Amaya Gaming May Have Panama Papers Link
The recently released Panama Papers may have connections to officials and hangers on at Amaya Gaming, according to an exclusive report by Steven Stradbrooke at CalvinAyre.com.
It’s also possible that the company’s connection to the blockbuster data dump could be a factor in the filing of insider trading charges against Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov.
It’s a complex story that is still playing out but, on the surface, it’s clear that plenty of players in the Amaya Gaming orbit operated shell companies that were managed by the Panamanian firm, Mossack Fonseca.
Stradbrooke’s reporting focuses on a shell company called, Zhapa Holdings that was based out of the Virgin Islands. Zhapa’s parent company, IMF Network, is listed as operating out of Quebec, which is also where Amaya Gaming is based.
Another Zhapa shareholder worth mentioning is Isam Mansour. Mansour recently ran afoul of Quebec financial regulators with regards to suspicious trading patterns that were linked to Amaya Gaming. As a result, he’s had his trading privileges revoked in that province.
Zhapa, listed itself as, “leading provider for low-cost online internet credit card processing merchant accounts for both Low Risk and High Risk merchants,” and that usually involves the internet gambling industry.
Zhapa, which is no longer a functioning entity, was linked to a number of online casinos and sportsbooks that weren’t the most reputable in the business – including the notorious Oddsmaker.ag.
It’s worth noting that setting up shell companies is not, on its own, a crime and no one has been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with Zhapa Holdings.
That said, setting up shell companies that include a number of individuals, several of whom have already been charged with insider trading, doesn’t paint a very pretty picture of dealings in the Baazov/Amaya Gaming continuum.
This story is still developing, but don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last we’ve heard of a link between Amaya Gaming and the Panama Papers.