Australian firm, Used Tyre Recycling Corporation, that operated at Stawell scrap tire yard, was successfully sold 10 days before the unprecedented seizing of the site by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

An offshore company now has the right to own the land used for tire dumping; the ownership rights had been passed just several weeks ago.

According to Fairfax Media, all of the shares for the Used Tyre Recycling Company (UTRC) were transmitted to another party, as a result of Internet Marketing Solutions Corp transfer that took place in Panama two months prior to UTRC’s changing owners.

Stawell tire site had been owned by UTRC since 2015, as the land’s ex owner, Motorway Tyres, went broke in 2008. According to previous announcement by UTRC’s director, Dr. Matthew Starr, his idea for the site was to construct a pyrolysis facility, which could produce fuel out of scrap tires using vacuum chamber where shredded tires would be decomposed.

In December, Dr. Starr claimed in an open letter addressing the citizens of Stawell that the facility had failed to be constructed due to extra conditions and costs imposed by Northern Grampians Shire, the Country Fire Authority and EPA Victoria.

Subsequently, Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio was drawn into a dispute by UTRC after she refused to loosen compliance requirements for the land. In the last month of spring, UTRC was issued a fire notice by the Country Fire Authority, which concluded that the stockpile had been bringing potential risks of fire and had been threatening community safety.

On August 9, 9,500 tons of scrap tires were removed from the site by the EPA; the tires were considered to pose significant threat to environment – in case of stockpile fire, the region could have faced high pollution risk.

Three days before that, Fairfax Media exposed the information about the transfer of the land title for the tire site to Panama-based firm, Internet Marketing Solutions Corp. According to the records of Panama firm, the registration of Internet Marketing Solutions Corp, a private company protecting personal details of shareholder, took place in 2010. No official directors or offices of the firm exist in Australia.

The handover of the land title to Panama took place on June 8. As indicated in Australian Securities and Investment Commission papers received by Fairfax Media, on July 30, 10 shares in UTRC were passed to Georgina Louisa by Dr. Starr.

10 shares costing $1 each were the overall number of shares that has constituted UTRC. On that very day, Ms. Starr was assigned the sole director of UTRC, and Dr. Starr no longer hold the office of sole director and secretary of the company. Many attempts were made to contact Dr. Starr by phone and email, though no response was received.

As Asic information state, Ms. Starr’s resides in the coastline town of Iluka in NSW, approximately half way between Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay. This address is the same as the one that was used to register Dr. Starr’s ex business subordinate, Wen Zhang. Mr. Zhang was assigned the director of ‘International Card Corporation Limited’, whereas Dr. Starr was registered as a secretary.

As stated in papers received from the UK government’s Companies House, the registration of International Card Corporation Limited took place in London in August 2011 and had £1000 as a capital. Given that the firm had been recurrently failing to show that it was functioning as a business obeying the UK law, in 2013, it was removed from the register.

International Card Corporation Limited’s used three floors of residential blocks in the rich London area of Marylebone as its official business address. UK credit watchdog company Endole revealed that the same address in the flats, which are located above McDonald’s and a coffee shop, is used by more than 1000 different firms. The registration of International Card Corporation Limited happened via a company called Coddan CPM. Coddan CPM provides services for incorporation of a firm in the UK together with offering the opportunity to own existing firms in Panama paying no more than $1200.

Dr. Starr was sent an email by Fairfax Media, in which he was asked if his association with Coddan CPM was for the purpose of purchasing Panama-based firms; no response was received.

On October 11, EPA finished removal and transportation of the Stawell tires to a recycling facility located in Melbourne. $5 million was the overall cost, which EPA aims to recover from organizations that are linked to the site.

The next day since EPA started managing the tire site, an injunction in Victoria’s Supreme Court to prevent the tires removal was attempted by the Panama based firm, Internet Marketing Solutions Corp.

During the hearing, Justice Karin Emerton claimed the EPA had demonstrated proof that the UTRC, by changing ownership rights between companies via Panama land transfer, tried to find a way to escape from its responsibilities.

Article source: Stawell Times