HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY OF RELATED FACTS SINCE 1980
Chronological Detail of Facts claimed by Architect Eduardo E. Saiegh, Victim of Extortion and Deprivation of Ownership Rights of the Banco Latinoamericano S.A.
July 24, 1980. E. Saiegh met A. Reynal, Vice President of the BCRA (Central Bank of the Argentine Republic). The purpose of this interview was to report the interest of the Credit Lyonnais in the acquisition of the BLA. Since the Credit Lyonnais was a French Publicly owned Bank, the approval of the Argentine Government was required. Mr Rafael Seragopian, Reynal’s ‘right hand’ participated of this meeting as well.
July 25, 1980: Reynal made an appointment with Charles De Royere, who was the Credit Lyonnais representative in the country. Reynal strongly questioned the French Entity’s interest on the BLA. (‘Why buying the BLA if the latter is not a Bank in trouble?). He offered them the Banco Español and the Tornquist Banks instead. (Please see De Royere’s statements before the Federal Court). (See Book for further details)
August 10: The Official Bank interrupted without any ground whatsoever the call money to the BLA by means of an Order given by the BCRA.
August 20: Upon Paris request, De Royere –General Manager- invited E. Saiegh to a meeting in Paris, to start with the negotiations with the Credit Lyonnais Directors. Since the Credit Lyonnais stated its interest in the acquisition of the BLA, interviews and visits were arranged in Buenos Aires with De Royere and Ponsolle -General Director- to close the transaction with the BLA in Buenos Aires.
September 12: The main shareholders of Austral Líneas Áereas S.A. (Airline Co.), one of the importants debtors to the BLA, guided by William Reynal, cousin of A. Reynal, filed a proposal before the Ministry of Economy to have the Government take over the Company’s shares and debts, turning the company’s liabilities into a public debt.
September 16: The Executive Branch by means of the Decree # 1922 accepted the transfer of Austral to the State. On that very same day all Austral Main Shareholders expressly acknowledged on a Note addressed to Martínez de Hoz (and which is an integral part of the abovementioned Decree), that the BLA was the only private creditor of the Air Company (Please refer to the Note and to the Case pending before the Federal Court of Judge Del Castillo). (Also refer to the Book).
September 23: Petit and Ponsolle of the Credit Lyonnais arrived in Buenos Aires. Once here and together with De Royere, they started with the operative tasks to formalize the Purchase and Sale Agreement between the BLA and the Credit Lyonnais Officers.
September 24: The ‘Bank Club’ involved in the case of Capozzolo Group – announced that they would them a term of 45 days to decide the serious financial circumstances the Group was going through. The Tornquist Bank was “Capozzolo Crown’s Jewel” and the Group was looking for a purchaser on urgent basis. And the Credit Lyonnais was the only purchaser for a Bank available at that moment in Argentina, but they were interested in the BLA.
Sept. 26: Aware of these facts, Reynal ordered an integral inspection of the BLA by means of the Order # 61/80; (no raffle) on the same day when the last meeting amongst Saiegh, Ponsolle and Petit took place. In said meeting the parties agreed on the final arrangements to complete the transaction.
Sept. 30: The BLA received an inspection from the BCRA. Inspectors were not familiar with the grounds that had determined said inspection, since the Bank complied with all technical requirements in force, and also because it was just the moment when the agreement with the Credit Lyonnais was coming to a close.
October 4: Upon becoming aware of the Inspection ordered by the Central Bank, the Credit Lyonnais Officers understood Reynal’s ‘hostile’ attitude as well as the BCRA’S aggressive conduct. Therefore they started the preliminary management with other entities, like the Continental Bank. They applied for reports to the Central Bank, which were denied by the latter. Reynal insisted with the Tornquist and discouraged the BLA’S (Refer to De Royere’s Statements in the Criminal Case for Extortion, specifically on folio 184 where he expressly ratified the above-said).
October 10: Inspectors’ Report at the BLA:: .....”they consider and remark that the main debtor of the entity was Austral S.A., being the BLA, Austral’s only privately owned creditor.
October 28: The BLA filed before the BCRA the Chart of its technical relations which showed the complete framing thereof in the regulations in force. The BCRA subsequently acknowledged this circumstance at the time of replying a Letter Rogatory to the Federal Courts.
The BCRA ‘received’ an ‘anonymous’ complaint against the Saiegh Brothers. DAR de Ahorro y Prestamo (Savings and Loan) and Credibono of Dr. Rafael Saiegh and the Banco Latinoamericano, property of Architect Eduardo Saiegh and Miguel Saiegh (This complaint had been internally created at the very same core of the Central Bank). The complaint, ‘by chance’ was received by Reynaldo García -BCRA’S Inspector at the BLA-, who made photocopies thereof and started to distribute them amongst all the Directors of the BCRA on the same day. Furthermore, on that date García asked for ‘instructions’ to the Bank Officers regarding the next steps (folio 278, BCRA File # 37613/90 in Re: BLA).
October 29: On folio 279 of File # 37613/80, the General Submanager of the BCRA, Atilio Carbajales, upon receiving the anonymous complaint from inspector García, decided that ....” Notwithstanding the fact that receiving anonymous complaints is prohibited by BCRA Circular # 1223...”, .... “the immediate implementation of clarifying measures becomes necessary, not only by means of the Central Bank’s own verifications in the different entities involved, but also and most importantly, by requesting the Police cooperation to enable the simultaneous search warrants in the different locations involved.
Further it was requested the submission of the File to the General Manager. .Signed: Atilio Carbajales BCRA General Submanager.
October 30: That evening the Federal Police arrested Juan Carlos Guerrero, former employee of the BLA, who by the end of September had committed an illegal appropriation of Real State Securities of the Bank’s Bond Sector, and they told him (and I quote): “We will turn the fan on (meaning that they would start a defamation campaign), and you must make as many fake accusations as you possibly can against Eduardo Saiegh, because otherwise you will suck many years in the shadows” (clearly referring to the fact that he would be incarcerated). Needless to say that Guerrero could not put up with that pressure and did as was ordered. During the same day, Reynaldo García (BCRA Inspector) escorted to the CPA Jorge A. Bustos (who filed the “anonymous” complaint) to the Banking Sector of the Federal Police. Bustos “did not present any evidence of the complaint made, but provided some elements related with the case under investigation”. This is something that appears in the Criminal Case for Extortion followed against Reynal, as well as from the Letter Rogatory submitted by the Banking Sector Federal Police Chief, Inspector Ianibelli to the Council for Conduct Matters of the CPA’S Association (folio 330 of the file). This is where the ‘clamps’ strategy exerted on Saiegh becomes clearly evident. He was on one side coerced by Harguindeguy (whose purpose was saving Capozzolo) and simultaneously he was being forced by Reynal (who wanted to rescue Austral).
October 31: on that day at noon, Zito Soria, Guerrero’s attorney, called Saiegh and warned him: “You’d better run away. Guerrero was apprehended and they forced him to make a statement against you”. Since Saiegh had nothing to hide, he became though continued with his everyday life in the Bank. At approximately 4:00 p.m. and without a judicial warrant, the Bank Division of the Federal Police, in a parapolice operation task searched the offices of the BLA. They confiscated countless folders and documentation regarding the Credit Lyonnais and seized E. Saiegh, who remained isolated for 7 days. No Judge made any formal inquiry whatsoever, and he was brutally beaten and tortured to have him confess nonexistent crimes.
November 1st. and 2nd: During that weekend, whereas Saiegh was still kidnapped and under torture, the sale of the Tornquist to the Credit Lyonnais was formalized.
November 4: Newspapers and specially the 5th edition of Crónica reported the “police episode” stating that the Federal Police had proceeded upon express request of the BCRA.
November 5: New summit between Grispun and Shaw with Reynal. In exchange for the Official Assistance to the BLA, Reynal forced Eduardo Saiegh to rescind at his position at the Board of Directors and the delivery of BLA’S Shares, property of Inversai S.A., thus incurring in a clear and vulgar extortion act.
November 7: Prosecution Court # 7 in charge of Judge García Méndez ordered the release of Architect Saiegh, arguing that there were no grounds for the prosecution. Still they did not check his physical condition or asked him to make a statement or provide his testimony.
November 10: Saiegh left the Entity’s Board and assigned his shares, since there was no other alternative than abiding to Reynal’s demands. –The Credit Lyonnais reported in writing to the BCRA that the Acquisition of the Banco Tornquist had been completed. This last fact took place while Saiegh was still captive.
November 13: By means of Resolution # 316, the BCRA appointed trustees for the BLA and requested the filing of restructuring and reorganization plan.
November 21st: Letter of E. Saiegh to Mr Adolfo Diz (President of the BCRA) declaring all of his assets availability.
November 28: the BLA stated in a note sent to the BCRA the purpose to improve the Entity’s status by incorporating new investors.
November 30: Predicting what would happen to Saiegh and the BLA, the newspaper “Ámbito Financiero” (Financial Perspective)published a joke in the cover page of a badly hurt banker held by two “parapolicemen” telling the President of the Central Bank (Diz) “I am here to apply for my voluntary self-liquidation”. (See annex)
December 5: the paper “Fuente Reservada” (“Undisclosed Source”) reported that in November the BCRA had ordered all official banks to suspend the call money operations with the BLA.
December 6: The media reported the creation of some sort of Bank Real Estate Agency integrated by directors of the BCRA, which had defined a list of financial entities for liquidation thereof in the short run: the BLA was first in said list.
December 12: “Fuente Reservada” indicates that the BCRA was ready to liquidate a financial entity per week, and that the BLA should be the first one. SOMOS (General Interest Magazine) reported the sale of Banco Tornquist as a fact.
December 14: the BLA filed the Restructuring and Reorganization Plan requested by the BCRA and made by three technical teams.
December 19: The BCRA Trustees accepted the Plan. In their opinion the sale of the entity might turn out to be the great solution for the financial and economic situation at that moment, because of the ‘political facts’ in force.
December 23: The BLA reported and submitted a note to the BCRA regarding one of Price Waterhouse International Client’s formal requests to purchase 100% of the BLA’S shares, according to the Consulting Firm’s formal communication to the BLA. Furthermore they reported that the interested party should begin with the pertaining Due diligence .
December 26: The BCRA Financial Entities Management considered that rejecting BLA’S Plan would not be advisable, and therefore outlined an alternative to reformulate an initiative with incomes and contributions in cash. That was Price’s and its investors’ proposal.
December 29: Once again the BCRA General Management was notified about Price Waterhouse’s interest to acquire the BLA. A Due Diligence was conducted at the BLA, simultaneously with another audit in charge of the Feldber – Kosak Firm (also interested in acquiring the BLA on behalf of Gregorio Israel Group).
January 13, 1981: The Executive Branch – PEN-, by Decree # 38/81 accepted the transfer and delivery in favor of the National State of all shares in possession of the firms “Lagos del Sur” and “Sol Jet” (which belonged to Austral S.A.) which had been legally purchased on last September when the State took over Austral.
January 14: Representatives of Price Waterhouse and of the Bafisud from Uruguay held a formal interview with Reynal and Mr Saiegh at the Board of the BCRA. Both firms expressed him that they were interested in the acquisition of the BLA. Therefore they ratified their intent to do so by means of capital contributions. At that moment they were treacherously discouraged by Reynal in making progress with said transaction, because the same would not be feasible.
January 15: The BCRA received a telex from Price W. confirming the interest of a Firm’s Client in purchasing the BLA. In addition, the Group of Gregorio Israel – Alfredo Concepción made a separate purchase proposal to the BCRA to acquire the BLA further to the completion of a Due Dilligence Carlos Buscarini, BCRA’S trustee at the BLA, personally led the purchase offers to the BCRA General Submanager, who rejected them by saying that they had already made the decision of liquidating the BLA. (Please check Buscarini’s depositions at the Criminal File for Extortion).
January 16: Under extreme threats and extortion, Reynal forced the President of the BLA -Gral Jorge. Shaw- and the Vice-president Mr Bernardo Grispun, to proceed with the application for their own “Self-liquidation” of the BLA to avoid scandals and acting with the public force. “Remember what happened to Saiegh. The same thing might happen to you folks.” Extortion, threats and intimidation were the means used to obtain Resolution # 15 of the Board. The BCRA cancelled the BLA’S operation permit. Both the BCRA and Reynal dismissed the 2nd and 3rd formal offers to acquire the BLA, while they could have applied a Seizure Action to deprive Saiegh not only of the BLA but of all his assets. Both formerly interested legitimate purchasers ended up acquiring other entities, paying commissions and commissions in between.
By rejecting the purchasers offers and ordering liquidation of the BLA, Reynal on his unmeasured desire to liquidate the BLA to enable the Nationalization Process of Austral and retrieving the Airline’s Stocks in custody at the BLA (as a debt warranty), finally completed his trick because one week further to the BLA Liquidation, the shares of Makeen (Holding Company of Austral) disappeared from the BCRA Treasure, thus making effective the Nationalization Masquerade for over USD 250 MM which were absorbed by the Argentine State.
In March 1981, with my Bank liquidated, Alejandro Reynal opened his own Investment Bank ,-like the BLA was-, MBA, with the illegal funding obtained by means of the above-mentioned and other illegal transactions, protected by the Impunity shield of the Military Process, being the “Treasurer” thereof from his position in the BCRA as a very important member of Martinez de Hoz’s criminal organization.