Project Hammer was a desperate undertaking by the USA government to rescue some of its major banks, who, by the end of the 1980’s, faced insolvency.
These banks included Citibank, HSBC, Chase Manhatten and the Bank of New York.
The project was designed to ciphon gold and diamonds as collateral as an emergency buoy for the ailing banks and to put the USA’s economy on track again.
It is at this stage that South Africa’s De Klerk government entered the fray – as major gold and diamond supplier it was the easiest and cheapest way to rescue the USA banking sector.
Only one small problem: South Africa was in political turmoil with the KP (Conservative Party) challenging the NP (Democrat Party) government on all fronts. The best smokescreen Citibank could think upon to move large amounts of money and gold bullion was:
– Create political instability (between the old government and the ANC),
then create a political vacuum where dodgy gold and diamond deals could be done without too many questions (maybe even an interim NP/ANC government where the minimum control would facilitate covert gold and diamond movements).
Project Hammer involved the trading of US$13.6 trillion in debentures resulting in a “fallout” of about US$1.1 trillion which was stashed in the Howard Hughes account in Credit Suisse. Obviously, in a project of this size, a lot of organizations had to be involved: The CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agencies of all types, The Pentagon in the broadest sense of it and as such, and the Treasury, Federal Reserve. Nobody got out of the act, everybody wanted to get in the act – for there was lots and lots of money to be made.
EXECUTIVE OUTCOMES, SANDLINE, AND THE STASI:
Another individual who has played a considerable role in Project Hammer is South African, Rolf van Rooyen, who operated a number of business entities including one called “Oceantech” and another called “Eastech International Bank.” At one time Van Rooyen worked for South African intelligence and is also believed to have been CIA at the time Project Hammer was in process. Of significance is the fact that General Cocke and van Rooyen knew each other, although Cocke says he only spoke to him on the phone but never “shook hands with him.” During a police interview in Germany in 1995, van Rooyen when questioned about Project Hammer responded: “If you are referring to Operation Hamer (sic) it is an extremely large, very delicate operation in co-operation with the authorities of various countries in which Oceantech is involved.”
Working alongside van Rooyen was South African intelligence operative Riaan Stander. Both Stander and van Rooyen were board members of the “Eastcorp Syndicate” which boasted almost two dozen other companies in its stable. Included were Intercol Pty, Ltd., Cavo Shipping – which conducted intelligence gathering missions for governments – and Bridge S. A. The latter was registered in Monrovia, Liberia.
According to Peter Goslar, once a close friend of Riaan Stander, other board members of Bridge S. A., were Colonel Tim Spicer and Mick Ranger “of Sandline fame.” In a letter written to a Washington law firm involved in a lawsuit involving Project Hammer, Goslar fingers Bridge S A – and hence van Rooyen and Riaan Stander – as “part of the Executive Outcomes operation.”
Eastech International bank was underwritten by a Mexican firm Ro-Mar Pharmaceuticals, a firm claiming to control over $100 billion in gold.
Van Rooyen and Stander entered Eastech into an agreement to purchase 5000 metric tonnes of gold at a discount of 4% from the Second London Fix. This gold was held in the free zone area beneath Zurich’s Kloten Airport. Interestingly, the contract , which ran to 6 pages, bears the official stamp of the Swiss Police, authorising and validating the transaction.
By 1995 Eastech International Bank had begun to hit the radar screen of regulatory authorities around the world that viewed it with suspicion. But by then it seems probable that much of Project Hammer’s South African objectives had been fulfilled. Fearing the worse, Rolf van Rooyen left South Africa and travelled to Germany. And according to his one time friend, Peter Goslar, that is where he still lives albeit protected by former members of East Germany’s Stasi spy-network.
Rudolph Ignatius van Rooyen; gebore te Kroonstad op 29 April 1959.
ID nommer: 570429 5021 085
Laaste bekende adres: Rheinstern Hotel 1610, Rheinstern, Dusseldorf,
Alias: Rolf Rondine
Director: Eastech International Bank – established in China and
underwritten by a Mexican firm. Contact person: Miss Lin Ying, China.
Riaan Stander: security director of Eastech.
Steve Potnak: managing director of Eastech Bank.
Steve Pansegrow: military intelligence officer supplying Eastech with intelligence reports. He also supplied highly confidential information to C1 in the names of Eugene de Kock and Pieter Botha. Pansegrow’s wife was a receptionist for Van Rooyen and Stander.
Irma Els: operator helping in Ifafa (Eastcorp).
Fanie Smith: operator who signed validation certificates for Eastcorp.
• Letter of credit number 9022101 signed by Fanie Smith and honoured by
the bank and with a revenue stamp of the Greek government.
• Certificate of deposit of $5 million, stamped by Greek government,
signed by Fanie Smit.
• Certificate of deposit of $25 million, stamped by Greek government,
signed by Fanie Smit.
• Directors of Eastcorp and Intercol as at the registrar of companies:
Rolf van Rooyen, Rian Stander, Douglas Randell. Intercol: Eugene de Kock,
general Tai Minnaar, Pieter Botha. Policemen and members of military
intelligence served on both Eastcorp and Intercol.
• Dr HP Bauer – involved with operator “Rosie”; Dr HJ Schuster – agent of
FAS in the United States; Julian Rosie – director of FAS in South Africa.
• Riaan Stander liased directly with intelligence officers from C1 (SA
Police), namely Eugene de Kock, Chappies Klopper, Pieter Botha and Willie
Nortje. They asked help from Eastech to infiltrate rightwing groups in
Pietersburg and for help in the movement of large quantities of weapons.
• MAS 57.8.92 Pretoria North case number, investigation officer Lieutenant-colonel AE Botha conducted an investigation into the
irregularities – but it was never made public or brought to court.
PART 2: In October 1998 a German intelligence operator forwarded a document marked “Top Secret” to Gerhard Laubscher of the South African National Intelligence Agency, marked MZ/HRB/10-10/98 ser no/IBI citing the disappearance of $223 104 000 008 from the South African economy through “black gold” dealings.
In the report the following 47 persons were named: FW de Klerk, Hernus Kriel, Chris Stals, Japie Jacobs, Org Marais, Anton Rupert, Johan Rupert, James Cross, Christo Wiese (SARB), Christo Wiese (Boland Bank), Dr
Swanepoel, Dr Groenewald, Mnr Potgieter, Alwyn Lombard, Jan Lombard, Barend du Plessis, Commissionar Blaauw (Western Cape), Simon Nothnagel, Simon and Peter Nassau, Giel Nieuwoudt, Ben Zuma, Anton Welch, George Hill, BB de Klerk, Chris Nissan, Kobus Kirsten, Van Deventer, Boet Claassen, Big John Smith, Willem Korden/Kordan, Daniel Julius, Jan Koch, John and Faize Adams, Peter Blake, Nick Fourie, Magistrate Liebenberg, Casiem and Shahida Brey, Peter Mopp, Riaan Engelbrecht, Peter Goslar, detective Justin Swart, Charles/Lester Newton, Robert Ferguson, Wynand Louw.
The report quotes:
“4.7 The RSA has in excess 3000 tons of gold in storage. We cut identify that Cloten in Zwitzerland, Luxembourg and London are used extensively for stored gold.
4.8 The RSA has a small refinery in Switzerland and deals with an other small refinery in Luxembourg (owned be Italian members) to refine gold, remove the tell tale markings on the gold.
4.9 The RSA selling 550 tons of gold every year and approximately 50 tons of gold is stolen every year.”
“4.12 Some of this money is then recycled back into RSA”
4.13 some examples:
a. The recently announced merger of Goldfields and Gencor.
b. The purchase of BOE, NBS, OK Bazaars etc. by Christo Wiese
c. Old Mutual Bibby Group
d. Gencors Billiton Group
e. Rembrands Richmond Group
f. Anglo Americans Miners Group”.
“6.3 High Yield investments goes generally though ABSA, Nedbank, Boland and Standard-Chartered Bank RSA, all with approval from the SARB.
6.4 Arnold van Eck, offshore in;
a. 5, Imposses des Michandes, Veyrier du Lac, 74000 Anmecy-France
b. 9, Bis Avenue D`Albigny, 74000 Anmecy-Le Veux
c. 68, Rue de Billancourt, Beulgne
g. Adriaan (Riaan) Stander
h. Switzerland, 17, Rue de Levi,Crans Montana
6.5 Van Ecks Associates, Clientel, Co.Directors a.o. are all wellknown
military intelligence officers and political figures. Large sums of funds
to almost $1,6 billion were handled and controlled by the Van Eck Syndicate on instructions of these politicians and intelligence officers”.
“a. There are in RSA R 37 million in farms unaccounted for
b. R 18 million returned by Van Eck and unaccounted for
c. USD 40 million are being hold in secret accounts in Van Ecks name
d. an unauthorized amount of $6 million was paid to Mrs. van Eck
e. There are in RSA various assets of enormous value, belonging to Afri-Air, a total of at least R 700 million
f. Overseas funding in USD 400 million are also unaccounted
g. a further amount of USD 700 million unaccounted, controlled be Van Eck.”
Some of the banking information came to the front when Adriaan (Riaan)
Stander’s banking accounts were scrutinized, namely:
Adriaan Barend STANDER
Account name: “INTERCOL Consultants (Pty) Ltd “-
VOLKSKAS Bank 0609-142-596
Account name: “INTERCOL Consultants”
Arcadia, Pretoria Branch
“EASTCORP SOUTH AFRICA”
Bank: BANKORP LONDON
SWIFTReference #: TBOAGB2L
90 Long Acre
London WC2E 9SF
Account ftEASTCORP (Closed?) in favor of the under mentionedI – 214 –
EASTCORP MAIN ACCOUNT 01 -38496030-4
EL ROSARIO TRUST ACCOUNT (Eastcorp Head Office) 01 -38497030-0
ANTI CRISI (Eastcorp Technical Division) 01 – 38498030 – 5
EASTECH INTERNATIONAL BANK (South Africa ?)
SWIFT CODE: BOLBZAJC
Account name: “Eastech International Bank” 136 873 6001
Relevant Bank official: Mr. L. COETZEE, General Manager.
EASTECH INTERNATIONAL BANK
PART 3: Moving money between bank accounts is easy, especially when it is done with the blessing of the major banks and governments; but moving gold and weapons around the globe is not so easy.
Enters one of the key players, shipping tycoon Tony Giordiadis from Greece. Georgiadis had very close ties with Richard Carter (now corporate manager of BMW), the spokesperson for the SA President FW de Klerk. On May 11 and 12, 1990 De Klerk paid an official visit to Greece here he met with President Caramanlis and Prime Minister Mitsosakies.
But De Klerk also met Tony Gordiakis at this time. Of Greek extraction but London based, Georgiadis shipped oil to South Africa in contravention of sanctions and developed close relations with members of the previous government. To distribute money freely, Georgiadis opened a bank account in Liberia for Mallar Incorporated (it was also through this account that bribes to the tune of $22 million were paid to ANC officials during the Arms Deal). Geordiadis’s father-in-law Lanaras once served at as director of the shipping firm Alandis.
The conspirators were faced by another huge obstacle: the loyal members of the Defence Force, Military Intelligence, National Intelligence Agency and the South African Police who would immediately put a stop to the transactions should they find out.
Thus followed the most bizarre thing any President of any country has ever done during the past century: FW de Klerk fired all loyal officers so that his collaborators could move freely!
On December 19, 1992 FW de Klerk fired 23 senior army officers – including navy officers who could pose a threat.
“So great was the speed with which De Klerk acted that even the army’s public relations office was not informed of the press conference. In addition, many of the officers disciplined were on holiday and were unaware of their suspension. The axed officers included: Major-General Chris Thirion, Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, who had a reputation of being one of the more progressive of the younger generation of generals; Major-General Hennie Roux, Chief of Army Intelligence; Brigadier Ferdie van Wyk, director of Army Communications, who master-minded Project Echoes; Brigadier Tolletjie Botha, Director, Directorate of Covert Collection, which was raided in November by investigators of the Goldstone commission, including UN personnel; Brigadier Oos van der Merwe, Director of Army Intelligence; Commander Jack Widdowson of the Navy.”
“He named only three other officers, Colonel At Nel, Col Chris Prinsloo and Commandant Stephan Snyders, who were all put on compulsory leave”.
“This followed the purge of 19 police generals in August (see Roca Report no 45) as part of a drive to bring the police in line with the negotiation process. The Further Indemnity Act pushed through Parliament in August, needed to help ease officers out. The November raid on Military Intelligence’s Directorate of Covert Collection in November by Goldstone investigators which provided the pretext for setting up the probe headed by Gen Pierre Steyn. A top-level meeting between senior Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and SADF officials in early August, brokered by the National Intelligence Service, which generally carries out the will of the cabinet. December’s “rationalisation ” measures which include the retrenchment of 6000 middle ranking officers.”
In just five months De Klerk has opened the door wide for his own operators to continue the sell-out. ” I have never before seen a government destroy its own power base such as this one is doing, ” said former chief of Military Intelligence, Gen Tienie Groenewald. ” while the country is steadily moving towards complete chaos, the government has effectively neutralized the SADF’s intelligence capabilities by removing the eyes, ears and nose of its defense forces. ”
The Greek shipping tycoon could now go about his business unhindered. Georgiadis was off course also implicated in the swindle with the sinking of the Greek ship, Salem, off the African coast earlier in what was described by Loydds of Great Britain as the biggest maritime swindle ever:
“SALEM: Lloyd’s pursues what may be the biggest maritime swindle ever At 10:50 a.m. Greenwich time on Jan. 17, crewmen aboard the tanker British Trident sighted a ship in distress off the coast of Senegal in northwest Africa. The Salem, a 214,000-ton supertanker, registered in Liberia, was listing and dead in the water. By radio contact with the tanker, Trident learned that a series of mysterious explosions was responsible for the disaster; indeed, a cloud of orange smoke billowed from the tanker’s deck.
By 11:30 the disabled ship’s Greek-born captain, Dimitrios Georgoulis, and his 22 crewmen, most, of them Tunisians, had…”
• SIDE NOTE: It was at this time that the whole Project Hammer was put at
risk by FW de Klerk’s impulsiveness: German operators learned that De Klerk was having an affair with Georgiadis’ wife, Elita (Lanaras’ daughter). A memorandum was sent to the CIA, who decided to put a lid on the affair until after the completion of Project Hammer. Knowledge of the affair would not only open the can of worms, but it was not clear what Georgiadis’ reaction to the affair would be. It thus only became public after another two years.
• But there was a twist: Marike de Klerk. When FW de Klerk divorced Marike to marry Elita, a clause was written into the divorce agreement that De Klerk would be able to censor any books or articles Marike decided to write – which indeed he did when he prevented the publication of a chapter titled Grotgesprek (Cave Conversation) in the autobiography titled ‘n Plek Waar Die Son Weer Skyn (A Place Where The Sun Shines Again).
But Marike de Klerk was not done yet. Then, sadly, on 2 December 2001 she was brutally murdered in her Dolphin Beach Complex, Bloubergstrand apartment hours after sending an undisclosed fax to Holland.
Curiously – the European Union paid R30 000 into the account of the murder accused Mboniswa channelled by the Foundation for Human Rights for DNA tests.
Mboniswa stood trial in the Western Cape High Court in CASE NO CC 101/2002b and was found guilty of the murder of Marike de Klerk without taking the stand in his own defence.
German filmmaker Ziri Rideaux is currently getting ready to shoot the feature film Project Hammer in Johannesburg, South Africa, a political suspense thriller based on her true story as a journalist.