concern that controversial Hong Kong tycoon Sam Pa may benefit from the deal, the suit claims.

Pa was the CEO of Sonangol – his current affiliation with the company is unclear – a Singapore-based conglomerate that has been in contract to sell the historic Financial District property to Terzi for over a year.

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Pa was detained by Chinese authorities in 2015 as part of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. In 2014, the U.S. alleged that Pa bribed Zimbabwean officials in order to carry out “illicit diamond deals.” He is on the Treasury’s “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” list, which prevents Americans from doing business with him.

Terzi, who’s known mostly for buying and leasing up small and mid-sized retail properties, shot into prominence last year when he entered contract to buy the 160,000-square-foot property at 23 Wall at the eye-popping figure of $140 million. But month after month went by, and he never closed, raising speculation that all was not smooth with the deal. According to sources familiar with the property, Terzi has been in talks with Paramount Group to provide financing for the acquisition and redevelopment.


The former JP Morgan building at 23 Wall has long sat dormant since the bank stopped using the building in the late 2000s. Sonangol bought the property in 2008 for $150 million from a subsidiary of Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments. But attempts to court tenants like Apple and an entertainment venue never came to fruition.

To read the article in its entirety click here.


Famed J.P. Morgan Building at 23 Wall Street in Play – and Urinating Bosses…


23 Wall Street – Our Theories

We have written on the famed J.P. Morgan piece of property more times than perhaps any other Blog. We have written on the various Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg properties/investments/shady dealings. We have written about Chetrit and Bistricer, China Sonangol, Queensway, Angola. The story below from “The Real Deal” almost feels like something we could have written. But, of course, we didn’t.

The new buyer, as you will see below from the article on the bottom of the page, Jack Terzi, lacks certain social graces (or did in 2012). He apparently was an abusive boss who, according to reports in the NY Daily News from 2012, engaged in bizarre behavior. In the interest of full disclosure, his employees at his yogurt shops felt that he was “strictly business” and “humble.” Hard to tell.

We can say this:

It would not surprise us if nestled within the many companies listed on the Africa-Israel website with reference to the Israel Stock Exchange we were to find the new J.P. Morgan buyer’s name, his company or some financial/management synergy with Africa Israel and perhaps concurrently with China Sonangol. It will take a while to find and some might write this one off as a leap. We don’t think so.

It is a Buyer’s market not a Seller’s market in Manhattan right now (if the comment about the losses below by The Real Deal is any indication). China Sonangol/Africa-Israel/Sam Pa/ want out of New York but we doubt they would take a financial loss. We think that it will prove to be anything but a loss.

AFI Group

The company is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
For more information, please press on the image below.

Click here for more information


Africa Israel Properties
Click here for more information
Africa Israel Residences
Click here for more information
 Danya Cebus
 Click here for more information
 Africa Israel Industries
 Click here for more information
 Negev Ceramics
 Click here for more information
Dor Alon
Click here for more information
Blue Square
Click here for more information



Paydirt: The Compass unicorn, a more modest buyer pool, 23 Wall in play … & more

Billionaires hiding? We’ll take the millionaires: Compass’ valuation comes at a time when Manhattan’s high-end residential market is taking body blows. Developers finally seem willing to accept things aren’t where they were in 2014. They’re either offering fat discounts (Extell at One Manhattan Square, World Wide Group and Rose Associates at 252 East 57th Street), pushing sales back (JDS & PMG at 111 West 57th Street) or abandoning ship (Witkoff at Park Lane, Chetrit & Bistricer at the Sony Building).  “The next two years will be the year of the deal,” PMG’s Kevin Maloney told Bloomberg.

Developers who set their sights a little more main street have been faring better: Condos priced between $500,000 and $999,000 have sold five times as fast as their $10 million-and-up counterparts, according to a Miller Samuel analysis of a decade of residential sales.

You don’t know Jack: JTRE’s Jack Terzi is in contract to buy 23 Wall Street, a landmarked property that was once the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. – it was dubbed the “House of Morgan” — but of late has been a pox on Lower Manhattan. The long-vacant building is owned by the shadowy China Sonangol, a joint venture between Sam Pa’s Queensway Group and the nation of Angola — go figure. Sources told the New York Post that Terzi will be buying the property at a discount to the $150 million Sonangol paid for it in 2008. That’s hard to fathom, except for the fact that Pa is under investigation for allegations of financial crimes, according to the FT.

Terzi, who grew up in Gravesend and cut his teeth at Hidrock Realty, has made a number of splashy acquisitions of late, including a number of $20 million-plus buys in Midtown East. But this deal, if he does close on it, elevates him to a different level — giving him control of more than 130,000 square feet in the heart of Lower Manhattan.


Sam-Pa-23-Wall-Street (1)





For a tall tale about how China Sonangol may or may not have come to its original purchase through individuals mixed up in the NYPD scandals, read The Post’s Steve Cuozzo’s story from July 4.

The 160,000 square feet stretches from the landmarked 23 Wall St. where banker Morgan once had his private offices, around the sloped corner to portions of the base floors of 33 Wall and 15 Broad St.

The stone fortress has been touted as a retail play for years, but it’s stood mostly dark — due to absentee ownership and landmark-related restrictions.

Prospective deals to lease it to Brooks Brothers and a multi-media event company fell through but Hermes has been a tenant since 2007.

The upper stories of 15 Broad next door were converted into apartments.




Ex-worker suing real estate boss, Jack Terzi, for $5 million for abuse, fines, and urinating

A foul-mouthed boss from hell unzipped more than his lip in torturing his young assistant.

Brash real estate broker Jack Terzi urinated on the underling’s clothes during a three-year reign of terror in their Manhattan office, according to a astonishing new lawsuit.

The allegedly abusive broker was accused by ex-employee Albert Sultan of abuse that included cutting four-letter insults, sharp flying objects and bizarre fines.

Sultan, hired shortly after Terzi launched his company in 2009, “became emotionally distraught, was humiliated and embarrassed … by the systematic and continuous unlawful harassment,” charged the 15-page suit filed Wednesday.

Court papers contain a cruel recital of Terzi’s perverse management style, including the time he “urinated on a garment” belonging to Sultan as others watched.

Terzi was accused of throwing a shoe and a pair of scissors at his young assistant, hurling insults like “f—— idiot” and “piece of s—“ — and repeatedly “sneezing in (Sultan’s) face in a contemptuous fashion.”

Terzi, in a countersuit, charged Sultan was a conniving backstabber who launched his own business with confidential information stolen from Jack Terzi Real Estate.

Sultan, of Eatontown, N.J., declined further discussion about his ex-boss.



Did Marin Know Something in 2011?


Africa Israel USA, 23 Wall Street, China Sonangol – What Richard Marin Had to Say in 2011…

There have been and continue to be conflicting reports regarding Africa-Israel’s involvement with 23 Wall Street, the Clock Tower Building and the New York Times building, amongst many.

Richard Marin, once CEO of Africa-Israel said that he uncovered “serious instances of self-dealing and conflict of interest” which is why he was ousted. Perhaps there were no conflicts because there was a shared ownership interest so the money was just changing from the right hand to the left.

The question remains: Who owns some of New York’s most iconic buildings and secondarily, who profited. We JSR capital, owned by former employee Jona Rechnitz one of the “competing interests”?

See following related articles:

Arcady Gaydamak 

23 Wall Street

Sam Pa


JSR Capital


Ousted Africa Israel Chief Marin Alleges He Uncovered ‘Abuses’


Richard Marin, former chief executive officer of Africa Israel USA, sued the company and its Israel-based parent, saying he was fired after uncovering “serious instances of self-dealing and conflict of interest.”

Marin, who became CEO in February 2009, is seeking to recover a $1.25 million bonus he said he was promised for last year, plus management incentive fees and damages for his termination in December.

“This is a case of a company firing an executive in order to cover up wrongdoing that the executive discovered and reported,” Marin said in the complaint, filed yesterday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. A lawyer for the company said today that Marin was fired after disagreements with management in Israel about strategy, and that he delayed repayment of a loan against the bonus.

Africa Israel USA, a unit of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments Ltd., made its highest-profile acquisitions just before the onset of the credit crunch in 2007. A series of acquisitions that included the $525 million purchase of the former New York Times building and Manhattan’s Clock Tower building for $200 million saddled the firm with $2 billion of debt.

Marin was hired to help the company “stop the bleeding” from its “badly timed investment binge,” according to his suit.

‘Willful Diversion’

Marin alleges that the company, struggling to restructure its debt, diverted a valuable client to a competing firm founded by a former employee. That client, China Sonangol International Ltd., which owns an office building at 23 Wall Street, brought more than $200,000 of fees to Africa Israel, which was managing the property, Marin’s suit said. China Sonangol also owed Africa Israel $700,000 and Marin said that senior management in Israel prohibited him from suing to recover those funds because the Hong Kong firm has ties to Leviev’s non-real estate ventures.

“Willful diversion of the opportunity deprived shareholders of Africa-Israel of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue,” Marin alleged in the suit.

Y. David Scharf, a lawyer for Africa Israel, said Marin was terminated because of a series of disagreements with management in Israel, including disputes over the strategic direction of the company and “outwardly hostile” remarks to Leviev in front of senior management. Marin also borrowed $500,000 against his bonus, according to Scharf and Marin’s lawsuit. The amount should have been paid back in 2010, Scharf said; instead Marin created a promissory note with a date in 2011, against the bonus he expected to receive for 2010.

Bonus Advance

“He basically took the company’s money and gave himself an advance against the 2010 bonus, which wasn’t guaranteed. It was completely discretionary,” Scharf said.

Marin described the bonus advance in his suit, saying he and management agreed the loan would be due in June 2011, and be repaid from his expected 2010 bonus. Africa Israel recorded the loan and its payment date in corporate filings in June and September 2010, according to the lawsuit.

Scharf also said that China Sonangol was unhappy with Africa Israel’s performance in leasing the vacant space at 23 Wall Street, so Africa Israel referred it to another firm.

“It wasn’t like Africa Israel diverted business to a competitor; they actually saved a working relationship,” Scharf said. “Africa Israel was not generating revenue, not leasing the property.”

The case is Richard A. Marin v. AI Holdings (USA) Corp., 651224/2011, New York state Supreme Court (Manhattan).

See original article, here.



More Arrests and Indictments – Our Diamond Theory…



Lost Messiah, July 8, 2016

Our theory regarding the connections by and among the following people: Jona Rechnitz, Jeremy Reichberg, Africa-Israel, Norman Seabrook, Hamlet Peralta, Lev Leviev, Sam Pa, the Queensway Group, Platinum Partners, Mark Nordlicht, Murray Huberfeld and others has always been founded on the links that all of these people have to diamonds, diamond mining, diamond production, diamond investing and more diamonds.

389763bc-6455-4389-a590-fc714c20d1b2The ownership and providence of 23 Wall Street, the Antwerp Building, the Madison Avenue Clock Tower and their connections to both Africa-Israel and Jona Rechnitz and by default to Lev Leviev and Sam Pa has again led us to the underlying theme of Lev Leviev’s major business interests, diamonds.

Sam Pa and China Sonangol are also known for mining, diamonds.

sam-paIn fact, Sam Pa and China Sonangol have been accused of human rights abuses related to diamond mining. The fact that Rechnitz tells some outrageous fantasy story about duping Sam Pa into purchasing 23 Wall Street instead of the Madison Avenue Clock Tower building is all smoke and mirrors. Rechnitz’s indictment that Sam Pa purchased that building from Africa-Israel as a favor to Lev Leviev, who was apparently cash poor at the time,  is an incriminating evocation that the two men knew each other. That sort of favor, if true, would indicate more than simple cursory introductions. Rechnitz’s statement is a dead-giveaway in our opinion regardless of truth or accuracy of the statements, that Lev Leviev and Sam Par are business associates of sorts. We are guessing…. diamonds or diamond mining.  

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Sam Pa, China Sonangol and Lev Leviev – Diamonds



23 Wall Street, Jona Rechnitiz, Africa-Israel, Lev Leviev, Sam Pa, China Sonangol and Angolan Blood Diamonds

It is frightening  though unsurprising to consider that 23 Wall Street, owned by Sam Pa/China Sonangol, could be intertwined with a blood diamond trade in Angola. Thanks to one of our contributors we are providing you with additional information regarding Sam Pa and his link to Lev Leviev and in our opinion either directly or through Leviev to Jona Rechnitz. The source material cited by Professor N’gola Kiluange is information regarding Sam Pa, the Queensway Group and Sonangol, all of which we have cited in previous articles.

The following are a series of what we believe to be relevant excerpts from an article written by Professor N’gola Kiluange.



Now, how is it possible that Xu Jinghua (Sam), former Chinese counterintelligence operative and arms dealer in our country in the early ‘ 80… today appears as the owner of the China Sonangol Finance International Ltd.,China Sonangol Gas International Ltd.,China Sonangol International Ltd.,China Sonangol International Holding Ltd.,China Sonangol Natural Resources International Ltd., China Sonangol International Investment Ltd., China Sonangol Natural Resources International Ltd.,Sonangol Sinopec International Ltd, China Endiama International Limited, China Sonangol Singapore, China Sonangol Shanghai Petroleum Co ltd, China Sonangol Wall Street, China Sonangol International Airlines, Endiama China International Holding Ltd,etc.


Thus, the participation of Manuel Domingos Vicente and Francisco de Lemos José Maria (Vice President of the Republic and chairperson of the Directors Board of Sonangol, respectively) on the Governing Board of the following companies shows the footprints of Eduardo dos Santos associated with the Chinese mafia led by Sam Pa, together with influential people belonging to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):

a. ) Endiama China International Holding Limited. Property: National enterprise from Diamonds of Angola, E. P. (Endiama) 55 %, New Corporate International Limited 45 %. Directorship: Lo Fong Hung, António of Jesus Matias, Zheng Gang, Manuel Arnaldo Sousa Calado.

b.) Global Investments Fund Limited.Propriedade: Gold Ascent Limited (100%).Diretoria: Lo Fong Hung, Verónica Fung, Manuel Vicente, Francisco de Lemos José Maria.

c. ) Sonangol Asia Limited. Property: China Beiya Escom International Limited 70 %, Sonangol, E. P. 30 %. Directorship: Lo Fong Hung, Wu Yang, Manuel Vicente.

d. ) Worldpro Development Limited. Property: World Noble Holdings Limited (100 %) Directorship: Lo Fong Hung, Manuel Vicente, Francisco De Lemos Jose Maria, Moshe Hallak.

Nevertheless, it remains to know the real amount of money that the Angolan government has been investing in these companies. . . so that we can have a right notion of the percentage of its respective undertakings and profits.

Jinghua, on the other hand, was arrested in Beijing last year for corruption relating to the business of his company China International Fund and Sinopec Chinese State.


Truth be told: in exchange for the services provided by Xu Jinghua, Lev Avnerovich Leviev, Arcadi Aleksandrovich Gaydamak against the forces of Jonas Savimbi during our civil war, Dos Santos decided to spoil them with large diamond deposits, oil wells and attractive business in our national real estate market, etc.

Lev Avnerovich Leviev made Isabel dos Santos the first billion-dollar African woman and in return controls our biggest diamond business together with Russian diamond company Alrosa … and provides security to Eduardo dos Santos with instructed doctrines by former members of the KGB.


Prof. N’gola Kiluange
Washington D.C

Bibliographic references:
1.) Sonangol China oil scheme: Billions ‘diverted’ in Angola
2.) The Queensway syndicate and the Africa trade
3.) Queixa-crime contra vice-presidente de Angola Manuel Vicente
4.) Fachada para o governo chinês?

5.) Magnata chinês parceiro da Sonangol detido em caso de corrupção

6.)U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission, The 88 Queensway Group: A Case Study in Chinese Investors’ Operations in Angola and Beyond
7.) Presidente angolano quer consórcio com empresa russa de diamantes

Sam Pa – A Taste of the Nuances, Not Easily Duped




Lost Messiah, July 5, 2016

Unscrupulous Businessmen are not Easily Duped…

In order to better grasp our steadfast theory regarding diamonds, and their connection to each and every aspect of the current corruption scandal encompassing the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio, Jona Rechnitz and Murray Huberfeld, to name a few, you need to understand the players. 

We have already written about Lev Leviev and Africa-Israel. Given the latest developments, that the “King of Diamonds” received a special unauthorized tunnel escort to a charity event, you might be warming up to our theory.

In an article in the New York Post today, it  was reported that Jona Rechnitz’s maintained that China Songangol was duped into purchasing the 23 Wall Street property. A portrait of Sam Pa, his savvy, his reputation for unscrupulous behavior and his cunning makes Jona Rechnitz’s statements almost mind-numbingly humorous, if not for how insulting they are to our collective intelligence.

A little on Sam Pa:



Sam Pa is detained! Long Live Sam Pa!


The mysterious Chinese tycoon has finally been arrested. But unless the shady global networks he exploited to make his riches are dismantled, other individuals will simply take his place.

When Chinese investment tycoon Sam Pa was whisked away by authorities on the night of 8 October in the Sofitel in Beijing, it may have marked the end of his meteoric and somewhat unlikely rise from relative obscurity to one of the most influential Chinese businessmen in Africa. That evening, Pa was reportedly detained in connection with a sour deal with a powerful Chinese state oil firm in Angola that earned him huge profits.

A former spy with a “fondness for women and fast cars” (according to his friends), Pa’s story captivated journalists and investigators the world over. He went from being a bankrupt arms dealer in the late 1990s to commanding a multi-billion dollar corporate empire in under a decade. The syndicate he formed in 2003, commonly known as the Queensway Group (named for the address of its Hong Kong offices), amassed holdings in the oil, mining, infrastructure, aviation, agriculture, and real estate sectors. Its holdings stretch from North Korea to Zimbabwe to Manhattan, and investigators on at least four continents have probed its operations.

In many ways, Sam Pa operated in the tradition of war profiteers like infamous Russian weapons trafficker Viktor Bout.  Like Bout before him, Pa is fluent in several languages, carried multiple passports, travelled in his own fleet of aircraft, and used at least seven aliases. He had the requisite arms trade credentials and high-level political contacts but used his connections to penetrate new markets and amass a more impressive plunder. Pa’s detention may mean that one of the most exploitative predatory investors that has ever set foot in Africa has reached the end of the line.

But his exit will yield little long-term gains unless the system that allowed him to thrive in the first place is dismantled.

From the morally questionable to the unquestionably illegal

Pa owes part of his success to powerful friends in Beijing. In 2004, Queensway formed China Sonangol, a joint Chinese-Angolan venture that would prove to be Queensway’s most important partnership. In 2005, Sinopec, one of China’s largest state-owned oil companies, served as guarantor for a $3 billion loan to China Sonangol from a group of private Western banks, enabling Queensway to jumpstart its operations in Angola’s oil and infrastructure sectors. Chinese state enterprises remain key partners in Queensway’s overseas ventures.

Yet ultimately, those longstanding ties weren’t enough to shield Pa. For one thing, he’s long courted controversy, often partnering with dubious brokers like Roman Putin – a cousin of Russian President Vladimir Putin – who helped him win a contract to build a $1.3 billion bridge connecting Russia and Crimea just a few months after the controversial annexation of the Ukrainian territory.

Pa often targeted resource-rich states with financially desperate or diplomatically isolated governments. In 2008, he invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Zimbabwe’s diamond sector during the country’s post-electoral crisis. Later, Queensway penned deals with Guinea, Niger, and Madagascar shortly after coups d’état in each country. In Pyongyang, he brokered deals with Office 39, a North Korean state agency involved in everything from counterfeiting to drug smuggling. Queensway’s projects in many of these countries have been marred by chronic delays, mismanagement, and allegations of graft.

Some of Pa’s operations, however, crossed the line from morally questionable to unquestionably illegal. In 2011, Jon Swain reported Pa’s involvement in the smuggling of diamonds out of Zimbabwe and the trafficking of weapons to Cí´te d’Ivoire in violation of sanctions. In 2013, court records revealed that his companies made hidden payments to diplomats in North Korea and Mozambique, while additional investigative reports allege that he bribed high-level officials in several countries, including Nigeria, for access to lucrative oil concessions. In April 2014, the US Department of Treasury placed Pa under sanctions for providing assistance to Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, President Robert Mugabe’s secret police force that has become synonymous with state-sponsored violence.

For years, Queensway drew criticism from Chinese diplomats too, who often issued statements distancing Beijing from Queensway’s activities and have warned companies and foreign governments about doing business with Pa. Talk, however, is cheap. Critics (myself included) have argued that throughout the Queensway Group’s reign, the Chinese government has failed to take punitive action against the syndicate’s leaders for their predatory practices and have often benefited from the Pa’s dealings. Pa’s relationships with senior officials and state enterprises, meanwhile, continued for years despite diplomats’ denunciations and abortive investigations. Staving off these detractors depended in part on top-cover from influential figures in Beijing, however, leaving Queensway vulnerable to changes in China’s political landscape.

Dizzying deals

Pa seemed to understand that his days were numbered. Despite achieving enormous success, Pa’s associates say he operated with tremendous urgency. During a 2014 commencement address, Sun Hengchao, Pa’s friend and the president of Yinchuan University, said that he “personified the entrepreneurial spirit”. He could afford expensive houses and buildings, Sun said, but barely had any time to spend in them.  “In fact, he spent most of his time living on a plane,” he added. “When he was tired after a busy day he boarded the plane and went to sleep, and also ate his meals on the plane. Once he got off the plane, he went to work.” Sun recalled once asking his globetrotting friend how he could stay so busy. Pa’s response grabbed Sun’s attention: “Mr. Sun, I am now in my fifties. How much time do I have left to waste?”

In retrospect, it seems clear Pa spent an enormous amount of time and energy on simply concealing his activities by engaging in back-room deals with like-minded kleptocrats and exploiting legal loopholes.  This is no small task, when you consider the scale of his operations. Queensway’s business model, however, gave Pa plenty of opportunities to cover his tracks. Pa typically negotiated deals behind closed doors, and contracts pertaining its deals were rarely disclosed. Furthermore, in many of the places where Queensway operates, oversight institutions are weak and civil society and the press are stifled, meaning that the syndicate’s operations are rarely subject to public scrutiny.

Queensway’s team of lawyers and accountants worked vigorously to ensure none of Pa’s aliases appeared anywhere on corporate records. Over time, Queensway’s corporate structure has become more and more complex. At one point, its operations in Zimbabwe’s diamond sector were channeled through the Hong Kong subsidiary of a Singaporean firm that was, in turn, owned by a series of shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. The ultimate owners of these firms remain a mystery.

Trying to map Queensway’s corporate structure is simply dizzying. This allowed representatives from China Sonangol and China International Fund – Queensway’s flagship companies involved in everything from oil trading to property development – to deny links to Sam Pa, claiming he is just an advisor. This also impeded investigators and regulators who seek to delve into Queensway’s activities.

Queensway also benefited from weak banking standards.  Banks are legally bound to “know their customer”, but countless financial institutions are known to deal with firms that hide their beneficial owners. China Sonangol has accessed multibillion-dollar loans and maintained accounts with mainstream banks. This let Pa and his colleagues move money with ease. Queensway now owns billions of dollars in real estate around the world, including the historic headquarters of J.P. Morgan in Manhattan, held through a Delaware shell entity.

Keep your friends close

Sam Pa may have now reached the end of the line. The man known as one of the shrewdest operators in politically unstable and volatile countries around the world has become a casualty of political upheaval in his home country.  Thus far, one of the defining features of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s tenure has been an anti-corruption drive on an unprecedented scale in modern China.

Although Xi vowed to go after both tigers (corrupt high-level officials) and flies (small-time crooks), many observe that the anti-graft campaign has largely targeted his political adversaries. Once a master of guanxi, personalised networks of influence, Pa’s relationships with the wrong Chinese elites may have been the key factor in his demise.

The day before Pa was detained, party officials placed Su Shulin, Governor of Fujian province and former head of Sinopec Group, under suspicion of “serious violations”. Pa and Su had worked closely on deals in Angola, and Pa’s detention is reportedly linked to the Su probe. Although Sinopec lost a fortune in its deals with China Sonangol, Pa and his associates paid very little up front and walked away with a king’s ransom: a $51 million consulting fee for simply handling the paper work for the acquisition of five oil blocks and a corporate credit card that allowed Pa to spend HK$58 million ($7.5 million) over the course of several years.

In Su, Xi may have ensnared a tiger. In Pa, he has trapped the lord of the flies. While Pa may be an inconsequential player in Chinese domestic politics, he is extraordinarily influential in several of the overseas kleptocracies he helped prop up. But his detention hardly means that justice will be served.

One major challenge is the extrajudicial mechanism China uses to prosecute corruption. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party entity investigating Pa, is a secretive body, said to dish out “a harsh brand of party justice that’s often politically motivated.” Prosecuting Pa through this process would hardly amount to giving him a fair trial, depriving him and the victims of his schemes of the justice they deserve. Making an example of Pa may prompt some officials to think twice about engaging in graft, but the politically motivated nature of the purge could serve to undermine that deterrent, especially for Xi’s allies.

After Pa

But more importantly, Pa’s fall from grace is not a sign that the Queensway business model failed. The structural challenges and systemic loopholes that nurtured Pa and the Queensway Group’s rise in the first place remain intact. Predatory investors Sam Pa or Viktor Bout can still anchor their business in a jurisdiction that is unconcerned with its behaviour overseas, form companies without disclosing their identities, and target states with weak oversight structures and leaders who are more concerned with enriching themselves than delivering services to their citizens.

Real progress against public sector corruption – in China or anywhere else around the world – requires far more than removing the perpetrators of abuses like Pa. The cornerstone of any effective anti-corruption strategy must be reducing the opportunities for illicit actors to operate in the shadows. This means ensuring that state enterprises and government budgets are governed transparently, and that civil society and the press are empowered to act as watchdogs. To ensure anti-graft campaigns are legitimate and sustainable, officials suspected of corruption should be tried through formal and transparent judicial processes, not ad hoc politically expedient tribunals. Unfortunately, China and many other places where Pa operated seem to be moving in the opposite direction.

Still, there is a lot that reform-minded countries can do to bolster accountability in these states. Most importantly, they can eradicate anonymous shell companies. Without exception, every country should maintain a public registry of all companies registered within its territory. These registries must contain information about individuals who hold a substantial stake of the company, including their name, birthdate, residential address, nationality, and contact information. Falsifying this information should be illegal, and bankers who handle money for anonymous investors should also be held criminally liable.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been a leading voice in advocating for these reforms, pledging to establish a public registry of British companies and vowing to go after “dirty money” stashed in the country’s property market.  However, powerful interest groups are pushing back against legislation that would expand beneficial ownership transparency, and many countries and British overseas territories are refusing to get on board with reforms.

When I caught wind of Pa’s detention, I got in touch with a colleague who encouraged me to look into Pa seven years ago. “Sam’s days were always numbered,” he told me. “If it doesn’t pan out this time, there will be another.  His type usually ends up badly.” Pa’s demise was always inevitable, but a broken system allows his type to reappear.

Viktor Bout’s biographers warned of this years ago. “In today’s world, any attempt to halt illicit activities – whether it’s trafficking by Viktor Bout or by someone else – can truly be read as the second labor of Hercules,” Doug Farah and Stephen Braun wrote in Foreign Policy in 2006. “Whenever the hydra’s head is cut off, two more grow in its place.”

J.R. Mailey is author of ‘The Anatomy of the Resource Curse: Predatory Investment in Africa’s Extractive Industries‘, a Special Report published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Follow him on twitter at @MaileyJR.




China and Africa’s most unscrupulous middleman has been detained in Beijing

A secretive Hong Kong tycoon that has been at the forefront of China’s push into Africa’s resource markets has been detained in Beijing, according to the Chinese business news magazine Caixin.

Sam Pa is the mysterious founder of a complex corporate network known as “the 88 Queensway Group” or “the Queensway syndicate,” after the office address of its main companies in Hong Kong. Pa, a stocky, bespectacled man who uses at least seven aliases—most of his business associates refer to him as just “Mr. Sam”—is believed to have forged ties with African elites while working in Chinese intelligence.

Analysts say that the Queensway companies, connected to China’s ministry of foreign affairs, operate in politically isolated, resource-rich African countries (pdf) like Angola and Zimbabwe where business and government dealings are more opaque. Pa has been accused of bribing African officials, smuggling diamonds, and trafficking illegal arms. He was sanctioned last year by the United States for allegedly supporting Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

Pa’s detention may be linked to the investigation of the governor of Fujian province, Su Shulin, according to Caixin. Su is the former chairman of the state-owned oil company Sinopec. He has been detained for “serious violations of discipline” as part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption crackdown. Su was the head of Sinopec when it partnered with a Queensway company to develop its oil business in Angola.

It’s not clear how closely Pa is still linked to Queensway or how its operations in Africa will be affected if he is felled by the Chinese communist party. (The company says that he is now only an adviser.) JR Mailey, an analyst who has been tracking the company for over seven years, told the Financial Times (paywall) that the sprawling corporate empire remains “dependent upon Sam Pa and his connections in Beijing and other capitals.”

Queensway tycoon Sam Pa is detained in Communist probe


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Smoke and Mirrors and Diamonds and Pa…


Jona Rechnitz, How Stupid Do you Think we Are???

Lost Messiah, July 5, 2016

This post is a follow-up to the posted  article immediately preceding this one. According to the Real Deal, quoting from the NY Post article found in our former post, Rechnitz claims that Sam Pa directed China Sonangol to purchase 23 Wall Street as a favor to Lev Leviev in 2008. At the time Rechnitz was “the founder of JSR Capital, was head of acquisitions for Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments when it sold the Financial District building for $150 million to the Chinese company. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo claims Rechnitz told him that Leviev needed the cash from China Sonangol.”

According to Cuozzo’s article “Rechnitz maintained that the Chinese company was duped into buying 23 Wall Street when it thought it was purchasing the 50-story MetLife Clocktower at 5 Madison Aveneue.” This is rather odd considering that China Sonangol has always boasted ownership of the Wall Street Building, and still does. See the following directly from the China Sonangol Website.

What we find more interesting, however, is that JSR Capital had offices in the World Diamond Tower at 580 5th Avenue, along with many other interrelated companies owned by Rechnitz and his partner (in crime?) Jeremy Reichberg and many other merchants and dealers. If you look at the bottom of the page, you will see the list of “mining” ventures of China Sonangol. Again, we reiterate that the common denominator in all of these equations is… DIAMONDS. 


Our Business

Our commitment is to be a premium landlord and reputable developer of prime properties in the region, dedicated to providing excellent customer satisfaction.

Real Estate

Strategic Square

List of Projects

Property Development

  • TwentyOne Angullia Park (Singapore)

    China Sonangol Land’s flagship project in Singapore is the luxurious TwentyOne Angullia Park located in the main shopping street of Orchard Road. Sitting on 4,562 sqm of land and soaring 36 stories into the sky, the freehold development is designed by the award-winning SCDA architects and comprises 54 distinguished residences fitted out only with the finest materials.
  • Amber Skye (Singapore)

    Amber Skye is strategically located in the much sought after East Coast area (District 15) with a site area of 3,782 sqm. This freehold development promises a unique architectural form with breathtaking vistas of the sea, and unblocked views of the low-rise Tanjong Katong Estate. This 109-units project is developed in partnership with OKP Holdings (i.e. 10% equity interest).
  • Indonesia1 (Indonesia)

    Located within the Central Business District of Jakarta, Indonesia1 boasts a potential gross floor area of 2.2 million sqft and will comprise of two towers mainly offices, serviced apartments and commercial space with a Grade A, Greenmark Platinum Certification. This project is developed in partnership with Media Group.

    Indonesia1, with a site area of 18,925 sqm, is envisaged to be a premium integrated mixed-use development offering a live, work and play concept, supported by entertainment, retail amenities and facilities within the development and vicinity.

  • Sampoerna Strategic Square (Indonesia)

    China Sonangol Land and the Sampoerna Group, one of the most respected Groups in Indonesia, co-own the Sampoerna Strategic Square, located in the prime business district of Jakarta. The development sits on a land area of 34,735 sqm, currently has two towers offering 937,500 sqft of grade A office space. Moving forward, both Groups will jointly develop two more new towers within Sampoerna Strategic Square to boost the total lettable area to 2.5 million sqft.

Property Investment

  • Lippo Centre ( Hong Kong)

    Lippo Centre is one of the landmark developments in Hong Kong. It is prominently located in the heart of Admiralty, comprises of two office towers with a retail podium element situated on the ground floors and a small basement car park with a gross floor area of approximately 1.3 million sq.ft.

    We acquired the 43rd to 45th floors of Lippo Centre, comprising of 9 office units, a total area of 29,618 sq ft.

  • Suntec City Office Tower One (Singapore)

    Located within the Central Business District of Singapore, Suntec City is an iconic integrated commercial development in Singapore comprising of five Grade-A intelligent office towers, a world-class convention and exhibition centre and one of Singapore’s largest shopping mall.

    China Sonangol Land owns the 42nd floor of Suntec City Office Tower One which has a total area of 9,989 sq.ft.

  • Intercontinental Bali Resort

    Intercontinental Bali Resort is China Sonangol Land’s foray into the hospitality market in Indonesia.The property is co-owned with the Media Group of Indonesia. The hotel sits on a 14 hectares of land facing the white sands of Jimbaran Bay and it has 418 rooms and excellent customer service.

    • Intercontinental Bali Resort was awarded the title of ” Best Resort Hotel in Asia-Pacific” by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Travel Awards in 2013.
  • Wall Street (USA)

    Acquired in 2008, this property is a 140,000 sqft office and retail development located at the iconic crossroads of Wall Street and Broad Street, in the heart of the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City.

    • Total retail and commercial space available: 145,87.7 sqft

    Our Business

    Working hand in hand with the local government, we contribute to the social and economic development in Africa.


    • Diamond Projects

      Located in Angola, Catoca is the fourth largest diamond kimberlite mine in the world. China Sonangol International Singapore is part of the consortium of international mining interests which has investments in the Catoca diamond mine.
    • Exploration and Production of Iron Ore with Bellzone Mining Plc

      Bellzone Mining Plc is a publicly listed company on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). It engages in the exploration and resource development of iron ore, nickel and copper in Guinea. China Sonangol International Singapore owns approximately 50.5% of Bellzone Mining shares.
    • Nan Nan Resources Enterprise Limited

      Our Hong Kong listed company, Nan Nan Resources Enterprise Limited, is a natural resources company engaged in mining, sales and distribution of coal. It owns the mining right to Kaiyuan Open Pit Coal Mine and an exploration right to Zexu Open Pit Coal Mine in Xinjiang; China.




Rechnitz claims China Sonangol thought it bought MetLife Clocktower, not 23 Wall: report

Jona Rechnitz | 23 Wall Street NYC | China Sonangol


Chinese billionaire Sam Pa directed conglomerate China Sonangol to buy 23 Wall Street as a favor to Lev Leviev in 2008, according to Jona Rechnitz, the man at the center of a campaign financing scandal that’s rocked Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the New York City Police Department.

Rechnitz, the founder of JSR Capital, was head of acquisitions for Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments when it sold the Financial District building for $150 million to the Chinese company. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo claims Rechnitz told him that Leviev needed the cash from China Sonangol.

In a strange twist to an already odd tale, Cuozzo says Rechnitz maintained that the Chinese company was duped into buying 23 Wall when it thought it was purchasing the 50-story MetLife Clocktower at 5 Madison Avenue (which is now the home of the New York Edition Hotel).

The tabloid columnist said he was unable to verify any of Rechnitz’s claims, writing that the people who supposedly were able to corroborate the JSR Capital head’s claims refused to speak.

Investment sales brokers told the Post that it would be impossible for China Sonangol to not know which building it purchased.

Since the 2008 sale, the Financial District building has failed to attract a retail tenant and Pa was arrested in China on corruption charges last year.

Meanwhile, Rechnitz is at the center of an investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara into de Blasio’s fundraising. Rechnitz and associate Jeremy Reichberg allegedly traded gifts for favors to 20 New York Police Department officers, and funneled money to the mayor’s campaign coffers.

Reichberg allegedly arranged to have NYPD officers provide Leviev a personal escort through the Lincoln Tunnel, shutting down a lane for the “King of Diamonds.”

To read the complete article click, here.