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PETRA Statement 2012: An International Call for Integrity and Action

PETRA Statement 2012
An International Call for Integrity and Action

This current Statement for 2012 updates the initial PETRA Statement 2011. It also builds upon the recent prosecution by Sweden of Nordic Capital Investment KB (NCI). We are calling again for assistance from organizations and people that have been affected by NCI. This call also includes now the general public as well as the members and donors of these organizations. Unfortunately there have been few disclosures following the various requests for assistance. This PETRA Statement 2012 also specifically calls for resolute action for transparency and accountability within the international church-mission community (CMC), including leaders and members at all levels of the organizations affected. This is not implying any wrong doing but rather it is a direct and public request to take ethical action—to do what would be expected of any other organization, church, or person of integrity to do in a similar situation. This Statement also includes links to key documents related to the Swedish case. You are encouraged to help by reviewing these documents, sharing the Statement with your networks, and signing the online version of the Statement.

The Swedish case against NCI concluded 21 December 2011 upon the final decision of the Swedish Supreme Court. The prosecution and courts clearly established that gross fraud was committed over many years. A Swedish citizen was the focus of the case, Kristian Westergard. He was sentenced to 3.5 years of prison and ordered to repay many of the victims. This person’s traceable assets are minimal though and hence he is not able to repay as required. Millions in the equivalent of euros/dollars are still missing. Fortunately, a significant amount of NCI-related investments and money flows are in fact traceable according to EBM/Swedish court documents. This money must be returned. For an overview about NCI: click here. See also Christianity Today’s article on NCI (8 June 2011): “Fleecing the Faithful—Again: Former YWAM Leader Defrauds Many.”

Requests for Assistance
(with links to documents: PETRA People website)
In light of the Swedish court documents, we are publicly calling for the following organizations to provide assistance by reviewing and disclosing how NCI has affected them. We are also asking them to review how they have responded to the NCI matter thus far. Authorizing independent and internal reviews is strongly encouraged. It is not helpful to simply try to “move on” and leaders and members are urged now to hold their organizations accountable. There is much to learn and many ways to help. We urge organizations affected by NCI to emulate the organizations in the “United Response” to the New Era Scandal: be transparent, accountable and cooperate to return money.

Individuals and organisations committed to integrity
 should welcome the opportunity to help
via open investigations and verifiable disclosures.
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1. Mercy Ministries Associations (MM). MM International, with related associations in France, Holland, and Switzerland (set up in 1994, 1995) are related directly to Le Rucher in France. They received  hundreds of thousands of NCI-related euros/dollars over nearly 10 years. Where is this money? How will past and current board members and staff help? Docs: Money Flows Confirmed by EBM * Examples of NCI Money Flows * Suggestions (see point six in this link)
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2. New Generation Foundation (NGF, GF). A foundation/account was set up in 1997 at a Liechtenstein bank by a major YWAM and Le Rucher leader. Over time it received hundreds of thousands of NCI euros/dollars. Where is this money? Doc: Examples of NCI Money Flows
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3. Youth With A Mission International (YWAM). NCI is an affinity-based fraud and YWAM is the main organization affected. It is seriously affected. In July 1995 Mr. Westergard presented NCI at YWAM Le Rucher during an international YWAM conference. Major YWAM leaders invested since at least 1996 and YWAM projects received NCI-related money. Senior leaders have consistently stated that senior/international leaders were not aware of NCI and that one of the major YWAM leaders actively involved in NCI (administering contracts, receiving NCI funds, etc) and YWAM Le Rucher in France were not properly part of YWAM. Hence, it is argued, YWAM has no responsibility. These assertions are hard to understand in view of the court and other documents. YWAM leaders (e.g., IFMLT, GLF, MMI), YWAM members, and YWAM donors internationally are urged to get informed and together call for an internal and an independent review of how YWAM has been affected and how it has responded, and to persevere until such reviews are done. Will they do this? Docs: Request to YWAM Leaders for Assistance 5 June 2011, with links to investors, projects, previous requests; see also this partial list of YWAM-related investors, based on EBM documents.
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4. Mercy Ships International (based in Texas USA and including Mercy Ships in the UK, Switzerland, and France). An Austrian court document from 2001 and other Swedish documents indicate that Mercy Ships (part of YWAM until 2003) was to benefit from NCI funds related to a three million US dollar transaction that was frozen by the Austrian government in November 2001. How does this transaction and other NCI-related money flows relate to this respected organization and especially the refitting of the African Mercy hospital ship, including a $10 million USD matching grant (matched between 2002-2004)? Docs: See the “NCI Documents” section on the PETRA People web site, and then open up the “Austria case” folder in the attachments.
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5. Youth For Christ (YFC) in Coppet, Switzerland. The name “YFC” and its physical address in Switzerland were used for a substantial amount of NCI-related correspondence (by a person actively involved in NCI but not part of YFC). Why? YFC is a respected organization yet it has not fully investigated and verifiably disclosed what their relationship was with NCI and any possible benefits. Will they do this? Docs: Two Swiss addresses used for correspondence (Note that there was overlap between Board members of YFC Coppet Switzerland, Board members of Mercy Ministries related to Le Rucher, and the Elders Board of Crossroads Church in Ferney-Voltaire, France by Geneva).
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6. Churches in Holland and France. One example of a church that can really help is Crossroads church in Ferney-Voltaire, France. Members of and people attending Crossroads church were aware of NCI and many of them have invested over the years. The former pastor for example helped by sharing how he was approached to invest in 1995. Will this church do a review, inform their past and current members/attendees about NCI, and seek information from them to help? Several church leaders in the Geneva/Lausanne area were updated in 2010, 2011. Docs: Letters to church leaders.
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7. Individuals, families, ministries, projects, charities, foundations, and other organizations. Those that have been involved with and/or benefited from NCI—that have or may have received NCI-related funds—have key roles to play in sharing information and helping to locate missing money. Some of these entities have had three or more contracts with NCI (e.g., contracts related to other investors’ contracts, contracts for ministries and receiving NCI-money related to the people they have brought into NCI.) The Swedish court documents included an extensive albeit partial list of investors. Many are part of/associated with YWAM. Many are American, British, Dutch, and Swedish investors. Will these people and entities help? Docs: NCI Investors (primary list from Swedish EBM
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NCI and related matters have brought serious confusion, disruption, and distrust into the international church mission community (CMC). Restoration will happen only as we walk fully in the light with both God and humans as witnesses: to establish the facts, admit any errors and wrongdoing, share perspectives, and help return/recover money for investors. Individuals and organisations committed to integrity should have nothing to fear and should welcome the opportunity to help via open investigations and verifiable disclosures. Our transparency and accountability now will also help prevent similar situations within the international CMC from happening in the future. Note: NCI is not related to the financial organization called Nordic Capital.