Corporate profiles compiled by George Draffan

Public Information Network, PO Box 95316, Seattle WA 98145-2316 USA

www.endgame.org

back to main page and index

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political and econoic issues.
We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.Section 107, the material on this site is made available without profit to those who have an interest in receiving the information for research and educational purposes.

 

RAJA GARUDA MAS

Indonesia

Conglomerate headed by Sukanto Tanoto (Tan Kaung Ho).

Set up a Bermuda-based holding company called Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL), which sold $150 million in stock in the U.S. and Canada to set up operations in Indonesia, India, and China (Carrere and Lohman, Pulping the South, p. 220). Joint venture with UPM-Kymmene of Finland. See also Asia Pacific Resources.

Riau Andalan, the largest single-line pulp mill in the world, near Pakanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia. Will produce 750,000 tons of pulp per year, integrated with a 280,000 ton-per-year paper mill. Built in 1994 at a cost of $750 million -- $750,000 per job provided. Will be cutting 50 species of native hardwoods while waiting for 160,000 hectares of acacia and eucalyptus plantations to grow. Two thirds of its production will be for export (Carrere and Lohman, Pulping the South, p. 211, 220).

Indorayon mill in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Subsidized with a $500 million loan from Indonesia's Domestic Lending Board (Carrere and Lohman, Pulping the South, p. 212). Began with 86,000 hectares of indigenous pine planted during the Dutch colonial period, but has expanded to cut additional areas, including the 150,000 hectare Harionboho Protection Forest (p. 220). In 1987, Indorayon took the Batak people's pasture lands and a graveyard, and planted them in eucalyptus; in 1989, Batak women ripped up tree seedlings in response to several rapes (p. 225-226). A chlorine tank explosion in November 1993 and hazardous gas leaks led hundreds of protestors to burn 100 houses, a radio station, and vehicles (p. 223-224). Indorayon has polluted the Asahan River, and depleted fisheries and village water supplies. Indonesian authorities, including the military, have defended Indirayon (p. 226).

 

 

RALSTON PURINA

 

 

Bought Union Carbide's battery-manufacturing operations. Its battery manufacturing in Turkey is U.S. OPIC-assisted (OPIC 1991 Annual Report).

 

 

RAND MINES

South Africa

Coal and gold. See Anglo American.

 

 

RAYCHEM

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Raychem in 1993 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

 

 

RAYTHEON

141 Spring St, Lexington MA 02173, telephone 617-862-6600

Founded in 1922, starting with radio vacuum tubes and World War II radar systems. Raytheon operations range from air traffic control to missiles (Hawk, Maverick, Patriot, Sparrow, Sidewinder), radar and sonar, semiconductors, surveillance, household appliances (Amana, Speed Queen, Caloric), educational publishing (D.C. Heath), engineering and construction (United Engineers & Constructors, Badger Company), Seismographic Service Corporation (see entry for Seismograph Service Ltd. for Raytheon's involvement with Burmese oil development) and aircraft (Beech, King Air).

Military mergers In 1997 Raytheon said it would buy the defense-electronics business of Texas Instruments for $2.95 billion in cash as it hurries to boost its stature in a consolidating defense industry. Dennis Picard, Raytheon chairman and chief executive, said the deal would boost Raytheon's defense electronics sales to $8 billion a year. Raytheon has been a major player in the defense industry consolidation. In April 1995, it acquired E-Systems for more than $2 billion, and a year later, it bought Chrysler's defense-electronics business for $475 million http://www.seattletimes.com/extra/browse/html97/ray_010697.html

In 1993 Raytheon got a $580 million contract for technical assistance, training and support for Saudi Arabia's Patriot and Hawk air defense system; the contract supports two other contracts totalling $1.5 billion, awarded to Raytheon by the Army Missile Command (New York Times, Feb. 17, 1993, p. C4).

Raytheon contract for cluster weapons (munitions containers which break open in mid-air and disperse smaller munitions which explode on impact, just before impact, or a short time after impact. Cluster weapon delivery systems often carry hundreds of submunitions, saturating an area with flying shards of steel. These submunitions are small, often the size of a baseball or small lawn dart. Depending on the delivery system, the submunitions from one munitions container may cover an area the size of several football fields, or be dispersed over an even wider area up to 100 acres). BAT is the Brialliant Anti-Armor Submunition. These submunitions are launched in the Army TACMS Block II missile. Each missile carries 13 submunitions. BAT has both acoustic and infra-red sensors, and is targeted agains moving armored combat vehicles. The prime contractor for BAT is Northrup Grumman (Hawthorne, CA and Perry, GA). The subcontractor is Raytheon, Manchester, NH. http://www.newpower.org/xnews/99/04/203.shtml#fnB72

Raytheon has been convicted of military contract fraud several times. In 1990, Raytheon pled guilty to trading in Pentagon secrets and paid a $1 million fine, but was reinstated by the Pentagon after the "success" of its Patriot missile in the Gulf War. In 1992, MIT Professor Theodore Postol '67, a professor of science, technology, and national security policy, questioned the accuracy of the U.S. Government reports on the Patriot-Scud Missile encounters. He was immediately attacked by Raytheon and its cohorts within MIT http://www.citizenslaw.net/_cases/vi_v_raytheon/raytheon_scud_mit.htm

Postol statement http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1992_h/h920318p.htm

U.S. House Committee on Government Operations hearing
102 Cong., 1st and 2 Sessions, 1991 - 1992, Report 102-1086, pages 179-188, http://www.citizenslaw.net/_cases/vi_v_raytheon/US_House_Report_102_1086_Raytheon_Scud.htm

Jock Friedly, Exploding the Patriot Myth, Boston Magazine http://www.bostonmagazine.com/archive/raytheon.shtml

Jim Donahue, The Patriots at Raytheon, Multinational Monitor, March 1991, p. 26-29, ftp://ftp.alternatives.com/library/polmoni2/ox910011.txt

McDonnell Douglas and Raytheon built the Dragon Antitank missile, a mobile antitank guided missile to defend against desert attacks. The Army disclosed that over half the time its gunners could not defend against desert attacks. An Army report disclosed that only half the time its gunners could distinguish if its target was a Soviet or an American tank. Gunners had to remain in place at the time of the firing until after the target was hit or was missed. This made the personnel sitting ducks. A 1987 GAO report stated that one in four soldiers firing the Dragon would be killed. A 1990 Congressional study reported that about 17 shots would be required to destroy a Soviet tank and that one in three soldiers would be killed by the enemy after firing. The Army conceded that it has trouble hitting targets. http://www.thegrid.net/clear/domestic.htm

The Ages Group, L.P. v. Raytheon Aircraft Company, Inc., 1998 WL 477413 (M.D. Ala.) (August 11, 1998). Raytheon hired security firm Wackenhut to conduct surveillance of its competitors. In March 1999, the federal district court awarded the AGES Group consent judgments totaling $8 million dollars against Raytheon and Wackenhut. In addition, Raytheon Aerospace agreed to repurchase $13 million worth of aircraft parts inventory from AGES at a $2 million profit to AGES. http://www.whistleblower.org/www/wackyfine.htm

Volumetric Imaging, Inc. alleges that Raytheon and Texas Instruments conspired to monopolize the air defense and traffic control display business by using unfair competitive practices to eliminate proposals from companies with superior technology for U.S. government research and development contracts. These actions would permit Raytheon to continue receiving a majority of the government research funding in this area, and if unable to develop competitive technology, to purchase these superior technologies and intellectual property below their fair market value. Volumetric Imaging, Inc., Dennis J. Solomon et al v. Raytheon, Texas Instruments (1996-) Pending in USDC Boston. http://www.citizenslaw.net/_cases/vi_v_raytheon/vi_v_raytheon_97.htm

Raytheon Shareholders Have Until December 13, 1999, to Seek Appointment as Lead Plaintiff, Says the Pomerantz Firm According to Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP http://www.pomerantzlaw.com, which has filed a class action lawsuit against Raytheon Company ("Raytheon" or the "Company") (NYSE: RTN/A and RTN/B) and two of the Company's senior officers on behalf of all Raytheon shareholders who purchased the company's common stock during the "Class Period" (March 30, 1998 through October 11, 1999, inclusive), shareholders have until December 13, 1999 to seek appointment by the Court as one of the lead plaintiffs in this action. Business Wire, 12/10/1999.

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Raytheon in 1993 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

Anti-Superfund PAC Contributions to Members of Congress from 1991-1998
http:/ / www.pirg.org/ enviro/ toxics/ superfund/ pac98/ page8.htm

Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM in Portuguese): $1.4 billion radar system proposed for 2 million square miles of the states of Para, Amazonas, and Rondonia, Brazil. Lobbying by U.S. President Clinton. Raytheon claims the system would help monitor the environment, monitor for forest fires, map hardwoods, oil and gas, uranium, bauxite, gold, and iron. System would consist of 13 radar stations, 6 mobile radars, 8 airborne sensors, and 800 remote antennas and potable computers. The Brazilian government picked the software company Esca; Esca technicians dominated a panel that picked Raytheon to supply equipment; the U.S. CIA acused Raytheon competitor Thomson-CSF (France) of bribing panel members. In May 1995, Brazil signed a 5-year contract with Raytheon (pending Brazilian Senate approval). Esca was dropped from the project after accusations of fraud and bankruptcy. Then a federal judge suspended Raytheon's contract after allegation of Esca misconduct, but a superior court overturned the suspension and reinstated the contract. The U.S. Export-Import Bank is to provide 85 percent of the money (all from Lewan, Todd, Charges of corruption and fraud surround Amazon radar project, Seattle Times, Aug. 27, 1995, p. A19. See also Multinational Monitor, October 1996).

Five years later... "Brazilian officials have contracted a $1.4 billion surveillance system to monitor the Amazon rainforest in the hopes of employing "a new, powerful weapon in the war against deforestation, drug trafficking and disease: information." Lexington, MA-based Raytheon Co. will operate Project SIVAM (System for the Vigilance of the Amazon) for the Brazilian government. Raytheon will run a sophisticated network of satellites, surveillance aircraft and radar systems throughout the Amazon jungle and dispense the information to three capitals in Amazon states. The rainforest is home to 300 species of mammals, 1,400 types of fish and 1,300 kinds of birds. Illegal logging, drug smuggling and gold mining thrive in certain areas of the 3.1 million square-mile forest. And officials estimate that 5 million acres of land are deforested annually. But for decades, Brazilian officials have struggled to monitor the forest because of "paltry manpower." Project SIVAM is expected to "fill the huge gaps left by the lack of manpower." But questions remain about whether action will result from increased amounts of information." (Greenwire, March 6, 2000, citing Stephen Buckley, Washington Post, March 4).

"Seven self-described Raytheon Peacemakers... were arrested at Raytheon Co.'s plant in Andover on March 3 after they threw human blood on the company's sign and attempted to walk on Raytheon property. The group was protesting military build-up in the Persian Gulf and economic sanctions against Iraq. They chose the Raytheon plant because the company manufactures Patriot and Hawk missiles. Raytheon also owns Hughes Aircraft and the defense division of Texas Instruments - companies that make weapons commonly used in U.S. military strikes. It is the third-largest weapons manufacturer in the United States... [During the pretrial hearing supporters carried signs that read] "If Raytheon's missiles are so smart why do they kill children?" Sarah Godcher, No remorse from Raytheon protesters, Eagle-Tribune, April 23, 1998, http://www.eagletribune.com/news/stories/19980423/LN_001.htm
Citizens of countries that are major weapons makers need to interest themselves more in what is being produced in their territories, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark testified in Lawrence District Court yesterday. The legal issue was trespassing - on the grounds of Raytheon in Andover - but Clark said the larger issue is whether the so-called "citizen weapons inspectors" had a duty to do so under larger national and international law. (Telegram & Gazette Worcester, MA, March 9, 1999). A statement from the protestors' is at http://www.afsc.org/pwork/1199/119909.htm

Three Tucson anti-war activists demanding to speak with Raytheon Systems plant managers were arrested for trespassing in January 2000 (Arizona Daily Star, Jan 18, 2000).

 

 

RCA (subsidiary of General Electric)

Begun by General Electric after World War I. RCA was sold in 1931, and then reacquired in 1986, by GE.

RCA Compenentes SA maquiladora in Mexico.

 

 

RDI ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

Seattle WA

Proposed sending 30 million used tires to Tonga to be burned in an incinerator (Multinational Monitor, May 1991, p. 5).

 

 

READER'S DIGEST

Its magazine operations in Hungary are U.S. OPIC-assisted (OPIC 1991 Annual Report).

 

 

REEF

Dutch timber and trading company with operations in Africa.

Chainsaw Criminal: Reef by Forests Monitor, CED & Greenpeace.

 

 

RELIANT RESOURCES

Houston TX

Independent power producer and marketer formed in 2000 by CenterPoint Energy (formerly Reliant Energy).

In 2003, the company "agreed to pay up to $50 million to resolve allegations that it squeezed electricity supplies to California and other Western states during the energy crisis... The settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the largest in the history of the agency... The agreement... resolves the bulk of the allegations against Reliant stemming from the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001, when electricity and natural gas prices soared and blackouts swept California... But Reliant and dozens of other electricity sellers remain on the hook for more than $3 billion in refunds for alleged electricity overcharges--a figure that California officials contend should total closer to $9 billion... Reliant did not admit to wrongdoing in accepting the settlement." (Reliant to Pay Up to $50 Million. By Nancy Rivera Brooks, Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2003).

In 2004, the "U.S. indicts Reliant unit, execs over manipulation. A federal grand jury Thursday returned a six-count indictment charging a unit of energy company Reliant Resources and four of its officers with manipulating the California energy markets... The indictment alleged that in June 2000, Reliant Energy Services and its officers and employees intentionally drove up the price of electricity in the state by shutting off its power generation to create the false appearance of a shortage. As a result, Reliant Energy Services allegedly reaped millions in illegal profits." (Reuters, Forbes.com, April 8, 2004). The company's response: "There is absolutely no basis to contend that this conduct contributed to the energy shortage that occurred in California later that year. We intend to contest these charges vigorously." (company news release, April 8, 2004).

 

 

REM CAPITAL CORPORATION

Park Place # 2200

1655 Fort Myer Drive

Arlington VA 22209

703-527-0990

REM Capital is a financial management advisory and merchant banking group. Shareholder, along with the VG Khlopin Radium Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia) and its parent agency, the Russian Federation's Ministry for Atomic Energy (MINATOM, Moscow), in RAIES International (Russian-American Ionized Energy Services Joint Venture), which plans to set up 11 irradiation plants to sterilize Russian wood for import into the U.S. Contact Pacific Environment and Resources Center http://www.pacificenvironment.org 

 

RENISON GOLDFIELDS CONSOLIDATED

24th Floor, Gold Fields House

1 Alfred Street

Sydney, New South Wales 2000

Australia

tel: (02) 934-8888

Gold accounted for 42 percent of 1992 revenues; mineral sands, 28 percent; tin, 15 percent; copper, 10 percent; trading, 4 percent; and commodity price hedging, 1 percent; its sales of $608 million came from Australia ($316 million); Papua New Guinea ($208); Indonesia ($53); and $31 million in other foreign operations.

See also Porgera entry.

 

 

REPSOL

Exploratory oil drilling contracts with Indonesia signed 1989 (Oil & Gas Journal, Aug. 7, 1989, p. 3).

Northwest Java, Indonesia, oil drilling (Oil & Gas Journal, Oct. 16, 1989).

 

 

REVERE RESOURCES

South Africa

Plans to develop the Haib copper deposit north of the Orange River in southern Namibia; the least cost, heap leach/solvent extraction facility is scheduled to come on line at the end of 1992 (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 178).

 

 

REYNOLDS METALS

6601 W. Broad St.

Richmond VA 23261

804-281-2000

Founded in 1919 by the tobacco industry's Reynolds to produce foil for cigarette packaging. Bought six U.S. aluminum plants after World War II, and benefitted from the court-ordered release of Alcoa's aluminum process patent (A Primer on Monopoly and Competition, by William F. Mueller, Random House, 1970, p. 144; and Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 477).

Reynolds has operations in 20 countries. It began bauxite exploration in Jamaica in 1949. Its British Guyana mines, operated since the 1950s, were nationalized in 1975. It owns interests in the Boddington, Mt. Gibson, and Marvel Loch gold mines in Australia (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 477).

A Siberian aluminum foil joint venture with Fata European Group was announced in November 1989.

Part owner (with Alcan and others) of the Mineracao Rio do Norte project in the Trombetas River basin in Brazil. Like Alcoa and Shell-Billiton's Amazon Bauxite Mine, the project is near the Trombetas Biological Reserve, and threatens the River itself.

Opening a bauxite mine south of Linden in Guyana (Mineral Industries International, July 1990, p. 3). Successful opening of the Aroaima Bauxite company joint venture with the Guyana government two mines on the Berbice river 70 miles from Georgetown (Engineering & Mining Journal, Jan. 1992, p. 14).

VALCO is a joint aluminum smelting operation formed between Kaiser and Reynolds, powered by the Akosumbo dam on the Volta River in Ghana. Financed by the World Bank. The area inundated by the dam covers five percent of the country, and displaced 80,000 people (Earth Island Institute's International Dams Newsletter, v.2, n.1, 1987).

See Alpart (Jamaican bauxite joint venture).

 

 

RHEINBAUM

Germany

Bought half of Consolidation Coal from Du Pont in 1991.

 

 

RHODIA

Mining in Brazil (The Ecologist 19(6):219-224 (1989).

 

 

RHONE POULENC

25, Quai Paul Doumer
92408 Courbevoie Cedex
France
telephone 011-33-47-68-12-34

125 Black Horse Ln.
Monmouth Junction NJ 08852 USA
telephone 908-297-0100

Major chemical company. Began in 19th century with phamaceuticals and dyes. Operating in Brazil by 1919. Nationalized by Mitterand in 1982. Bought RTZ, GAF, Union Carbide, and Stouffer subsidiaries in the 1980s. Owns US pharmaceutical company Rorer. Sales in 1990 were 79 million francs; two thirds in Europe. Has 200 production and research facilities in Europe, Brazil, and the U.S. See also The Greenpeace Book of Greenwash (1992).

Joint venture with Union Pacific on the Big Island trona (soda ash, or sodium carbonate) mine northwest of the town of Green River, Wyoming - began in 1962 (Hoover's American, 1992, p. 535; Mining Magazine July 1991 p. 6).

 

 

RIGGS BANK

"Directors of Riggs and its holding company include "Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti; Allied Capital chief executive William Walton; Heather Foley, the wife of the former House speaker; Fulbright & Jaworski partner Steven Pfeiffer; and George Washington University President Stephen Trachtenberg."
Oil royalties from "ExxonMobil, Amerada Hess and Marathon Oil... were deposited into accounts controlled by the president [of Equatorial Guinea] and his extended family."

-- from Blind As a Banker,
By Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, July 16, 2004.

"A number of American oil companies, especially Exxon Mobil, Amerada Hess and Marathon Oil, had numerous outside business ventures and other financial relationships with Mr. Obiang and his government, in addition to the companies' oil pursuits in the country. Executives from the companies testified last week. Senate records of Riggs accounts show large payments by American oil companies into accounts of Equatorial Guinean officials and their relatives, sometimes in increments as high as $250,000."

-- from At Riggs Bank, a Tangled Path Led to Scandal,
By Timothy L. O'Brien, New York Times, July 19, 2004

SEC eyes oil payments to Equatorial Guinea, USA Today.com, Aug 7, 2004. "The Securities and Exchange Commission is examining payments by four big U.S. oil companies to officials of Equatorial Guinea and businesses they controlled, as government inquiries related to the Riggs Bank affair proliferate. Spokesmen for the companies - Amerada Hess, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil and Marathon - confirmed Friday that they had recently received letters from the SEC requesting information in a preliminary investigation. They said the companies were cooperating in the inquiry, which is being conducted by the SEC's office in Fort Worth..."

"PNC Financial Services Group Inc. agreed Friday to buy Riggs National Corp., which is under investigation for allegedly failing to prevent, and in some cases fostering money laundering, for about $779 million in stock and cash. Its Riggs Bank subsidiary, an old-line Washington institution with deep ties to the diplomatic community, has been sanctioned and is under congressional investigation for allegedly helping hide money for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (news - web sites) and other lapses. Riggs was fined a record $25 million in May by federal banking regulators for alleged violations of laws against money laundering in its handling of cash transactions in Saudi-controlled accounts under investigation for possible links to terrorism financing. The proposed merger announcement comes a day after senators investigating Riggs operations expressed outrage at senior bank officials' failure to act while managers helped former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet conceal millions in assets and turned a blind eye to improper payments to officials of Equatorial Guinea. Lurid details -- such as a suitcase stuffed with cash -- emerged at a Senate hearing into Riggs' handling of the accounts. Lawmakers insisted it was impossible for high-level bank executives to be unaware of the actions. In fact, the bank's former chairman and chief executive, Joseph Allbritton, went to Chile to solicit Pinochet's business a decade ago, and he and other senior bank officials were familiar with the transactions in Pinochet's accounts, senators said. Riggs, a midsize institution, is the largest bank based in the Washington area with $6 billion in assets, 50 branches and a virtual monopoly on embassy business in the capital... Facing the sanctions by regulators last spring, Riggs retrenched in its foreign operations and the head of the [Allbritton] family that controls the bank resigned from the board of Riggs National. The moves were viewed favorably by Wall Street..." (PNC Financial to Buy Riggs National, By The Associated Press, Yahoo News, July 16, 2004).

Repercussions From a Bank's Lending Lapses, By Timothy L. O'Brien, New York Times, July 19, 2004. "The Senate investigations subcommittee assailed a lack of money-laundering controls at Riggs. The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has concluded that Riggs executives and bank regulators, even after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, failed to monitor suspicious financial transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars. A report it released last week in connection with a hearing on the bank's operations gives a detailed picture of events that snowballed into a financial scandal and appear to have ended the venerable bank's independence. On Friday, the parent of Riggs announced that PNC Financial Services of Pittsburgh had agreed to buy it for $779 million. Still, Riggs, and those who ran it, face more regulatory, Congressional and law enforcement investigations. The controversy that has shaken Riggs has sent tremors through the industry. Regulators acknowledge that, despite the impetus provided by the terrorist attacks, there are holes in their ability to analyze and prevent possible abuses of the nation's financial system. To seal those holes, the federal government is considering overhauling the way it polices the activities of banks. Such changes might involve investing a single agency with greater authority to enforce laws against money laundering and terrorist financing, according to regulators and Congressional leaders. At present, a hodgepodge of agencies that do not share information or coordinate activities effectively are charged with overseeing banks... The scrutiny of the bank involves accounts it held for Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, and for the Saudi Arabian Embassy. It comes at a time when several new books and the controversial documentary ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' have put a spotlight on the kingdom's ties to the Bush administration. The sources of about $700 million in cash and investment accounts at Riggs bank owned by the African nation of Equatorial Guinea or some of its leaders are also being examined, at a time when American companies have been courting that oil-rich nation to secure petroleum sources outside the Middle East..."

PNC Buys Riggs, Wipes Slate Clean, by Paul Maidment, Forbes, July 16, 2004."Out of sight, out of mind? The name Riggs National has been familiar to upper-crust Washingtonians and diplomats for 165 years. Now it is infamous for a record $25 million fine amid allegations of possible violations of U.S. money laundering laws. Early next year, it will disappear, following Riggs' $779 million cash and stock takeover by Pittsburgh's PNC Financial Services. Riggs has long been known as the banker to presidents and diplomats. It serves most foreign embassies and missions in the U.S. capital. But, even setting its latest embarrassments aside, its embassy and international businesses have not been money-making affairs... [PNC] will dump the tainted international and embassy business and concentrate on the regional-bank rump of Riggs, which would still have $3 billion in deposits... The deal gives the Pittsburgh bank a foothold in the affluent and fast-growing Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the fifth richest in the U.S., where Riggs has 51 branches, and plans for 30 more over the next three years... Riggs has a contract to handle the U.S. government's inflows and outflows, but provides no Treasury-management products... PNC has an option to walk away if Riggs doesn't get out of its international and embassy businesses cleanly, though Rohr's expectation is that all the issues surrounding that will be resolved before closing. Those issues are ugly. Two days ago, U.S. lawmakers lambasted Riggs for failing to inform bank regulators that it was handling accounts worth tens of millions of dollars for Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, and for top officials in the African dictatorship of Equatorial Guinea, a country accused by the U.S. of human rights abuses. A report by Senate investigators said that Riggs maintained large accounts for Pinochet long after a Spanish court in 1998 asked that such accounts be frozen, having issued an international arrest warrant for Pinochet alleging murder, torture and genocide. The investigation found that Riggs helped Pinochet conceal his funds in the bank. The inquiry also raised questions about payments from large oil companies, including Exxon Mobil (nyse: XOM - news - people ) and Marathon Oil (nyse: MRO - news - people ), to private accounts controlled by the leaders of Equatorial Guinea. The country was Riggs' largest single customer with deposits and loans worth nearly $700 million until the accounts were recently closed. Investigators found that between 2000 and 2002, more than $11.5 million in cash arrived in suitcases and was deposited in an account controlled through an offshore corporation established in the Bahamas, with Riggs' help. The bank did not report those transactions accurately to U.S. regulators. The report says that senior officials at the bank, including Joe Allbritton, the former Riggs chairman who headed the family-controlled bank for two decades and who remains its biggest shareholder with 24.6% of the stock, were aware of the accounts. It was, the report says, "a sordid story of a bank with a distinguished name, which blatantly ignored its obligations under anti-money-laundering laws". The PNC deal wipes the slate clean."

Chile Lawmakers to Investigate Pinochet Millions Held at Riggs, Bloomberg, July 20, 2004. "Chilean lawmakers said they will investigate the source of millions of dollars that a U.S. Senate report found former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet held at Riggs National Corp. in Washington. Chilean Deputies Eugenio Tuma and Isabel Allende said that the 88-year-old retired general couldn't have accumulated that amount from his salary from government posts. Pinochet ruled Chile for 17 years following a military coup in 1973 that overthrew Allende's father, Salvador Allende. ``It's impossible that that fortune is amassed from the savings of a commander in chief,'' Tuma said in a telephone interview. Chile's State Defense Council, which acts to defend state interests, also may decide this afternoon whether to ask courts to investigate where Pinochet got the money from, said Claudia Valladares, a spokeswoman for the council. President George W. Bush said yesterday -- at a news conference in Washington with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos -- that the U.S. will investigate the allegations of money- laundering at Riggs. Pinochet deposited between $4 million and $8 million in accounts at Riggs since 1994 before closing the accounts in 2002, according to a statement on the Web site of Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who called for the Senate report. Pinochet ``can't explain away $4 million or $8 million,'' Allende said in a telephone interview. Pablo Rodriguez, a lawyer for Pinochet, told Radio Chilena that Pinochet is innocent. ``We have the most absolute assurance that General Pinochet didn't incur in any act of corruption,'' Rodriguez said. Tuma said in a telephone interview that lawmakers will request information such as Pinochet's tax and banking statements from government agencies. Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, Augusto Pinochet's daughter, told Chilean National Television last night that her father had received funds from supporters to pay for expenses when he was held for 16-months under house arrest in London before returning to Chile in March 2000. Pinochet was arrested in 1998 in London after a Spanish judge requested his extradition to face charges of human rights abuses during his regime. He was released 16 months later by the U.K. government on the grounds that he was too frail to defend himself in court. Chile's Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that Pinochet was mentally unfit to face prosecution on charges that he covered up killings by a military squad in 1973. A Santiago court in May found that there were grounds to suspect Pinochet's involvement in a plot with other Latin American military regimes to track and kill opponents. The court stripped him of immunity as a former president, leading his lawyers to appeal the case to the Supreme Court."

At Riggs Bank, a Tangled Path Led to Scandal, By Timothy L. O'Brien, New York Times, July 19, 2004.

Ex-Riggs Examiner Said Under Investigation, By Marcy Gordon, AP/Yahoo, July 30, 2004. "The federal examiner who oversaw Riggs Bank during a period of deficient money-laundering controls and later became a senior executive at the bank is under investigation by the Justice Department (news - web sites), a person familiar with the inquiry said Friday. The ethics investigation of R. Ashley Lee was triggered by a referral of the matter on July 20 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency where Lee was the lead examiner for Riggs to the Justice Department... Lee worked in the comptroller's office, a Treasury Department (news - web sites) agency that oversees nationally-chartered banks, from 1998 until he retired in October 2002 and went to work for Riggs two weeks later. He was promoted to executive vice president and chief risk officer for Riggs last October...
A former Riggs senior vice president who was in charge of the Equatorial Guinea accounts, Simon Kareri, is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. He invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination at the July 15 hearing and refused to answer questions on the bank's handling of the accounts. Chile's National Tax Service said Thursday that it has joined an official investigation there into the revelation that Pinochet had an estimated $8 million in secret accounts at Riggs from 1994 to 2002. Two judges and the State Defense Council, Chile's top prosecution agency, opened an investigation after the Senate report was issued..."

Riggs to Plead Guilty, Pay $16 Mln in Money Laundering Case. Bloomberg, Jan 27, 2005. "Riggs National Corp.'s U.S. banking unit agreed to plead guilty to failing to report suspicious financial transactions, including more than $10 million deposited by former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The bank agreed to pay a $16 million fine, U.S. prosecutors said.
The guilty plea, to be entered in federal court in Washington, is a step toward resolving a scandal that led U.S. prosecutors to spend more than a year probing how Riggs handled the money of international and embassy clients, including officials of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea. The settlement may clear the way for the sale of Riggs, a Washington institution for 170 years, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania- based PNC Financial Services Group.
Between 1994 and 2002, Pinochet deposited more than $10 million into Riggs bank, according to court papers in the case. ``Riggs Bank failed to conduct sufficient due diligence as to the source of the funds,'' the papers said. The bank failed to report transactions it knew or should have known were suspicious.
The bank, which had been led by former Vice Chairman Joe L. Allbritton and his family, also admitted it failed to adequately report transactions that helped rulers of Equatorial Guinea, including President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who came to power in a military coup in 1979.
Between 1996 and 2004, the bank opened more than 30 accounts for the government and its top officials and helped Obiang and his sons set up an offshore shell corporation, court papers said. The bank accounts and loans for Equatorial Guinea totaled $700 million by 2003, the papers said.
Obiang retained power in elections the U.S. government and international observers considered ``tainted by fraud and intimidation,'' the papers said. ``Public corruption had long been considered a significant problem.''
Continuing Probe
The U.S. Justice Department is continuing to investigate the role played by former executives and officers of the bank in alleged money laundering, the New York Times reported today, citing a person familiar with the case.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in May that Riggs had to pay a $25 million penalty for not disclosing suspicious banking activities. The bank ``did not detect or investigate suspicious transactions and had not filed suspicious activity reports as required under the law,'' said the agency that regulates nationally chartered banks.
In April, the bank said Allbritton would leave the board and the company would sell most of its international businesses. Allbritton's family controlled the bank since 1981. Its board members include Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America.
A report by Democratic staff members of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that Riggs helped Pinochet, former president of Chile, evade legal proceedings related to his accounts.
`A Blind Eye'
The report, released in July, also said Riggs managed accounts for officials in Equatorial Guinea ``with little or no attention'' to money-laundering rules, turning ``a blind eye to evidence suggesting the bank was handling the proceeds of foreign corruption.''
Riggs, with roots dating back to 1836, has held accounts for at least 21 first families and presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower, according to its Web site.
PNC, Pennsylvania's biggest lender, agreed in July to buy Riggs for $779 million to gain a foothold in the Washington market. As of June 30, Riggs had about 9 percent of the deposits in the District of Columbia, trailing Wachovia Corp. SunTrust Banks Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Just a year earlier, Riggs controlled 23 percent of Washington's deposits, FDIC data show. By purchasing Riggs, PNC would gain about 50 consumer offices in the area of the nation's capital..."

 

 

RIMBUNAN HIJAU GROUP OF COMPANIES
Malaysia

Malaysia's largest timber group is Rimbunan Hijau ("Forever Green") (Forbes, 1995). It has timber concessions in Sarawak of around 800,000 hectares (FT,1994), dominates Papua New Guinea's forestry sector and has forestry interests in New Zealand and China, as well as diversifying into other activities such as the ownership of newspapers in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea (AsiaMoney, 1995). Rimbunan Hijau also owns a 40% share in Limgang Trading Sdn., which has a 310,000 hectares concession in Sarawak (55% of Limbang is owned by Sarawak's Minister for the Environment and Tourism, James Wong Kim Min) It is privately owned and controlled by one family, headed by Tiong Hiew King. The family are estimated to be worth about US$2.5 billion (Forbes, 1995). Whilst it remains largely a private group of companies, whose operations are veiled in secrecy, the Tiong family has sought to obtain a more public face through the reverse take-over of Berjaya Textiles Bhd (now renamed Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd), giving it a listing on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (FT 1994). Its overseas logging operations appear to remain under the control of the private parts of the group and in Papua New Guinea it is the dominant player through control of a number of associate and subsidiary companies. There are recent rumours that Rimbunan Hijau group owns, or is in the process of acquiring, Primegroup Holdings, a British Virgin Islands registered company with logging interests in Guyana and Papua New Guinea. If this is true, then Rimbunan Hijau group's international logging interests are, or will shortly become, even more extensive, both geographically and in terms of size. Apart from its logging activities, the company has interests in banking, newspapers and oil-palm plantations. One of Hiew King's younger brothers is a member of the Malaysian Parliament. Despite the company's political connections, it has been caught for tax evasion, the Asian Wall Street Journal reported." (Greenpeace, Dec 1, 1998, An Overview of Asian Companies: Malaysia).

"Rimbunan Hijau dominates the logging industry in Papua New Guinea and has interests in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, New Zealand and Russia, making it one of the world's largest forest destroyers. Many of these operations are characterised by documented illegalities and environmental destruction. The company seems impervious to criticism and appears to be protected by an extensive and well-established network of political patronage and media control." (The Untouchables: Rimbunan Hijau's World of Forest Crime & Political Patronage. Greenpeace report, Feb 2004).

"Rimbunan Hijau (RH) is headed by Datuk Tiong Hiew King (left), one of Asia's largest timber tycoons (The Edge (Malaysia), 12/09/94). Forbes Magazine estimated the Tiong family worth to be US$2.5 billion (Greenpeace, May 1997, Logging the Planet, p.16). The group controls both listed and unlisted companies. In order to gain access to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Rimbunan Hijau undertook a reverse take-over of Berjaya Textile Bhd in November 1994, renaming the company Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd. The Tiong family retains control of approximately 30% of Jaya Tiasa (KLSE web site, 26/07/98, Jaya Tiasa Holdings). The other listed vehicle is Subur Tiasa Holdings Bhd.
The group has a number of high level political connections: Mohamad Arip bin Mahmud, the brother of Sarawak's Chief Minister (who controls the allocation of logging concessions), was appointed as a director of Jaya Tiasa on 13/4/95 (Cheong, 1995, op. cit., p.94) a sister of the Chief Minister is also one of Tiong's business partners (The Edge (Malaysia), 12/09/94). Other directors of Jaya Tiasa include Tiong Thai King (Tiong's brother), who is a member of the Malaysian Parliament (Greenpeace, 1997, op.cit., p.16), and Abu Talib bin Othman, former Attorney General.
Tiong is said to control an estimated 800,000 ha of logging concessions in Sarawak and his family dominates the logging industry in Papua New Guinea (The Edge (Malaysia), 12/09/94). The company has also acquired forestry operations in Brazil; Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Vanuatu, New Zealand and the Russian Far East. Other subsidiary company operations include a US$58.5 million soft-wood plantation development in New Zealand, a sawmill in Shanghai, a cattle ranch in Australia, property in Singapore, as well as interests in banking, newspapers and oil-palm plantations. Rimbunan Hijau also owns a 40% share in Limbang Trading Sdn Bhd, which has a 310,000 ha concession in Sarawak until 2009 (55% of Limbang is owned by Sarawak's Minister for Environment and Public Health, James Wong Kim Min) (The Edge (Malaysia), 12/09/94). Recent rumours suggest that Rimbunan Hijau owns, or is in the process of acquiring, Primegroup Holdings, a company registered in British Virgin Islands with logging concessions in Guyana and Papua New Guinea." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

Brazil

"According to the 1998 report of the Brazilian congressional hearing on the activities of TNCs in the Amazon, Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd created a Brazilian subsidiary Verde Vivo Ltda, a holding company under the presidentship of George Fan Yin Yon, which in turn set up Verde Compensados S.A. to handle its timber operations. Verde Vivo Ltda is also interested in establishing oil palm ventures in Brazil. Verde Compensados S.A. took control of two Brazilian companies, Maginco Compensados S.A. and Selvaplac Industria Madeira do Para Ltda, and created 2 further enterprises, in partnership with Brazilian interests, Maginco Verde S.A.(constituted on the 1st April 1997) and Selvaplac Verde S.A (constituted on the 4th April 1997). The total area under the control of the group is 53,997 ha, situated in the state of Para. The Brazilian companies acquired by the group all had records of infractions, suspensions of operations or land tenure conflicts (Report of the External Committe of Braxilian Congress to Investigate Foreign Companies in the Brazilian Amazon Region, Brazilia 1998)." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

"Today, 6 Greenpeace activists from the Group of Eight Nations (G-8) and European Union (EU) boarded the Danish vessel CIC Light, shipping criminal timber from the Amazon rainforest. The environmentalists attached themselves to the ship's cargo and unfurled a banner reading "Stop Illegal Logging" to prevent the ship from unloading Amazonian plywood from the Rimbunan Hijau group, a company repeatedly fined for possession of illegal timber... A recent Greenpeace 18-month investigation in remote regions of the Amazon has uncovered hard evidence that several companies who regularly export timber to the US are implicated in the illegal timber trade including the Rimbunan Hijau group, one of the world's top rainforest destroyers. The Brazilian Government estimates that 80% of all logging in the Brazilian Amazon is illegal.... Recently, IBAMA (Brazilian Environmental Agency) announced the results of a 60-day investigation into the timber industry of the Amazon State of Para. Around 1100 forest management plans have either been suspended or cancelled due to irregularities. "Over the last 2 years, Rimbunan Hijau and its suppliers have been fined for possession of illegal timber", said Rebeca Lerer, from the Brazilian Amazon campaign. "Companies like this must change their behavior and only use timber that comes from legal and sustainable sources. The importing countries must establish independent mechanisms to guarantee the legality of the timber being imported..." (Greenpeace, Savannah, Georgia, July 24, 2000).

"The Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau is one of the main companies which regularly exports Amazonian plywood to the USA, through its subsidiaries Selvaplac and Carolina. Over the last year Selvaplac have increased its exports into the USA through the ports of Savannah, Georgia, and Camden, Philadelphia. The Rimbunan Hijau Group is one of the top rainforest destroyers in the world with operations in Malaysia, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Russia and Brazil. Through Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd, the Rimbunan Hijau Group owns three plywood and lumber producers in the Brazilian Amazon - Selvaplac Verde SA, Carolina Indústria Ltda and Maginco Verde SA. During the period of 20 April 1998 and 4 October 1999, five of Selvaplac suppliers were fined by IBAMA, the Brazilian environment agency, for the possession of illegal timber. One of Selvaplac main veneer suppliers which was fined was their sister company Carolina Indústria Ltda, based in Itacoatiara in Amazonas State. During the log transport seasons from 1997 to 1999, Carolina received the second highest amount of fines of the six plywood and veneer companies operating in Amazonas State, totalling Reals 463,468.50 (around US$ 256,270.82). The company has applied to the court in order to not have to pay the fine. During the same period one-third of all Carolina's third-party log suppliers received fines for the illegal exploitation, transport and sale of logs. Carolina is currently under investigation by the Federal Prosecutor in Manaus for its role in the illegal log trade in Amazonas State. Since September 1999 illegal acts such as this are now prosecuted under the new Brazilian Environmental Crimes Law. In February, Carolina received a fine of Real 30,0000 (around US$ 16,660) and the Director of the company faces criminal charges under the new law." (Greenpeace press backgrounder "The Amazon's major threat: Illegal Logging" July 2000, Media Briefing).

Cameroon

"In Cameroon, Rimbunan Hijau's subsidiary, Shimmer International, is the contractor for the MPL (since 1995) and CAFECO (since 1996) concessions, of 114,650 ha and 26,200 ha respectively. Both concessions are part of the Korup Project area, which is intended to conserve the Korup National Park. All of the timber was reported to be exported as logs to Asian and European markets (Debroux and Karsenty, 1998, op. cit.; Steinhauer-Burkart et al, 1997, Report on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the timber concessions MPL and CAFECO within the Korup project area, March 1997). MPL is currently not operational. Rimbunan Hijau has other interests in Cameroon, and Shimmer itself is divided into many subsidiaries within the country, a structure which "is by its nature susceptible to evade the Cameroonian law which limits the concession size to 200,000 ha by company" (Debroux and Karsenty, 1998, op. cit).
The suitability of these two areas for timber exploitation was called into question by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the concessions undertaken in February 1997, which states that these two concession areas "cannot be considered appropriate for timber exploitation". The report found that "the actual timber exploitation is not sustainable at all" in these two concessions, and that the concessionaires had no management plan in place (Steinhauer-Burkart et al, 1997, op. cit., p.vi; 22). A number of environmental impacts were identified in the report, including:
construction of roads on steep slopes, resulting in considerable erosion; high density of large roads and skidding trails leading to opening of the forest canopy;
road construction of a poor quality thus liable to require major reconstruction at a later stage;
poor felling techniques; enormous waste of valuable timber;
a lack of limitations on timber harvesting, either in terms of number of trees or volume of cu m to be extracted per ha.
Neighbouring trees were felled and the canopy was opened up or even completely destroyed over large areas leading to soil erosion, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall.
Although the two concessions provided unskilled jobs for locals, who were initially happy to have roads, there are negative social impacts associated with the logging. The MPL and CAFECO forest concessions are inhabited by 7-10,000 local people belonging to four tribes, and nearly all villages have a mixed subsistence and cash economy, with hunting being part of the regular routine. Fishing is also an important part of life, mainly for the women, and impacts on streams through erosion threaten this traditional food source. Forests and fallows are needed by all villagers to provide subsistence and income, a source of potential conflict with logging operations. Non timber forest products were reported to be under threat, and highly economic trees used by the villagers were disappearing. Safety measures for workers were deemed inadequate by the survey team.328 The team also anticipated social unrest as infrastructure development was seen to be unsatisfactory or inadequate to the local people's needs." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

Equatorial Guinea

Shimmer is also operating in Equatorial Guinea. In 1996, it produced 115,000 cu m of logs out of a total for the country of 471,000 cu m and forecasts for 1997 were that it could produce 400,000 cu m (Tropical Timbers, July 1997).

Gabon

Rimbunan Hijau are reported to be operating in Gabon (Debroux and Karsenty, 1997, op.cit).

Malaysia Sarawak

"Rimbunan Hijau's operations in Sarawak have brought the company into direct conflict with indigenous people over land rights issues. For example, in 1987, Kayan villagers in Uma Bawang erected a blockade in protest at the activities of Marabong Lumber Sdn Bhd, one of the Tiong family concerns, which was polluting the waterways and threatening their livelihoods. 42 farmers were arrested, but later released after prosecutors dropped all charges against them (Asian Wall Street Journal, 07/02/90); In 1993, complaints were made to Sarawak officials regarding damage to fruit trees and farm lands caused by Rimbunan Hijau Sdn Bhd (Letter to District Officer, Marudi, 28/04/93 [5a])." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

Papua New Guinea

Rimbunan Hijau Watch

"Rimbunan Hijau has become the largest timber operator in Papua New Guinea and, through a complex and opaque network of companies, is estimated to control between 50 and 80% of Papua New Guinea's timber production (Environmental Investigation Agency, 1996, Corporate Power, Corruption and the Destruction of the World's
Forests), with concessions estimated at nearly 2 million ha (Financial Times (UK), 07/06/94). In 1992, the annual turnover of Rimbunan Hijau companies in Papua New Guinea was estimated at K700 million (US$722 million) out of the country's K800 million timber industry (Rainforest Information Centre, Protecting the Rainforests of PNG, 1994, p.8). Rimbunan Hijau set up a newspaper to strengthen its position in the country, providing itself and the industry with favourable media coverage (EMW, 1995, Our trees and all the wildlife have gone).
Many claims of environmental degradation have been levelled against Rimbunan Hijau and its subsidiary companies in PNG. For example:
After a site visit to RH subsidiary Niugini Lumber's operation in LAK TRP, Dr Franz Arentz, a forestry specialist, remarked that this was the worst example of tropical forest logging he had seen anywhere in the world (Back to Office report, New Ireland Field Trip, 7th-21st November 1994, Technical Division to ICAD Project);
An official report documented that staff operating in some sites were not aware of the company's commitments in its own Environmental Plan nor that they had a copy of the Plan available on site. The report by the Department of Environment and Conservation recommended that subsidiary, Nuigini Lumber, be prosecuted for breaches of its environmental plan. Virtual clearfelling of some sites on steep slopes over 25 degrees led to sheet soil erosion and there were also cases of fuel-oil widely contaminating logging camp sites and washing into nearby marine environments(Department of Environment and Conservation, Forestry Project, Compliance Monitoring, LAK TRP, Namatanai District-New Ireland, May 1994);
Complaints have also been made about employee welfare. In a report from a follow-up sanitary health inspection of camps 1 and 2 in their Aria Vanu operation, the health inspector stated that RH had "totally neglected the recommendations specified in the [previous] inspection report of 8/12/93". The letter covered recommendations concerning sanitory facilities, water supply, overcrowded and poor housing, a lack of safety equipment and a number of other matters (Letter to the General Manager of RH, Kimbe, PNG dated 11/5/94 from the .Division of Social Services, Health Branch [19]).
Allegations of illegal activities against RH include:
RH subsidiary Pacific Logging's illegal logging within the no-logging zone around Port Moresby (Times of Papua New Guinea, 21/10/93);
Pacific Logging's operation in Vanapa was found to meet only 3 of the 26 conditions of its own environmental plan, a plan that itself had not met any of the preliminary conditions of PNG government approval in the first place (Dept. of Environment and Conservation, 13/10/93, Vanapa TRP Forestry Project Compliance Analysis [5]);
RH subsidiary New Guinea Lumber excavated live reef for use as road and log pond surfacing. The same company was fined US$30,000 for harvesting in a concession for 18 months without being registered. It was estimated that the company had exported US$48 million worth of logs (Henderson M, presentation at Oxford University, UK. 4/7/94);
In March 1997, the Governor of Milne Bay (and former Forest Minister), Tim Neville, confirmed that Saban, a contractor of Rimbunan Hijau, was caught exporting rosewood logs, which are a prohibited export in log-form in Papua New Guinea (Brunton B, Electronically published Forest Update Papua New Guinea, April 1997).
In March 1994, Forest Minister Tim Neville and a film crew from the Australian documentary programme 'Four Corners' who were making a documentary on Rimbunan Hijau caught the company 'red handed' with piles of undersized log on the dock awaiting export (Post Courier (PNG), 18/5/94).
As illustrated in the political section (see above), the timber industry has had, and continues to have, great influence on the political processes in the country, including the development of forest legislation. It has been alleged that RH has chartered planes, paid hotel bills and arranged for selected landowners to lobby against the First Forestry Act in East New Britain (Ecological Enterprises, Rainforest Campaign News, July 1993). The company has publicly lobbied against the raising of taxes, stating that companies would have to look to Africa and Latin America if higher operating costs were incurred in PNG (Greenpeace, 1997, op. cit).
At the beginning of 1997, Francis Tiong, head of the Rimbunan Hijau operations in Papua New Guinea, was appointed to the board of the National Forest Authority, the agency charged with monitoring forest management in the country, due to its position as president of the Forest Industries Association. Due to the clear conflict of interests of Mr Tiong, the Papua New Guinea Forest Owners Association threatened to stop all logging operations in the country if landowners were not represented on the National Forest Authority Board (Post Courier ( Papua New Guinea), 12 February 1997).
In June 1998, Rimbunan Hijau was reported to be shipping K6 million (US$2.4 million) of equipment to Russia, due to poor market conditions and lack of government support (see below) (The National (PNG), 26/06/98)." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

Russian Far East

"Rimbunan Hijau have been awarded a 48 year lease agreement in the Russian Far East for harvesting over a 305,000 ha area. The annual allowable cut is 550,000 cu m. The company has said it will invest in downstream processing facilities in the region but the initial focus will be on the export of logs. The concession is located in the Sukpai watershed in the northern part of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range in the Khabarovsk region. This project is expected to be controversial because the forests are habitat for the Siberian tiger and are part of a "Territory for Traditional Natural Resource Use" for local indigenous peoples (Asian Timber, April 1998). In June 1998, the Rimbunan Hijau owned 'National' newspaper in Papua New Guinea reported that the company was sending some K6 million (US$2.4 million) worth of plant and equipment to Russia, including construction, road building and logging equipment, because of the low log prices on the regional log market for tropical hardwood and lack of Papua New Guinea Government support for the industry (The National (PNG), 26/06/98)." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

"Papua New Guinea's government is angry at an Australian television report that claimed the country's biggest logging company, Malaysian-owned Rimbunan Hijau, paid PNG police to use violence in their dealings with native landowners.
The allegations, broadcast on the SBS Dateline television programme on Wednesday night and which have been strongly denied by Rimbunan Hijau, have caused fury in PNG's parliament.
PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare accused the programme of misrepresenting its reasons for a recent visit to the country.
Dateline programme broadcast allegations by PNG police officer Emmanuel Bani who said: "We handled those suspects (PNG landowners) good and proper. We bashed them up, we hit them with huge irons and when we mobilised in there we made sure that these people who complain against the rights of their benefit were manhandled you know."
Bani is a member of the elite Southern District Taskforce, a police unit that for years has been flown into logging camp trouble spots in PNG's vast and remote western province.
On Dateline Bani, now living in an undisclosed location outside PNG, confessed to having used violence against landowners and claimed to have been well paid for his actions.
The allegations were denied by Rimbunan Hijau. Company secretary J.K. Balasubramaniam strongly denied on Dateline that the company in any way condoned violence at its operational sites.
"It is inconceivable that a large multinational like Rimbunan Hijau would pay large lump sums to the independent Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to suppress and conduct police brutality against the peaceful citizens of Papua New Guinea in the western province.
"That is simply inconceivable," Balasubramaniam said.
Late last week, Dateline's journalist Bronwyn Adcock was prevented from boarding her flight out of Port Moresby back to Australia, pending interviews with police.
Citing national security reasons, the government held her passport for more than two days while authorities investigated alleged breaches of visa conditions.
Somare said he would be "the first to defend the right of the media, but on the basis that they reported responsibly with accuracy and balance, but not those that cheated away into getting a story that challenges the national sovereignty and integrity of the country".
"We have been interacting with all stakeholders in relation to logging activities in Papua New Guinea," Somare said.
"As a matter of great importance and in the light of unwavering international and national criticism relating to alleged corrupt practices within the forest industry, the government has directed the Chief Secretary to the Government as chairman of the Forestry Review Committee to look into all these issues."
The ABC radio reported that PNG was having long-running disagreement with the World Bank over the terms of a multimillion dollar forestry conservation programme.
A World Bank team is expected in Port Moresby later this month. One of the items in dispute is a large forestry permit area controlled by Rimbunan Hijau, ABC said in a statement." (Australian TV's Allegation On M'sian Firm Sparks Controvery In PNG. Bernama, Nov 5, 2004).

Vanuatu

"Santo Veneers and Timbers Limited and Pacific Veneers were acquired by Rimbunan Hijau in 1994. Santo Veneers is the main operator in the country, logging on Santo Island. Vanuatu has a log export ban and Santo Veneers has invested in a massive sawmill in Luganville. The sawmill has a processing capacity of 50,000 cu m per year (unpublished WWF South Pacific note).
The Santo Veneers operation has been a source of conflict with local landholders since it started operating. In 1995, locals burned a Santo Veneers bulldozer in protest at the company logging in an area for which they had no contract. The supreme court acquitted the local family concerned "after hearing evidence that Santo Veneers and Timbers Limited were logging in an area where they had no contract and continued to log the area even after the burning of their bulldozer and a court injunction not to log there" (Trading Post (Vanuatu), 17/01/1996).
Recent unconfirmed reports indicate that the company's activities on the island of Santo remain controversial:
An official inspection visit on one occasion in 1997 identified trees which had been cut illegally;
the company is believed to be entering into contracts after having identified only a few of the legitimate landholders, rather than all of them as required by law;
there are also believed to be other contractual irregularities and reports of logging in protected areas." (High Stakes: The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: A Malaysian Case Study, World Rainforest Movement & Forests Monitor Ltd, August 1998).

 

 

RIO ALGOM LTD.

Owned by Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ). RTZ announced it would sell its 51.5 percent holding in Rio Algom Ltd. (company press relase, June 8, 1992; Financial Times, June 9, 1992; and David Webster, Sep 24, 1992, at Econet cdp:gen.nativenet "The Activist 8#10, October 1992").

Canada: Rio Algom subsidiary manufactures stainless steel and mines uranium.

Chile: Rio Algom is to develop the proposed Cerro Colorado heap leach copper mine in northern Chile; the mine is to operate for 23 years (beginning in 1994) (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 178). Rio Algom operates the Escondia copper project in Chile.

Copper mining in Panama and the U.S.: Rio Algom plans a copper mine that would affect 10,000 Gnaymi people in Panama. RTZ is also constructing a copper mine in Wisconsin, on lands where LacCourte Oreilles Chippewa hold hunting and fishing rights (David Webster, Sep. 24, 1992, Econet cdp:gen.nativenet "The Activist 8#10, October 1992"). A zinc and copper mining venture between Rio Algom and Exxon in northern Wisconsin is being called the Crandon Mining Company; see the entry for Crandon.

Australia: Rio Algom operates the Argyle diamond mine.

Brazil: Rio Algom has 2 gold mines in Brazil.

See also RTZ.

 

 

RIO TINTO MINERA see Freeport-McMoRan

 

 

RIO TINTO ZINC see RTZ

 

 

RIO TUBA

Nickel mining on Palawan (Philippines) (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 136).

 

 

RISJADSON see Takengon Pulp & Paper

 

 

RJR NABISCO

1301 Avenue of the Americas

New York NY 10019

212-258-5600

See also RJ Reynolds and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

 

 

RJ REYNOLDS

For history see The Gilded Leaf: Triumph, Tragedy, and Tobacco: Three Generations of the R.J. Reynolds Family, by Patrick Reynolds and Tom Scachtman (Little, Brown, Boston, 1989).

See RJR Nabisco.

 

 

ROBCO MADEIRA see ROBINSON LUMBER

 

 

ROBINSON LUMBER
New Orleans, LA

From Greenpeace, The Amazon's Major Threat: Illegal Logging, July 2000 media briefing: "The Amazon rainforest is one of the biologically richest areas in the world containing more than one-third of the world's remaining ancient forests and supporting up to 50% of the planet's land-based animal and plant species. In the Amazon an area nearly the size of the State of Texas has already been destroyed (about 1/7th of the total) and an area half the size of Belgium disappears annually. According to the Washington based World Resources Institute (WRI) nearly 80% of the earth's original ancient forests have either been destroyed or degraded. The remainder is disappearing at the rate of 10 million hectares every year - an area the size of a football field, every two seconds... Illegal logging and international illegal timber trade continues to flourish. For example, the Brazilian Government estimates that 80% of all logs cut in the Brazilian Amazon are extracted illegally.... Robco Madeira is the Brazilian subsidiary of Robinson Lumber Company Inc, based in New Orleans. The company is based in Para State and exports sawn lumber (including mahogany) mainly to the USA. It also exports to Japan, Australia, and most European countries. The parent company of Robinson is one of the USA's largest window and door manufacturer's, Jeld-Wen. Robco relies primarily on third-party suppliers. In 1998, Robco was fined R$ 4,000 (around US$ 2,212) for possession of illegal lumber. In the period 1998-99, five of Robco's sawn lumber suppliers were also fined. As a result of recent 60-day investigations into the extent of illegal logging practices in Para State, IBAMA early this month suspended around 800 and cancelled 300 Forest Management Plans (FMP) of logging operators in the region. Less than 20% of the original FMPs remain authorised. This is indicative of the level of illegalities amongst third party suppliers who supply export companies such as Robco." (Greenpeace press backgrounder "The Amazon's major threat: Illegal Logging" July 2000, Media Briefing).

 

 

ROCKEFELLER

See Exxon.

See Standard Oil.

Bibliography

Horowitz. The Rockefellers.

Micheloud, Francoise X. Rockfeller biography and history of Standard Oil www.micheloud.com/FXM/SO/rock.htm

Tarbell, Ida. The History of the Standard Oil Company. New York: Macmillan, 1904.

Yergin. The Prize.

 

 

ROCKVIEW INTERNATIONAL

In collaboration with Mackay & Schnellmann, commissioned by Nigeria to do a feasibility study on the Abakaliki lead-zinc deposits (Minerals Industry International, Jan. 1989, p. 4).

 

 

ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL

2230 E. Imperial Highway

El Segundo CA 90245

tel. 213-647-5000

fax. 213-647-5524

Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1992: Electronics, aerospace, and automotive giant with $12 billion in sales in 1990. Biggest NASA contractor in the 1970s and 1980s. B-1 bomber, NAVSTAR satellites, and space shuttle. Subsidiaries include Allen-Bradley, Rocketdyne, and Baker Perkins. The corporate names have evolved from Rockwell Spring & Axle to North American Aviation to North American Rockwell (1967) to Rockwell International (1973).

Operates the Rocky Flats, Colorado nuclear weapons facility. On March 26, 1992, Rockwell pled guilty to four RCRA and six Clean Water Act criminal charges, and agreed to a $18.5 million fine. In return, the U.S. government agreed not to bring further charges (BNA's Environment Reporter Current Developments).

The Council on Economic Priorities produced an environmental report on Rockwell in 1991-92 ($20 from CEP, 30 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, 1-800-729-4237).

Rockwell was on the Council on Economic Priorities' short list of worst environmental offenders, for its Rocky Flats nuclear waste dumps, air pollution of the Los Angeles Basin, and other toxic wastes (Mother Jones, Jan/Feb. 1993; and Earth Island Journal, Winter 1993, p. 20).

 

 

ROREMINA

Angola

Anglo Granite Ltd. is a joint venture between Angola's ornamental stones company Roremina and International Granite of Namibia (Mining Magazine, Aug. 1991, p. 103).

 

 

ROTEC INDUSTRIES

Elmhurst IL

Manufactures concrete transport goods. Caterpillar and Rotec Industries hope to supply goods and services for the Three Gorges Dam in China (Cooper, Helene. Ex-Im Bank Snubs Chinese Dam Project: Decision is a Major Setback for U.S. Forms Seeking to Bid on Three Gorges, Wall Street Journal, May 31, 1996).

 

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL see SHELL 

 

ROYAL FISHERIES

A subsidiary of Arctic Alaska Fisheries, which was purchased by Tyson Foods in 1992. Royal Fisheries was charged by the State of Alaska with 45 misdemeanor counts for illegally hauling more than 1.5 milllion pounds of crab around Adak Island and the Bering Sea in 1992 and 1993 (Seattle Times, Dec. 16, 1993, p. B2).

See also entries for Arctic Alaska Fisheries and Tyson Foods.

 

 

RTZ (RIO TINTO ZINC)

6 St. James's Square, London SW 1Y 4LD, England

telephone (44) 1-930-2399

RTZ was founded with Jardine Matheson's profits from the 19th century opium trade (see Jardine Matheson) (The Global Marketplace, 1987, p. 508). RTZ is now the world's largest mining company and largest uranium producer, with some 80,000 employees. Began in 1873 with a copper mine in Spain (which closed in 1986). Invaded the Northern Rhodesia copper belt with Anglo American. Has partnerships with Portugal, Panama, and Kaiser. Metals and minerals accounted for 50 and 31 percent of 1990 income (Hoover's Handbook of World Business 1992, p. 275).

Metals and mining accounted for 46 percent of RTZ's 1991 revenues of $3.6 billion; industrial products accounted for 35 percent, and industrial minerals were 19 percent. Sales came from the U.S. ($1.2 billion), Australia and New Zealand ($966 million), the UK ($995 million), Canada ($726 million), Africa ($455 million), Europe ($318 million), and other countries ($207 million) (Worldscope record 1992).

RTZ acquired the talc business of Cyprus Minerals (company press release, July 1, 1992).

RTZ's Rossing uranium mine in Namibia began production in 1976; it is one of the largest foreign investments in South Africa.

RTZ's Palabora copper mine in South Africa (with Newmont Mining and, at one time, AMAX), "was so profitable that by 1970 it was supplying some 42 percent of RTZ'z worldwide profits on only 8 percent of invested capital (Minter, King Solomon's Mines Revisited, p. 216-217).

RTZ is involved in Panamanian copper mining with Canadian Javelin and Texasgulf (see Chris N. Gjording's Conditions Not of Their Choosing: The Guayami Indians and Mining Multinational in Panama, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991, and a review of the book in Multinational Monitor, Oct. 1991, p. 33-34).

RTZ bought a mine in Jamari National Forest, Rondonia, Brazil from British Petroleum.

For background information on RTZ, see:

Black Gold (Anthony Sampson).

The Global Marketplace (Moskowitz), for history.

Ground for Concern (Mary Elliott).

Massacres to Mining (Jan Roberts).

River of Tears: the Rise of the Rio-Tinto-Zinc Corporation by Richard West (Earth Island Ltd., London, 1972).

Strangers in Our Land (British Granada TV documentary).

Plunder! (by Minewatch director Roger Moody; see also his April 1990 Multinational Monitor article).

Rio Algom

RTZ announced it would sell its 51.5 percent holding in Rio Algom Ltd. (company press relase, June 8, 1992; Financial Times, June 9, 1992; and David Webster, Sep 24, 1992, Econet cdp:gen.nativenet "The Activist 8#10, October 1992").

Canada: Rio Algom subsidiary manufactures stainless steel and mines uranium.

Chile: Rio Algom is to develop the proposed Cerro Colorado heap leach copper mine in northern Chile; the mine is to operate for 23 years (beginning in 1994) (Mining Magazine, Mar. 1992, p. 178). Rio Algom operates the Escondia copper project in Chile.

Copper mining in Panama and the U.S.: Rio Algom plans a copper mine that would affect 10,000 Gnaymi people in Panama. RTZ is also constructing a copper mine in Wisconsin, on lands where LacCourte Oreilles Chippewa hold hunting and fishing rights (David Webster, Sep 24, 1992, Econet cdp:gen.nativenet "The Activist 8#10, October 1992").

Australia: Rio Algom operates the Argyle diamond mine.

Brazil: Rio Algom has 2 gold mines in Brazil.

See also Rio Algom.

U.S. Borax, 3075 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90010 telephone 213-381-5311

Half the world's borates are mined by U.S. Borax in the Mojave Desert; the company was purchased by RTZ in 1968. Sodium borate is used for "Borax" cleanser, controlling nuclear reactions, and in the manufacture of glass, fiber glass, and enamel. 1970's labor violence. RTZ sold U.S. Borax's consumer products to Greyhound (later Dial Corporation) in 1988 (Hoover's Handbook of World Business 1992, p. 275).

Kennecott: RTZ bought BP Minerals from British Petroleum in 1989; its properties included Kennecott.

Pennsylvania Glass Sands (purchased in mid-1980's).

Ottawa Glass (purchased in 1980's).

CRA (Conzinc Riotinto)

CRA is an Australian-based affiliate of RTZ. In 1986, RTZ reduced its 90 percent holding of CRA to 49 percent. In 1995, RTZ acquired CRA, to become the world's largest mining company (New York Times, July 9, 1996, citing Bloomberg Business News).

CRA runs the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia.

CRA mines the Weipa bauxite in Queensland (world's richest load).

CRA has been mining gold and copper on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, since 1969. The movement for independence from Papua New Guinea (which itself became free of Australia in 1975) erupted into war in the late 1980s; the Porgera mine was forced to close (by violence, with many dead). See "The economic causes and consequences of the Bougainville crisis" by Herb Thompson, in Resources Policy, March 1991, p. 68-85. See also Porgera.

Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) and CRA announced that they will merge (according to BHP's 1992 Worldscope record, which cites the Australian Financial Review, Mar. 6, 1992).

See also Kaltim Prima.

See also Diavik.

 

RUSSIAN WOOD EXPRESS see Ply Gem Industries

 

 

RUSTENBURG PLATINUM

South Africa

Also involved in Russian mining; South Africa and Russia produce more than 90 percent of the world's platinum (see "Russians, South Africans Join Forces on Mining," by Neil Behrmann, Wall Street Journal, June 17, 1992, p. C1).