Roderick Schacher of Honduras: Shell Companies, Politics, and Money Laundering

This is a detailed investigative piece about Roderick Schacher of Honduras. He was involved in some of the biggest money laundering operations that took place in the small country.

While the public figures involved in the controversy garnered a lot of negative press, Roderick Schacher was able to avoid the limelight due to his private lifestyle.

However, this investigative article highlights how Roderick played a key role in the corrupt saga and how he is trying to get away with it:

Roderick Schacher’s Web of Shell Companies

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists aka ICIJ maintains a database of shell companies and their connections with different important people. All of this data was revealed in the Pandora Papers.

In this database of shell companies and money laundering networks, I found the name of Roderick Schaher as well.

Img Src – OffshoreLeaks

According to this database, he is the owner of Jare International Holdings Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. This company is linked with another PEP (Politically Exposed Person): Jonathan Samuel Schacher Kafati.

Shell companies are entities that only exist on paper and are used for money laundering.

Shell companies can be exploited for money laundering due to their ability to conceal ownership and financial dealings. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how they are typically used in such illicit activities:

Establishment of the Shell Company:

A shell company is a business entity without active business operations or significant assets. These companies are often set up in jurisdictions known for their lax corporate disclosure rules, making it difficult to trace the true ownership.

The key characteristic of a shell company that makes it attractive for money laundering is its ability to disguise the identities of its owners. By using nominees or legal agents, the real owners can hide their involvement.

In this case, Roderick wanted to hide his association with Jare International Holdings Limited.

Layering Through Transactions:

Layering is the process used to obscure the source of money. Shell companies can conduct a series of complex, seemingly legitimate financial transactions that move illicit money through various accounts and borders. This can involve inter-company loans, purchases, and sales that have no genuine business purpose other than to confuse the trail of money.

The transactions often occur in rapid succession and across multiple countries, especially those with strict bank secrecy laws, further complicating any audit trail.

Integration of Money:

Once the origins of the money are sufficiently obscured, the laundered money is reintroduced into the economy, appearing as legitimate funds. This can be achieved through investments in real estate, luxury goods, or legitimate business ventures.

The shell company might also issue invoices for non-existent goods or services to legitimate businesses owned by the launderers, turning dirty money into clean money through supposed business revenues.

Using Offshore Financial Centers:

Many shell companies are established in offshore financial centers, where there is a high degree of anonymity and non-disclosure practices. These jurisdictions often do not cooperate fully with international law enforcement bodies.

Offshore accounts associated with these shell companies can be used to deposit and move money without attracting attention.

Exploiting Weak Regulatory Systems:

Shell companies thrive in environments with weak regulatory oversight and corruption. These conditions allow them to operate without scrutiny, making audits and law enforcement detection less likely. For example, Roderick Schaher registered his offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands, which has relatively weak regulations in comparison to other prominent markets.

This is just a brief explanation of how shell companies are used in money laundering.

Now that you’re familiar with how this web of offshore entities works, let’s look at Roderick Schaher’s political affiliations.

Roderick Schacher’s Grupo Vision and Its Political Affiliations

Roderick Schacher is connected to one of the biggest political controversies in Honduras. In 2023, an investigation revealed the complex corruption network of David Chávez, during his tenure as director of the National Institute of Professional Training (INFOP) in Honduras.

The investigation identified a legislative decree (125-2012) that approved a budget extension intended to benefit a corruption network. Two key figures in this network were David Chávez, a current deputy of the National Congress, and José Olivio Rodríguez, a current magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice.

However, the investigation also revealed David’s association with Jonathan Samuel Schacher Kafati, the person linked with Roderick Schacher as I mentioned earlier.

Jonathan, the owner of Grupo Visión, is implicated as one of the main partners of David Chávez in the embezzlement of INFOP funds.

According to media reports, David had used his position as the Director of INFOP to give contracts to Jonathan. Now, this is the same Jonathan who co-owns a shell company with Roderick Schacher.

So, it’s obvious that Roderick benefitted from this deal as well.

At the time of writing this article, David has not been arrested. Instead, he has fled Honduras, according to the media reports I found about him.

Apart from the shell companies, Roderick Schacher and Jonathan were partners in several other companies that received government contracts from David. These were Inmobiliaria Real and World Trade Corporation.

Together, these two companies made up Dynamic Corporation which had several other political figures listed on its payroll.

On March 2, 2015, Dynamic Corporation and the Secretary of State in the Security Office entered into a contract for the “work and supply for the implementation and comprehensive maintenance of a technological platform, of the project (Turnkey) known as Ciudad Segura Valle de Sula and its annexes.”

Later, on March 21, 2015, they signed another contract for “the administration, data link, maintenance, sustainment and technical support of the Tegucigalpa Smart Cities project”.

It’s evident that Roderick Schacher was directly involved in this corruption nexus.

Grupo Visión and Roderick Schacher’s Involvement

Journalists investigating this case found a ton of evidence linking Roderick Schacher and Jonathan Schacher with the corruption case.

The investigation revealed that Grupo Visión was made up of several smaller entities including Visión Holdings, Trébol Corporation, Dynamic Corporation, Pacific Holding, and Inter Atlantic Group.

Roderick Schacher and Jonathan Schacher were board members of Grupo Visión. This company had received contracts from David Chavez when he was the director of INFOP.

The National Anti-Corruption Council (CNA) filed a complaint against David for embezzlement and fraud. However, it also alleged that he colluded with other government officials to hand over public contracts to his associates’ companies such as Grupo Visión.

CNA revealed that Infop had paid 925,000 EUR to Grupo Visión indirectly.

David was running for the Mayoral elections last year. During his campaign, he promised to build 35 mega parks.

The megaparks’ projects are financed by the Population Security Tax, which covers 60 percent of the investment, while the remaining 40 percent is contributed by private enterprises, namely through the Convive Mejor Foundation.

The Population Security Tax consists of a fund that was established in 2011 by the imposition of taxes on banking transactions. This fund is intended to finance citizen security programs that attempt to decrease crime and violence. The funds are overseen at the discretion of a trust and kept confidential, as they are classed as top-secret information with a reserve period of up to 50 years.

Convive Mejor Foundation, the major financier of this whole operation is owned by Jonathan Schacher, the business partner of Roderick Schacher.

As you can see, this is a highly complicated web of multiple shell companies getting government contracts through shady, corrupt deals.

More Deals Between the Government and Roderick Schacher’s Company

Apart from the Infop and being linked to the megaparks project, Grupo Visión has been favored from 2013 to 2021 in different government entities with the award of 41 contracts with an approximate amount of 60 million lempiras.

On December 9, 2015, the Central Unit of the National Institute of Retirement and Pensions of Employees and Officials of the Executive Branch (Injupemp) signed a contract for 11.8 million lempiras for the acquisition of biometric software.

Meanwhile, in 2017 it obtained another contract for the acquisition and installation of equipment, licenses, communications, technical support, and preventive maintenance of the National Institute of Migration’s biometric migration control project for 14.8 million lempiras. In addition to a payment of 22.5 million lempiras.

In 2018, it obtained a contract from the Ministry of Security for 11.6 million lempiras for the acquisition of fingerprint equipment for thePolice Directorate of Investigations(DPI) at the national level, in response to purchase order SS-UCP-OC-003-2018. Meanwhile, in 2019 it obtained another maintenance contract for the automated fingerprint identification system for $80,000.

According to El Heraldo, Grupo Visión received a contract from the Ministry of Security in 2004 to register guns, but the initiative apparently failed for a variety of reasons, resulting in a legal headache for the state.

Only the first of three phases was completed, which included the installation of an automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to register the fingerprints of gun owners.

Two more phases would subsequently be constructed, providing the Secretariat of Security with a computer tool to count registered weapons and all of their features that could not be accomplished as planned.

Another discovery is that the companies Llanos Del Sur Fotovoltaica and Ecoener Inversiones Centroamérica were fiduciary guarantees for Vision Group.

According to both firms’ articles of organization, the board of directors consists of Fernando Rodríguez Alfonso, a Spanish national, as president and Roderick Alexander Schacher Kafati as secretary. Jim Eloy Muñoz Gómez and Liana Maria Bueso Majano are companions.

In November 2018, the General Directorate of Intellectual Property, which is part of the Property Institute (IP), validated Tecnisign, a brand of Grupo Visión, as the first private firm in Honduras to provide sophisticated electronic signature services.

Tecnisign has collaborated with a number of government entities, including the State Contracting and Procurement Regulatory Office (Oncae), the Private Contributions Regime (RAP), the National Investment Council (CNI), and the Honduran Health Regulation Agency (ARSA).

Due to these findings, the public prosecutor’s office of Honduras filed formal charges against David Chavez:

 

Where is Roderick Now?

When you look up Roderick Schacher or “Roderick Schacher Honduras”, you wouldn’t find much information about his involvement in the Grupo Vision controversy.

Instead, you’ll find articles praising Roderick Alexander Schacher Kafati for his expertise and skill in business and how he leads Grupo Vision as a visionary.

These articles are nothing but promotional pieces whose sole purpose is to hide the various negative media published against Roderick in the last year. Clearly, his marketers are trying to dissociate him from the Grupo Vision controversy that shook the entire nation of Honduras.

This is a clear example of Reputation Laundering, a common tactic among oligarchs and online scammers. It involves the use of unethical digital marketing techniques to manipulate the image of someone online.

Usually, reputation laundering involves the publishing of various positive articles which often contain lies and false claims. Their sheer quantity buries the negative media and makes it easier for the culprit to hide their criminal past.

Some common examples of reputation laundering include Dan Goman and Joaquin Antonio. There are countless cases of reputation laundering present all over the web.

It’s quite harmful to us all because it fills the internet with lies and makes it difficult for consumers to actually find the truth.

Verdict

Roderick Schacher of Honduras is trying to clear his name by publishing paid articles on various platforms. However, it’s important to call him out and raise your voice against such examples of corruption.

His involvement in multiple corrupt schemes as well as a large network of shell companies indicates that he was behind most of the Grupo Vision scam.

Please share this article with others so they can be aware of the case as well.

Otherwise, the internet would be full of his marketing material and nobody would find out what actually happened.

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10 Comments
  • The article lays out a complex network of corruption and money laundering very methodically. I’m wondering, though, what measures are being taken to stop such practices in the future?

  • Interesting piece on the mechanics of shell companies. It’s alarming to see how easily they can be used to launder money, hiding the tracks of the true owners.

  • While this is a very informative article, I’d like to know more about the international response to such revelations. Are there efforts being made globally to address this issue?

  • It’s concerning to read about such intricate corruption networks. It paints a picture of a systemic problem that extends far beyond the borders of Honduras.

  • The connection between political figures and financial misconduct is not new, but it’s always disheartening. Transparency in political funding seems to be a key issue that needs addressing.

  • The article provides an intriguing insight into the operations of shell companies and the intricacies of money laundering. The connection between Roderick Schacher and Jonathan Samuel Schacher Kafati raises important questions about the oversight of political figures and their financial dealings.

  • It’s concerning to see the extent of the alleged corruption and the ways in which public funds can be exploited. The role of Grupo Visión in the corruption network highlights the importance of transparent corporate governance and the monitoring of government contracts.

  • The involvement of high-level officials in such schemes is alarming. However, this also emphasizes the role of investigative journalism in uncovering such activities. The link between David Chávez and the Schachers is particularly noteworthy, underscoring collusion between business and politics.

  • The use of technology and smart city projects as a front for embezzlement is quite sophisticated. This case illustrates the importance of due diligence in the awarding of government contracts, especially those involving large sums of money and major public initiatives like the Ciudad Segura project.

  • The Population Security Tax and the lack of transparency regarding its use is troubling. While the intention behind the tax is commendable, the secrecy and long reserve period make it susceptible to misuse, as indicated by the financing of the mega parks projects.

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