Global World Check, a British company owned by Thomson-Reuters and headquartered in South Africa, specializes in due diligence and financial compliance to identify and manage financial, compliance and reputational risks for a wide range of clients. Not advertised on its website however is that they are also involved in online smear campaigns for underworld figures.
Meet Kenneth Rijock, a convicted money launderer who restyled himself as a "financial crime consultant" and claims to work for World Check. In fact, we learned that he was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of that firm.
He also runs a blog, the "Kenneth Rijock's Financial Crime Blog" where he posts a myriad of unsourced stories (Hezbollah conducts training in Panama!), some references to articles elsewhere and some blatant libel and smear on behalf of financial mobsters.
Take this blurb, about yours truly, complete with a picture he stole:
If you are a banker in Central America, and you see this individual in your bank, call the authorities, because he is a dangerous financial criminal, and because there are reportedly a number of arrest warrants outstanding against him in Panama. He is Okke Ornstein, a/k/a Okke Van Ooijen, a Dutch national allegedly a fugitive from child pornography charges in the Netherlands. This is one career criminal with a "colourful" history of blackmail, extortion and fraud that resulted in a large number of victims in the Republic of Panama.
There is not one single statement in there that is actually true. Your editor, unlike Mr. Rijock himself, does not and has never dabbled in financial crimes. There are no child pornography charges, nor any other charges in the Netherlands or anywhere else for that matter. Blackmail and extortion in Panama? I beg your pardon?
But wait! This one flew over world-check.com gets better! After a bit of babble about Marc Harris and some wild fantasy about me enjoying immunity from the US prosecutors, the financial crime PR flack continues:
Ornstein is currently under investigation by Panamanian authorities for reported theft of documents and records from a local financial institution. He is also linked to two unsolved homicides in Panama. If any of your clients bring this person into your bank, take immediate action to ensure that he has not used your facilities in furtherance of fraud.
Again, no sources, no names, no facts, just smear. "Unsolved homicides"? Maybe they are ultra-secret homicides that not even the authorities know about, then, or aliens? "Theft of documents from a financial institution"? Okay, I may have taken a blank deposit slip from Global Bank, for future use, and so what, Mr. Rijock?
So, on whose behalf is World Check's Rijock launching this deranged smear campaign?
Here's the answer: The unnamed "financial institution" in Rijock's drivel is in fact Pronto Cash, which is no longer a financial institution because the Panamanian authorities revoked their license for non-compliance with regulations, illegal banking activities and so on. Yes, "compliance" - something Rijock and World Check claim to be specialists in, but of course no word about the demise of Monte Friesner's Pronto Cash on Rijocks blog.
Yes, the Panamanian authorities are investigating alright. However, instead of investigating your reporter they are in fact investigating Rijock's new best friend's financial crimes.
Rijock is also a collaborator of Monte Friesner's attempt at his own financial crime blog, wantedsa.com. Friesner started that website as an answer to his fraudulent past and present being exposed here and elsewhere, but it failed to gain much traction because the writings are even more infantile than those of Rijock (yours truly, if we are to believe Friesner, committed suicide already over a year ago - welcome to the zombie walk!).
These smear campaigns by and on behalf of crooks, mobsters and con men are not new and they always follow a similar pattern. It starts with some scam being exposed, then the crooks think the best thing to do is try to slap the journalists with criminal libel cases, that then backfires and generates more exposure of the crooks and their crimes, so they change tactics and launch these smear campaigns, by that time other media and the authorities are starting to pay attention and one way or the other the scam then collapses and the scammers go down as well. Always.
So in that respect, Rijock selling himself to someone like Friesner to be his cyber attack dog is nothing different from what we've witnessed before from other such mercenaries like Tomas Cabal, Ecoclastico Calvo, Florencio Galvez, Omar Wong and similar corrupt bottom feeders from the gutter of the media landscape.
It is surprising though to see the involvement of a supposedly serious corporation like Global World Check. I asked them about their exact relationship with Mr. Rijock - also keeping the possibility of fat legal claims in mind - but they did not reply to my inquiries. Figures.