Basit Igtet’s Independent Libya Foundation.org is a charity in URL-registered domain name alone. The organization’s website is: www.independentlibyafoundation.org. Although required by US law, the organization founded in New York in 2011, was NEVER and is still NOT a registered 501(c)(3) charity in New York. Nor has the foundation registered to operate as a non-profit organization anywhere else within the United States.
The Better Business Bureau of New York confirmed the fact. Their letter:
Thank you for reaching out to the BBB with your inquiry into the Independent Libya Foundation. Unfortunately this organization does not appear to be a registered 501(c)(3) charity, so they won’t fall within our purview to conduct a review.
If they are based in New York, another resource you might want to try is the New York Charities Bureau at http://www.charitiesnys.com/contact_new.jsp – you can file inquires or complaints with them, as well.
NYPAS Program Associate
Our critique will cover the facts about the non-profit organization’s lack of status as a nonprofit organization. We suggest that International Libya Foundation.org (INLIFO) was never intended as a NPO or charity, per se. Based on documented evidence, we suggest that rather than philanthropic motivations, the real impetus for Basit Igtet and other INLIFO founding members was to have an organization which provides an international platform for their political ambitions and business interests in Libya. (see our list of documents below)
In fact, our investigation discovered financial affiliations of this nonprofit organization. Independent Libya Foundation is the registered owner of the domain name: AMCHAMLIBYA.ORG. (here & here) Why and what is the connection? Amchamlibya.org is the domain name of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. Our evidence is that the registrant for the INLIFO in this transaction was Richard H. Griffiths, whose other job is as Executive Director at the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. (see below)
Besides this financial affiliation to the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya, INLIFO president Basit Igtet, his wife, Sara Bronfman and INLIFO former media contact/registrant/ international advisor, Richard Griffiths own at least three other chambers. We provide Canadian and Swiss government documents. (here, here and here)
The Libyan implication for this particular business is that a chamber of commerce is a non-governmental organization whose business is one of peddling influence and access to Libyan politicians for international businessmen. Access for the businessmen can mean favors or preferential treatment with respect to government contracts, etc. A very lucrative business for its owners, paying up to $100 thousand per business, a chamber can promise to provide access to the Prime Minister on down through his cabinet and laterally through his ministries.
If Basit Igtet becomes Libyan Prime Minister, with his ownership of so many chambers, the situation he and his INLIFO founding members created could be one where access to him and his ministries would be through prior direct payment to their chambers. Is this corruption? Libya’s revolution eradicated the corrupt system of multi-national corporations buying government contracts through direct payment into Saif’s Gaddafi International Charity and Development Fund. (Here & Here) A quick revisit to the corruption of the GICDF is pertinent to our present discussion.
In October 2009, London School of Economics’ Middle East Center director Fred Halliday wrote a memo to LSE governing body requesting then not to accept a £1.5 million grant from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Fund (GICDF or QF). Note his description of the corrupt situation within the NGO that Saif created and perpetuated.
….While it is formally the case that the QF is not part of the Libyan state, and is registered in Switzerland as an NGO, this is, in all practical senses, a legal fiction. The monies paid into the QF come from foreign businesses wishing to do business, i.e. receive contracts, for work in Libya, most evidently in the oil and gas industries. These monies are, in effect, a form of down payment, indeed of taxation, paid to the Libyan state, in anticipation of the award of contracts. The funds of the QF are, for this reason, to all intents and purposes, part of the Libyan state budget. ‘NGO status’, and recognition of such by UN bodies, means, in real terms, absolutely nothing…..
The Basit-Igtet-Situation would vary in that it is paid directly to Basit Igtet, Sara Bronfman and Richard Griffiths among others rather than paid to an entity in the Libyan government. The fact is these documents show that if Basit Igtet, becomes prime minister, he, his wife and business partners, could be reaping in the cash. For the Libyan people the question is: it is ethical or legal for their Prime Minister to personally profit from his position?
As for the Independent Libya Foundation, we provide in their own words how the planners, viewed the organization’s purpose: it is for their own personal use. As stated on its press releases:
The Foundation is intended to be a resource for individuals and organizations interested in a free and prosperous future for the people of Libya.
And for Basit Igtet, is his non-nonprofit organization his international platform to promote himself for the position of prime minister of Libya?
The overview the Independent Libya Foundation is:
- The Foundation states that it is a non-profit organization which in 2011 had an office in New York City but is not nor ever was as a registered New York 501(c)(3) charity or non-profit organization.
- It gave a New York City address and New York City phone number in 2011 & 2012 press releases. (Both address and phone number are fraudulent)
- There is no evidence that the not-for-profit organization has a required EIN (Employment Identification Number) or that it has ever filed as a not-for–profit organization with the Internal Revenue Agency-IRS which requires filing annual 990s forms. It is illegal under US law not to file annually.
- Although required by US law, it has not been registered in any US government (IRS), New York State or any non-governmental (charity) database.
- It provides a website without a physical location i.e. building, city or country and provides only two mobile/cell phones as a contact.
- The only Internet search of the Foundation (other than press releases) is that it has registered two URL domain names. One is a .org and the other is a .com.
Past and present contact information for the Independent Libya Foundation
Based on the press release below (not http, PDF with address), both the address and phone number in press release given are fraudulent. The address and phone were used in press releases in 2011 and 2012. -11729001-ilf-president-basit-igtet-and-co-founder-adam-hock-present-libyan-re-construction-program1
1. The address, 75 east 72 street, New York, New York, 10012, does not exist.
2. The phone number, 9174634231 belongs to Bandwidth.com VoIP, New York, NY.
Currently, firstname.lastname@example.org is an email address. The site does not offer any physical locality, i.e.: building address, city or country. Press releases only provide two mobile/cell phones to contact.
Details about the Independent Libya Foundation:
1. URL searches http://www.whois.net/show that The Independent Libya Foundation has registered two domain names:
a. independentlibyafoundation.org b. independentlibyafoundation.com
2. The following eight governmental and nongovernmental organizations have NO DATA on the Independent Libya Foundation.
A. United States Government-Internal Revenue Service – exempt organizations
- Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub. 78 data),
- Organizations whose federal tax exemption was automatically revoked for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years, or
- Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filers and filings.
The Independent Libya Foundation is not found in database #1, 2 or 3.
B. New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records and UCC has No records of active or non-active as a business or not-for-profit corporation for the Independent Libya Foundation. There is no DOS number in either domain name.
C. Economic Research Institute –no search results.
D. Guide Star –no search results.
E. Foundation Center –no search results.
F. Charity Navigator –no search results.
G. the Better Business Bureau of New York –not registered as a 501(c)(3) charity.
H. the Government of Belgium in any part of Brussels. The Independent Libya Foundation opened an office in Brussels on 28th of April 2011. Although required by Belgium law, the Independent Libya Foundation did not register with the official government website.
An Informed Conclusion
A simple glance at the website one could argue that the organization is simply a vanity mouthpiece for Basit Igtet’s political campaign rather than a philanthropic organization. There is little to no mention of the ongoing charity programs that should be the essence of a non-profit organization activities and news. Notice, the archives and articles are coming soon.
It seems the most important detail about the Independent Libya Foundation.org is its link to Basit Igtet’s personal site, www.basititgtet.com. This details Igtet’s past articles, his plan for Libya and an array of statesmen-like photos from which to choose.
Since its inception the Independent Libya Foundation has only existed as two domain names … the Independent Libya Foundation .org and Independent Libya Foundation.com. As of now there has been no traceable physical location, i.e. building, city or country. Since 2011, press releases either gave no address or a false address. Precariously, it has violated both US and Belgium laws as it has not filed with either country to be a registered non-profit organization.
The result of this lack of governmental oversight is that this philanthropic organization is used for exactly what the founder, Basit Igtet and the others have appeared to formed this entity to be: an international platform for their political ambitions and business interests in Libya. We assume this could explain why the domain name is register as a .com as well. We will offer two founding members and their actions as evidence.
Two founders and their financial ambitions are listed below:
In announcing the Belgium office of the Independent Libya Foundation, “Co-founder Richard Reinert,a former chairman of the International Petroleum Exchange and a hedge fund and oil executive…” seems to revealed his real interest, “…The beauty with Libya is that they don’t need money” because the country’s oil wealth, which eventually ‘can be used to benefit the people and the country”. (see press release below)
Richard Griffiths and Company.
As mentioned before, the other example is that Richard H. Griffiths, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya who started as the media contact/vice president of the US-Libya Chamber of Commerce. Simultaneously, Mr. Griffith was the Independent Libya Foundation’s media contact/ registrant for all the press releases and later was ”officially appointed as the Director of International Affairs for the Brussels-based Independent Libya Foundation (ILF).”
Not to be outdone, Mr. Griffith is also a current director/officer in the North American Chamber of Commerce as of 17th May 2012. (see below) His co-director/officer is Mossab O. Basir, whose Canadian company Mint Media Lab Incorporated has registered the name Amchamlibya.com on the 5th May 2012 with GoDadday.com. Amchamlibya.com is otherwise known as the American Chamber of Commerce-Libya. And going full circle again, Amchamlibya.org is where Mr. Griffiths is the Executive Director. (See the document below)
Mr. Basir’s co-founding partner in Mint Media Labs Incorporated is also a vice president at Tirsana, a defense company whose “focus centers in the industry of defense and aerospace, security, transportation, safety equipment, industrial equipment and IT.” Going full circle again, Mr. Basir and Mr. Griffiths are recognized in related photos at meeting with Libyan “Ministry of Defense” in Tripoli published on the AmChamLibya.org site. (Note Mr. Bassir from the photo gallery and other related documents)
INLIFO-AMCHAMLIBYA connection and Richard Griffiths
As we stated before Richard Griffith, is the registrant for (ILF) Independent Libya Foundation as it registered the domain name for AmChamlibya.org. With reference to this transaction, we note that both the address and the phone number are questionable. The address for ILF is: 177 Ocean Lane #713, Key Biscayne, Fl, 33149. Yet, this address belongs to Ms. Yolanda Cebolla. The phone number is a NY City landline. However, we note once again that Mr. Griffith has provided the same numbers linking back to 2011 INLIFO press releases. 1 9174634321 and 1 9174634231 Yet, in this document the last three digits are shuffled.
On 14th of November 2014, a notice from the Authors: From time to time where needed, we look over our old articles to provide our readers with relevant updates or notices. This is one of those notices. As our article was published 13 February 2014, as such it is a snapshot of the INLIFO organization at the time, based on our documented research of the time. As we have never received any comment, formal or otherwise, we will not make any updates for that organization. Although we provide the ABC News link to our initial comment, “paying up to $100 thousand per business”.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. As with all of our articles we provide information important to the Libyan people not covered in the mainstream press. We attempt to cover issues that can affect the Libyan people’s lives by attempting to help ensure that they are well informed. This is the same with the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. Since we wrote this article, although we have expected but we have never received a comment about our article or research. However, in our attempt to be fair and without bias we sought to reassure ourselves that in February 2014 we reached a sound conclusion on the registration of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya specifically as this organization is so strategically important for reconstruction in the New Libya. This was the thought-process for our second search.
We did not want to just re-examine our initial research, we wanted to conduct a new search of the business registration of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. We report that we found is exactly what we found in February 2014 when this article was published. We could not then and as of today, find ANY ACTIVE REGISTRATION of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya in any of the 50 American state business registration sites. Since their site notes that the working name is the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya and also known as Amcham Libya we used this as our guide to search. Secondly, as the name implies, this was an American business so we narrowed our search to the 50 American states. Further, we added .org and .com to Amcham Libya. We made a total of 2 to 4 searches in each state business entity search considering the word choice of exact, starts with, contains. Our research is with images as pdfs of ALL searches we made. We will maintain all the research data and one example is UTAH #546 american chamber of commerce in libya Utah . Within the only parameters available to us, we did all we could in providing a thorough research.
After reviewing all 50 American states, we arrived at the conclusion, as we did in February; the registered name of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya is NOT the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya or Amcham Libya or Amcham Libya.org or Amcham Libya.com. Therefore, as it is not actively registered under its working names as reflected on its site: American Chamber of Commerce in Libya or Amcham Libya in ANY of the 50 American states, in order to find the registration would require someone with highly specialized tracking skills. Their specialized skills would need to undercover the legal name and then reveal the registration of the business entity and subsequently reveal the ownership. In conclusion, we must stand behind the research in our comments of February 2014 as reflected below. However, with deference to what we see as a potential strategic partner in the New Libya, the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya, we alter the comment:
Our research in February 2014 and again in November 2014 was unable to find a business registration document showing where the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya was actively registered so that the people of Libya would be provided with the names of the organization’s ownership. As it is not readily available on public business searches, without the release from the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya itself to determine the ownership, it will not surface. We note that in the New Libya, it does not seem that the Libyan people will tolerate, or need to, an organization surrounded by suspicion. Therefore, we strongly urge the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya to release the proof of registration and ownership in the spirit of democracy in the New Libya. We feel it is important for the Libyans to have another important partner in their reconstruction. We also note that if the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya provides us with the registration we are willing to change our site to accommodate the new information as long as it is reflective of the time of our initial publishing.
The rest of the article:
Consider the following: we have noted repeated examples of false addresses and numbers not coordinating on official documents; a non-profit organization is financially affiliated with a strategic business entity; an INLIFO media contact/registrant/international advisor who simultaneously is the Executive Director of the same business entity. Further, we have noted the illegal activity of a non-profit organization which was never registered in two countries, and finally, we documented that three people own at least three chambers of commerce waiting to profit from a possible prime minister.
More specifics: Sara Bronfman, Basit Igtet and their business partner, Richard Griffiths.
Downshifting, we are noting Mr. Griffiths’ second chamber of commerce: as of March 12th 2012 he became a partner in the Canadian-Libya Chamber of Commerce with Igtet and his wife. Beside Sara Bronfman’s appointed as the first board member of the US Libya Chamber of Commerce in 2011, Basit Igtet and/or his wife, Sara Bronfman personally own at least two other chambers including the Swiss-Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SLCCI). (see below) Fees paid by businesses that join these Chambers can be paid up to $100 thousand annually to the chamber’s owners.
As we said before, a Chamber of Commerce is a non-governmental entity whose profit orientation is to arrange access to policy makers within the Libyan Government. It is the business of selling access and influence. For instance, the AmChamLibya’s price structure is sliding based on exposure to Libyan government officials. Under the Founder’s Circle Plus it is noted:
“Plus: Access to officials within the Libyan Government and other leading figures arranged on an individual and tailored basis.”
The predicament for the Libyan people of all these interconnected people around Basit Igtet and his wife, Sara Bronfman is, what IF, he does become the Libyan Prime Minister? Imagine all the companies signing up to file into the Prime Minister’s office to collect what their Chambers’ membership guarantee…. access to Prime Minister Igtet.
Once again we ask, would it be ethical or legal for Prime Minister Basit Igtet, his First Lady Sara Bronfman or his former INLIFO Director of International Affairs, Richard Griffith to financially profit from the position of Prime Minister. Libyans would have to decide if this couple has the moral fiber of a Prime Minister and wife that they want to represent them.
For Basit Igtet, We suggest he offer to the Libyan people evidence, if he is able, of American and Belgium registrations of his organization with each government dating back to 2011. Next, he needs to explain both his personal relationship and the INLIFO financial affiliation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya. And in the spirit of transparency within the New Libya, Mr. Igtet should secure for his fellow citizens a document demonstrating AMCHAMLIBYA’s ownership. Further, we would suggest that Libyans insist that Basit Igtet and his wife explain the financial/political reasoning behind establishing all the chambers. Finally, as it seems Mr. Igtet used this organization as a platform for his political career, let him demonstrate through explanation to his fellow Libyan citizens that he pursues the rule of law not just the rule of business.
CHAMBRE DU COMMERCE ET DE L’INDUSTRIE SUISSE-LIBYE (CCISL): This information is from the public access part of Moneyhouse, a Swiss company search. An update: auskunft_1016085
Canadian Libyan Chamber of Commerce This information is from a public access corporation search which is part of the Canadian Government.
This is from the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya site. It notes Richard H. Griffith is Executive Director.
This is the Independent Libya Foundation‘s registration of the domain name AMCHAMLIYA.ORG for the American Chamber of Commerce-Libya. AMCHAMLIBYA Executive Director Richard Griffiths registered this on behalf of Basit Igtet’s foundation. This information is from a public access domain name search of GoDaddy.com.
This is from the public access search of Go-Daddy.com. This is the domain registration of AMCHAMLIBYA,COM by registrant: Mossab Basir of the registrant organization: Mint Media Labs Incorporated. Date: 2012-05-03. HERE
This is from the public access search of Domain Tools which shows that the domain name AmchamLibya.com. was registered on 5 May 2012 by Mint Media Labs, Inc by the registrant Mossab Bashir with GoDaddy.com. (link above)
American Chamber of Commerce in Libya has two online websites at the time of publishing. Our photo gallery image (below) is from one of the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya site’s Photo Gallery. The first two pictures, as the Amchamlibya noted are, ‘Mr. Mossab O. Basir at the Ministry of Defense, Tripoli, Libya’ and ‘Mr. Richard Griffiths at the Ministry of Defense, Tripoli, Libya.’ The date is 05/02/2012.
We note that the photos below are on this link or that link and the SAME PHOTOS are currently on the other parallel American Chamber of Commerce in Libya site’s 2013 photo gallery. The link is HERE (see insert on left) We note that as both Amchamlibya sites corroborate each other, we retain the right to display both sets of images. We also provide PDF of the 2nd site’s photo gallery: ‘American Chamber of Commerce in Libya’ – www_amcham_ly_media-centre#gallery
This is from the Mint Media Labs INC website. It includes Founding and Managing Partner Mossab O. Basir and Founding Partner Hazem Imran Ghazali.
This article in Authorsden was boastfully authored by Richard H. Griffiths about himself. Note Basit Itget’s business partner, Richard H. Griffiths’ impressive connections to American and Canadian intelligence agencies such as CIA, CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Agency), and the US Navy. As well as being “…exclusive director of public relations for Scaix (Nasdaq-UGMI) a US based counter Terrorism and tactical equipment developer for the US Military, CIA, FBI and Intelligence…” He went on to write: Mr. Griffiths has developed relationships with United States counter intelligence as well as Special Operations command as well as having classified clearance via NASA.”
A note from the authors: as of 3:30 pm Tripoli time on the 23rd of March 2014, we noticed that this site (link above) has since been wiped clean except the photo. As journalists, we know that a document (or a website in this case) may disappear at the behest of the author but our copy of that site, as it was earlier today and when we published it on 21st March 2014, has since been stored. Therefore, we retain the right to legally display this important piece of information for the Libyan people.
For your reference: Mr. Griffiths’ association with the Independent Libya Foundation. This information came from a published online MECLUB Topic of the Week.
Richard H. Griffiths (born 7 July 1975 in Kempton Park, Republic of South Africa) is an entrepreneur and international advisor. He is a holder of several patents, was one of the pioneers of the electric vehicle industry, and has most recently worked in the fields of nation branding and Public diplomacy. Mr. Griffiths became involved in the Libyan revolution early on by working with Libyan National Transitional Council Special Envoy Basit Igtet to facilitate Presidential meetings in Latin American Nations. The purpose of these meetings was to secure official recognition of the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate representatives of the Libyan people. On 14 June 2011, President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli officially recognized the NTC as, “the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.” In doing so, Panama became the 14th nation worldwide to recognize the NTC in this manner. On 25 August 2011, President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos met with Special Envoy Igtet at the Nariño Palace (Casa de Nariño). On the same day, Colombia became the 54th nation worldwide to recognize the NTC. Following his assistance in Latin America, Mr. Griffiths was officially appointed as Director of International Affairs for the Brussels based Independent Libya Foundation (ILF). In Late 2011, following the end of conflict and the beginning of the rebuilding of the new Libya, the U.S. Libya Chamber of Commerce was established. Mr Griffiths was instrumental in its founding and was subsequently appointed as the Vice President of the Chamber on 16th January 2012.
A 2011 press release. HERE
A another 2011 press release. HERE
From the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya site. From the Founder’s Circle Plus price structure is sliding based on exposure to Libyan government officials. Under the Founder’s Circle Plus it is noted: Plus: Access to officials within the Libyan Government and other leading figures arranged on an individual and tailored basis.
Opencorporates is open online database of the corporate world. This came from the public access search. HERE
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