PNG Exposed and PNG Blogs
In what seems a relentless cycle of resource companies lining up to take a bite out of Bougainville, on Monday Nevis Capital Corporation purchased a 50% stake in Tall J (PNG) Ltd (see the announcement below).
Tall J, is currently owned by Stephen Strauss, whose was the subject of a expose published via the MicroKhan blog in 2011, which includes a detailed response from Strauss himself (see below).
According to the company press release Tall J has rights to pristine Bougainville forest with timber valued at $1.3 billion, in addition to mineral exploration rights over 255,000 acres of land.
So what do we know about this company who has evidently purchased a large chunk of Bougainville? Not much. It has one subsidiary, registered in, gulp, Costa Rica, which focuses on the online gaming industry. From one swindling industry to another, it would seem.
And the company’s website hardly inspires confidence, either.
But as long as government economic policy hinges on the mirage of resource fuelled riches, companies like these will come sniffing for a quick buck; because like at the casino, the house always wins!
Nevis Announces Investment In Bougainville Development, LLC
July 21, 2014
Nevis Capital Corporation (OTC: OCEE), is pleased to announce that they have signed a final agreement with Bougainville Development, LLC, a Mississippi Limited Liability Company, to acquire a 50% ownership of Bougainville Development in an all stock transaction consisting of Nevis common stock. The principal asset of Bougainville is a wholly owned subsidiary, Tall J (PNG) Ltd. of Papua, New Guinea, that has the contractual rights with the Papua Government to harvest the timber and to explore and develop the underlying minerals on 255,000 acres in Section 1645. Bougainville has a current investment in excess of $4,000,000 USD in this project. Mr. Stephen Strauss, BD Director, estimates that production should commence within 12-15 months for delivery of finished materials to Asian markets. Surveys from ITTO estimate that this tract contains approximately 2.5 million cubic meters of timber valued at $1.3 Billion at current prices, generating estimated revenues of $37 Million annually over a 35 year production and reforestation cycle. The Papua Government has endorsed the economic growth and development of their natural resources. Exxon Mobil has recently invested $19 Billion in Papua, NG, building one of the largest Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects in the world which began shipments in May with anticipated annual revenues of $7.2 billion. Nevis Capital expects the operational profits from this investment, the previously announced US producing oil and gas investment and expansions thereof, the Macau Live Online Gaming investment, and initiatives to acquire interests in profitable Medical Marijuana ancillary product producers to rapidly increase shareholder value for this development stage holding company.
Brendan Koerner – MicroKhan Blog, 8 July 2011
Okay, then, so what is the Tall J Foundation? Records are spotty, indeed—I couldn’t find a corporate listing in the United States. This forum post from 2010 suggests that Tall J has been soliciting investors for some time now, with a fantastic promise of 500 percent returns. If the poster is to be believed, the company’s director is one Stephen M. Strauss, with addresses in both Texas and Olive Branch, Mississippi. I got another pop on that exact name through a recent SEC case, in which a Stephen M. Strauss stands accused of orchestrating a pump-and-dump stock scheme while head of the Chilmark Entertainment Group.
Coincidence? Well, Chilmark was headquartered in Southhaven, Miss., just a stone’s throw from Olive Branch, so I’m thinking the answer is “no.”
The only other easily accessible trace of Tall J is this LinkedIn listing for one James Blackmore. But I can find no connection between Blackmore and Strauss—at least not yet.
The bottom line is that it seems that a tiny, shady-seeming investment concern actually appears to be wreaking genuine havoc on the Bougainville peace process. That immediately made me think of such infamous 19th-century filibusters as William Walker, who fomented great chaos in Latin America in the service of making fortunes. This is why private interests really shouldn’t be permitted to assume roles that might destabilize shaky governments; corporate self-interest is typically more at odds with international order than diplomatic self-interest.