Published On: Sun, Jan 22nd, 2023

Nina Ansary files lawsuit against Central Bank

PHILIPSBURG — Nina Ansary, the 56-year old daughter of Hushang Ansary has filed a complaint at the US District Court for the District of Columbia in an effort to protect her multi-million 15.9 percent stake in Parman International BV. She alleges in her complaint to the court that the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten “unlawfully retained control of private assets” and that it “orchestrated the sale to a notorious money launderer tied to a Central Bank-official.”

Related link: Internationally Renowned Women’s Rights Advocate Files Suit Against Central Bank Of Curacao And Sint Maarten For Theft Of Property

That last remark reflects on the sale of Banco di Caribe to the United Group Holding of businessman Gregory Elias, whom the court document in turn links to the former president of the Central Bank, José Jardim.

Trouble started for Ansary and other shareholders when the court in Curacao put insurance company Ennia and its affiliated entities in 2018 under the emergency regulation, based on concerns about the company’s solvency. This measure sidelined all supervisory directors and managers and gave the Central Bank full control.

Up to 2018, Ennia was under the control of Parman International BV, a company owned by the Nina Ansary’s by now 97-year old father, Iranian-American businessman Hushang Ansary.

The complaint speaks of “the illegal expropriation of Nina Ansary’s equity stake in Parman. Since the emergency regulation was put in place, the complaint alleges, “the Central Bank has been engaged in a scheme to systematically loot the assets of the company for the economic and political benefits of its officials.”

Ansary labels the sale of Banco di Caribe to Gregory Elias as unnecessary and as a fire-sale whereby the bank changed hands at a steep discount.

Furthermore, the complaint states, the bank has put plans in place to seize 160 acres of prime real estate in St. Maarten – a reference to the Mullet Bay property. “It is abundantly clear that this ongoing seizure is not about the health of the enterprise or accountability to shareholders, but only about greed and opportunism by officials at the Central Bank,” Dennis Hranitzky, an attorney for Nina Ansary stated.

This attorney notes that the Central Bank is even targeting his client’s primary residence for seizure. “Such behavior is unsurprising given Curacao’s reputation as an infamous haven for money laundering and criminal activity.”

When the emergency regulation was put in place, Parman was worth $700 million, so Nina Ansary’s 15.9 percent stake is worth $111.3 million. The Central Bank managed to seize $280 million from a Merrill Lynch account in New York and return it to Ennia. “That was sufficient to complete the restructuring,” the complaint states. “And still the Central Bank conspired with the governments of Curacao and St. Maarten to expropriate the assets of Parman for the private interest of their cronies.”

Politicians in St. Maarten also get a wallop in the court document: “The bank is now in the process of expropriating Parman’s valuable real estate – a “pearl of the Caribbean” – owned through Sun Resorts at the behest of St. Maarten politicians.”

The court document quotes from a column on StMaartenNews.com that appeared on August 2, 2022: “Mullet Bay, as the new Pearl of the Caribbean can provide a tremendous economic boost as an economic and job center of St. Maarten.”

Reference column: Just call

The court document furthermore portrays Nina Ansary as an award-winning author, historian and an internationally recognized women’s rights activist. And indeed, on her website NinaAnsary.com, the plaintiff describes in great detail her accomplishments in this field. She is, among many other things, the director of the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum Women’s Leadership Initiative and also the director of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Ansary wrote several books like Jewels of Allah: The untold Story of Women in Iran for which she received in 2016 the International Book Award in Women’s Issues.

She has appeared on numerous TV-channels, including CNN, Fox News and the BBC and she appeared in publications like Time, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times.

In a reaction to the lawsuit, the Central Bank has stated that the complaint contains many incorrect allegations. “The court in Curacao has ordered Nina Ansary to pay more than 945 million guilders (close to $528 million) in damages to Ennia.”


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