Matt Nippert is a business investigations journalist.

Panama Papers: New Zealand Elvis impersonator linked to Iraqi oil scandal

Tauranga man Darryl Jensen - whose home was listed as the residential address of Basil Al Jarah. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Tauranga man Darryl Jensen - whose home was listed as the residential address of Basil Al Jarah. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca used a bankrupt Elvis impersonator from Tauranga to provide a sham residential address for the alleged bagman in a major bribery scandal in Iraq.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today released a database outlining basic details of more than 200,000 entities created by Mossack Fonseca.

Offshore companies and trusts are routinely used for entirely legal purposes, and Mossack Fonseca maintains that it has always complied with international protocols. A reference to a person or entity in connection with the Panama Papers is not therefore in any way indicative of any wrongdoing or impropriety.

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The database indicates the home of Darryl Jensen in Esk Street, Parkvale, was listed as the residential address for Basil Al Jarah when the British Virgin Islands company GETR Iraq was incorporated in October 2011.

Jensen, who has advertised his services as an energy healer and was at the time into his second bankruptcy, told the Herald this morning he had no comment on his relationship with Al Jarah or Mossack Fonseca, then hung up. He exited bankruptcy in 2013.


Al Jarah, reportedly a 66-year-old former ship's captain, was a the central figure in the Fairfax and Huffington Post investigation into alleged widespread bribery by oil industry firm Unaoil.

He is described in that investigation as Unaoil's Iraq country manager and the bagman in a wide-ranging conspiracy that is alleged to have seen tens of millions of dollars paid to Iraqi government officials on behalf of large western companies in order to secure lucrative government contracts in the oil industry.

The ICIJ database does not give any details of GETR Iraq's operations, but notes it was owned by Al Jarah and the Panama-headquartered Global Energy Technical Resources PTE.

Darryl Jensen has also been an energy healer.
Darryl Jensen has also been an energy healer.

A woman who answered the door at Jensen's Tauranga address declined to comment this morning.

Jensen has previously been revealed to have rented out his home as a nominal headquarters for, and filed paperwork with the Companies Office on behalf of, an exotic range of businesses.

Al Jarah isn't even Jensen's first brush with figures who have an interesting relationship with Iraq. In 2012 it was revealed Jensen had filed paperwork and listed the same Esk Street home as headquarters for dozens of offshore finance firms.

One of these firms, Lakia Financial, was owned by Swiss-based Russian exile Gazi Luguev, who admitted paying US$60,000 in bribes in 2001 to Iraqi officals following a meeting with Saddam Hussein's son Uday in a bid to circumvent oil sanctions imposed by the United Nations.


- NZ Herald

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