A Scots firm was named in Ukraine arms deal corruption probe in The Glasgow Herald on 27 January 2017. This is no surprise of course to hard headed socialists who know the nature of the capitalist beast.
The overall death and destruction that took place during World War II may well be beyond human comprehension. Historians estimate that military casualties on all sides, in both the European and Pacific theaters, reached up to 25 million, and that civilian casualties ranged from 38 million to as high a figure as 55 million – meaning that somewhere between 3 and 4 percent of the world’s total population died in the conflict.
Don't let us ever forget either, the war science practiced upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the 'Good Guys', despite how it is spun as, 'the end of war', as well as the potential for more of the same destruction being wreaked upon humanity as trade wars and sanctions, fuel blundering and conscious recourse to battles over raw materials, trade routes and spheres of geopolitical advantage between competing capitalist nations and blocs.
"Business by other means" has not gone away as a latent as well as a potent reserved option at all times.
If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,” capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt. Marx.
The latest episode however features a Scottish firm at the centre of major corruption probe in the former Soviet arms industry.
Ukraine’s elite National Anti-Corruption Bureau or Nabu has accused one of Scotland’s increasingly controversial “tax haven” firms of skimming £1.5 million from the multi- million-dollar export of war planes to Kazakhstan.
Detectives say an Edinburgh- registered Scottish limited partnership (SLP) called Portvilla Trading was paid for acting as a fictitious intermediary on the deal.
They have discovered some of the cash was funnelled through a Latvian bank, Rietumu, which is part-owned by Celtic football club’s biggest shareholder, Dermot Desmond. There is no suggestion the bank, or Mr Desmond, had any knowledge of the alleged wrong-doing. When you are awash with cash capitalist anarchy will see it seem to take on a life of its own as your minions invest it on your behalf.
The Nabu allegations, part of a major crackdown on corruption in Ukraine, immediately sparked calls from SNP MP Roger Mullin for UK Security Minister Ben Wallace – the politician in charge of MI5 – to order a British investigation into the case.
Mr Mullin, who has campaigned for SLP reform, said the latest revelations were “deeply worrying” and highlighted the transnational nature of the allegations involving a Scottish firm, a Ukrainian exporter, Kazakh importer and the Latvian bank, Rietumu.
He said: “This clearly calls for full investigation. I will be contacting the Securities Minister and asking him to consider a particular review of this case.”
Well he may too but however sincere politicians may or may not be, their outrage is misplaced as they continue otn support an economic and political system where such actions are inevitable war and poverty, twin hand maidens of capitalist development, will see short-cuts and subversions of legal and juridical frameworks any time there is a quick buck to be made.
The Ukrainian corruption probe into Portvilla Trading is just the latest to feature a Scottish limited partnership or SLP, a kind of firm whose owners can remain secret, pay no taxes and file no accounts.
Last year a separate probe into allegations another SLP, Lanarkshire-registered Fuerteventura Inter, was used to skim $2m from the export of aircraft cannon shells from Ukraine to the Middle East.
Ukrainian sources have warned that Scotland has become a popular place for their country’s so-called “arms-mafia”, crime groups with strong links in the nationalised weapons manufacturing industry, to set up front companies.
The latest Ukrainian probe by the elite Nabu investigators centres on an order for two Antonov An-74 military transport aircraft worth a total of $59m placed by Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee or KNB, the republic’s successor organisation to the KGB, with a factory in Kharkiv.
According to papers filed by an investigating magistrate at Solomianka district court in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, Kazazh officials were unaware of any services provided by the SLP.
Court documents said payments to Portvilla Trading were made to accounts at two banks in Riga, Latvia, including Rietumu.
SLPs are marketed in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere as “zero-tax offshore companies” and sometimes offered as a package with Rietumu accounts.
Mr Desmond owns around a third of the bank, which in 2015 was fined for violations of money-laundering rules and is currently contesting French allegations of facilitating tax evasion.
Portvilla Trading is registered at a flat in Leith, whose occupants are not accused of knowing anything about the firm’s activities. The SLP’s owners are called Western Admin Ltd and Global Admin Ltd. There was no way to contact these firms.
Green MSP Andy Wightman, who has campaigned against SLPs, said: “These latest revelations show the urgent need to stop the abuses of Scottish Limited Partnerships that appear to be taking place.
"Scotland’s reputation as a place to do legitimate business is being tarnished. I’m pleased that there is to be a UK-wide review but believe Scottish Ministers can take a pro-active approach and I will continue to press them on this.”
But the legitimate business of capitalism is profit and we can not have profit without war and poverty. It is a reformist delusion that capitalism can be made squeaky clean or, 'jist a wee bit manky', in Scots parlance.
In contrast to the Greens and SNP or any other of the outraged supporters of capitalism, the socialist argument is as follows,
It is time we took ownership and control into our collective hands to end the capitalist system, the immense majority being self led and using democratic means, the end of governments over people and utilisation of this political awareness to have the people themselves administer over things , utilising recallable delegates when necessary.
We urgently need to consider changing from how things are done today, with standing armies and competing local, regional and global interests allied with anarchic production for sale market allocation, for the benefit of 1-5% minority privileged owning groups, with the majority in waged enslaved conditions of rationed access to the wealth they collectively produce.
We need to be moving into a commonly owned production for use cooperative, global, regional and local, endeavours with free access and the situation is resolved into cooperative allocations and sharing of raw materials as opposed to warring competition.
The material productive forces of society have come into conflict with the existing relations of production. From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations have turned into their fetters or, in other words, the productive forces have outgrown the production relation.
All wealth comes from the world's working class.
The capitalist class, liberals or neocons, are an economic parasite class.
Time to get rid of them.