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Feb 10, 2017

The Puerto Azul Scam Through the Eyes of Former Investor Daniele Pistolesi

Daniele Pistolesi, a former investor in the failed Puerto Azul project, has been speaking exclusively to News Five about his role in exposing it as a massive scam and Ponzi scheme. In January, after a two-year investigation that is still ongoing, twenty arrests were made and millions of dollars in assets recovered. As many as six hundred customers may be affected. The cost to him has been even more significant – he has lost his job and home and is under protection from police. But Pistolesi is even more determined to fulfil what he calls his mission to see the truth exposed – and to clear Belize’s good name. Aaron Humes has a report.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Daniele Pistolesi hardly looks like a saviour, but many in Italy and Switzerland may owe him a significant debt of gratitude for risking his own life and reputation to expose the Puerto Azul scam. Four years ago, when he met the chief developer Domenico Giannini and committed nearly half a million Euros of his clients’ and his own savings to the investment, he would have no idea that Giannini, his partner Fabio de la Rosa and others were not being truthful about the supposed “agreement” they had with officials of the Belizean government to build the luxury hotel as one of a chain of resorts with other outlets in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

 

Daniele Pistolesi

Via Skype: Daniele Pistolesi, Former Investor, Puerto Azul

“Mister Giannini said that he had this friendship with the Santo Domingo government, Bahamas Government, but even Belize Government. The agreement with the representatives of your Government was the most publicized by Giannini; Giannini said he bought your Blue Hole. It’s an amazing story; it’s an amazing story, and he told this to all investors, all the people, banks, investors.  I have to say that no client or investor has ever said to have met representatives of your Government. Giannini and La Rosa, instead, have always supported this agreement as I said, but no client or investor has ever said to have met or called representatives of your government.”

 

As Pistolesi told us before, he began to get suspicious about the time of the Cannes Film Festival launch which featured two Ministers of Government, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Junior and Trade Minister Erwin Contreras. But it was too late to recoup his investment.

 

Via Skype: Daniele Pistolesi

“I asked because the event of Cannes was for me so strange. I was not invited by Mister Giannini and it was strange because I was a shareholder at that moment; I invested in Puerto Azul, as my client, but I wasn’t invited. The names of all the VIP’s you know – I said Mister (John) Travolta; Mister (Andrea) Bocelli, Miss Rosario Dawson – it was so strange for me. Even the sister of Ayrton Senna – it was amazing, yet in my mind I said, ‘This is a scam, this is a scam’, and so I started cooperating with Italian financial police.”

 

Pistolesi says most of the persons arrested are cooperating, but there is no indication of when a trial might take place. In the meantime, he says he is holding up well enough, though he still has fears for his life. But he had no fear in recommending Belize as still being a great place to invest, if you avoid the scammers.

 

Via Skype: Daniele Pistolesi

“I have to say that Belize is a great place to invest, if I understand your question; Belize is the right place to invest. I know some clients of mine that are looking for some real estate investment in Belize and I met with them to invest in Belize.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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