The situation surrounding the Petaquilla gold mine becomes murkier and shadier by the day, or so it seems. We had already the silent flight of narco Richard Fifer to Spain, a failed bid by Inmet to take over the entire operation, then a president caught in insider trading of PTQ shares and a flimsy denial by the Petaquilla shysters of Martinelli involvement and, last but not least, an auditor of the financial shenanigans who went mysteriously and conveniently missing.
And now, we read on StockWatch, Petaquilla doesn't want to pay one of its suppliers, a company called Jamieson Consulting Pty. Ltd, saying that it didn't contract them and they didn't do the agreed work. Huh? Yes:
"Jamieson complained that it only received partial payment for its invoices, with $401,929 outstanding after its contract came to an end. The suit sought a $401,929 judgment, plus interest and court costs.
Petaquilla, in a response filed on Friday, Jan. 11, denies ever entering into a contract with Jamieson. The company says that any agreement was between Jamieson and another company called Petaquilla Gold SA (which is also a defendant). Alternatively, if there were a contract, then Jamieson did not perform sufficient services to entitle it to be paid all or any of the money it seeks, the response states."
One can say that, "we never had a contract with you" or "you didn't live up to your end of the deal", but you can not say both at the same time, we think, and that after paying partially.
Okay, we admit that if you enter in any kind of business with Petaquilla, you probably deserve them - there is enough information about them freely available to make anyone with half a brain think twice about doing work for these people and not have them pay you in advance.
But it looks suspiciously as if Petaquilla is playing the typical Panama ping-pong corporate shell game in this case:
"Petaquilla says that it does not own or operate the Molejon gold mine in Panama, where Jamieson claims to have done the work. The company further denies the suit's allegation that Petaquilla Gold is a subsidiary. (The response does not say what the relationship between the companies is.)
Petaquilla Gold separately filed a brief response to the suit, also on Friday. It too asks that the claim be dismissed, arguing that the courts in B.C. have no jurisdiction. Petaquilla Gold says it does not carry out business in B.C. and is incorporated in Panama."
We hear there's more to come. Jamieson, we are informed, is not the only company that is owed money by Petaquilla, whose profits dropped dramatically in 2012. Stay tuned!