This hasn’t been a good week for John McCabe with news that NAMA has had receivers appointed to four of his companies, just ahead of a winding up application by a supplier of manpower, MCR Personnel. As for John himself, it seems he is presently in the Middle East as reported on here, but he is in Bahrain, not Oman. And he is not involved in the property business but is in fact trying to retrieve an “advance fee” paid to a company called Western Gulf Advisory or “WGA” which appeared as a White Knight in 2010 with the prospect of investing €360m in McCabe’s companies but instead are understood to have demanded a €2m fee, which John now wants back.
In mid-2011, Britain’s Daily Mail carried a report which said that at least three businessmen were claiming that fees had been paid to WGA for loans which had never materialised. One of the businessmen was Australian property developer Keith Johnson who, according to the newspaper had paid A$2.45m to WGA for “setting up the loans”, some A$155m which were ultimately not advanced. The Sydney Morning Herald separately reported that a “group of Australian businessmen” had paid over A$100m for loans which again, never materialised, and that WGA bank accounts in Bahrain had been successfully frozen by Keith Johnson.
Frauds which involve upfront or advance fees paid over to secure much bigger funds, have been associated with Nigeria in the past where they have their own criminal code, 419. Typically it would have been the widow of a Nigerian general wanting to spirit millions out of the country to your bank account, if only you’d provide a few thousand up front to cover administration!
WGA is described as a Swiss-Bahraini based provider of loan and equity finance. Their website carries a contact address in Holland but no phone number or email address. The only contact email address on the website is firstname.lastname@example.org and a request for comment on this matter has not received a response.There are no longer any press releases and the only news shown on what is a flashy website is from February 2011. WGA was founded by Ahsan Ali Syed (pictured below), a 40-year old Indian national who the Sydney Morning Herald describes as “the Bernie Madoff of India”
A request for comment was also made to McCabe Builders, but none was received at time of writing.