Businessman in Lebanon ‘helped create ISIS company’, lawsuit claims

(CNN) — An offshore company in Lebanon set up by Canadian businessman Brett Martin just two months ago may have shipped 150 mortar shells to ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq, according to a lawsuit filed…

Businessman in Lebanon 'helped create ISIS company', lawsuit claims

(CNN) — An offshore company in Lebanon set up by Canadian businessman Brett Martin just two months ago may have shipped 150 mortar shells to ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court last month by a California law firm.

Washington law firm Kreindler & Kreindler claims that its investigation into Aklan Environmental Solutions revealed that the company has violated several international agreements and laws.

“Although Martin and Aklan deny these allegations, Kreindler & Kreindler is hopeful that an agreement will soon be reached by Aklan to accept liability for its actions and cooperate with the appropriate authorities in bringing Martin to justice,” the firm said in a statement.

An email and phone call to Aklan went unanswered Friday. CNN attempted to contact Martin, too, but messages received were not returned.

The law firm alleges Martin used a New York lawyer to assist him in establishing Aklan on February 5, and says Aklan was set up to serve Martin’s “personal interests.” Aklan was incorporated in Lebanon and has an address in Newark, New Jersey.

“Lawyers and other attorneys for Aklan submitted to Martin a false declaration that did not disclose Aklan’s true purpose and stated goals as a sole proprietorship, which plaintiff now understands include a plan to establish Aklan as a tax shelter for entities owned by Martin,” the firm said.

The law firm alleges Aklan, which makes its money from the sale of waste rubber to the Middle East, failed to disclose that Martin donated thousands of dollars to a political action committee controlled by Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. The allegations are spelled out in the lawsuit, which the law firm says it filed after attempts to contact Martin failed.

Kreindler & Kreindler alleges Aklan failed to disclose that Martin owns 86% of the shares and 68% of the voting rights in Aklan.

“Aklan’s false declaration was not written to deceive any authorized person, including law enforcement authorities,” the law firm said.

Aklan made millions of dollars from selling waste rubber to nations in the Middle East and has donated millions to the party controlled by Lebanon’s Prime Minister, according to the lawsuit.

Martin is a Lebanese-Canadian citizen, and has owned more than 100 businesses in the United States, according to the lawsuit. He is the owner of ATU, a distribution company with interests in the satellite telecommunications, real estate and energy industries, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is also the founder of Universal Union Ventures and the co-founder of Four Patrol Strategies, both companies in the insurance and electronics industries.

The law firm accuses Martin of attempting to save millions of dollars in taxes by creating Aklan, allegedly to benefit Martin personally. The law firm says Martin signed documents to create Aklan and requested secret bank account information to compile documents for Aklan, along with other documents as well.

Martin’s companies are not listed as contributors to any US federal political party, according to the lawsuit.

Kreindler & Kreindler said Aklan has shipped at least 150 artillery shells containing high explosives in multiple batches to ISIS territory in northern Iraq.

According to the lawsuit, Aklan listed the shells in bills of lading it received from Libyan cargo specialist Ami Ebrahim, under the name of “Carryman’s Business.” Ebrahim is the owner of Al Beitefin, a Maryland-based shipping company, according to the lawsuit.

Ebrahim’s name is also listed on the shipping records as another cargo specialist, Hassan Khalay, who is listed as the main contact for shipments to Iraq, according to the lawsuit.

A Khadija Ibrahim, with Lebanon’s International Customs Administration, told CNN that cargo specialists at Lebanon’s port of Tammam al-Rayid had placed a “pertinent query” into the shipments. The shipping business was closed by Aklan on April 6, according to the lawsuit.

Leave a Comment