Friction Mounts Between CONCORD and Caldari State
New Caldari - Tensions ran high today at the Caldari Chief Executive Panel headquarters as officials from the Secure Commerce Commission arrived to take possession of a large number of financial records. Subpoenaed as part of the widening investigation into Angel involvement in the Caldari business world, the records (which include corporate and personal tax documents, records of executive compensation, and receipts for stock transactions) will play a crucial role in untangling the complex web of investments made by front companies investing on behalf of the Angel Cartel.
For the last month, court battles have quietly raged between the Caldari State and the SCC. Grudgingly cooperative during the early stages of the investigation into Cartel ownership of Itsukame Innovations, State officials became progressively more vexed over the growing scope of the SCC inquiry. When the decision was made to publicly release Itsukame's patent, divest Itsukame's assets at auction, and use the proceeds as "penalties" earmarked to fund CONCORD operations, the relationship soured further. Since then, there has been a series of increasingly bitter cases heard by the SCC Economic Tribunal, a subsidiary body of the CONCORD Assembly convened to resolve commercial disputes arising between signatories to the Treaty of Yulai. At issue were the SCC investigators' requests for a rapidly escalating number of financial documents needed to follow the twists and turns of the Cartel case once it became clear that the Angels had extended their financial tendrils far beyond Itsukame.
With the majority of its arguments and appeals ultimately denied, the Chief Executive Panel has had little choice but to turn over the documents, many of which are deemed sensitive. Records for seventy-seven Caldari companies were covered under the subpoena, including four prominent Caldari mega corporations. "This has become a witch-hunt," said Panel Chairman and CEO Puok Kossinen. "It has become abundantly clear that CONCORD and the SCC have little interest in seeing justice done, and are merely continuing this charade as an exercise of power for its own sake." He went on to add that while the Caldari State has no further legal recourse to halt the investigation, the Chief Executive Panel will no longer cooperate with the SCC investigation unless forced to do so by Tribunal order. "The SCC has utterly exhausted the good will of the Caldari State. That well has run dry."
Others were less measured in their response. "The sensitivity of these documents cannot be underestimated," said Sikoda Elaoutiras, Chief Advisor for the Caldari Business Tribunal. "And quite frankly I don't trust the SCC to adequately protect the privacy of the innocent corporations and individuals caught up in the SCC's overly aggressive net. This is tantamount to corporate espionage on the part of CONCORD," he continued, explaining that the records could reveal investment strategies, compensation rates, market positions, and even intellectual property details that could threaten the competitiveness of the affected corporations if the information fell into unscrupulous hands.
Working with a heavily-armed CONCORD escort, SCC officials removed tens of thousands of reports and datasheets from the central CEP archives. As expected, the Caldari authorities were far from helpful, and Archive staff were under strict orders to render no assistance to SCC investigative personnel. Senior SCC Agent Galfremen Lelac expressed his disappointment with the outcome. "It was our sincerest hope that the Caldari authorities would cooperate to the fullest extent possible. Together we could have come to a timely and fair resolution of this issue. Unfortunately, their petulance will no doubt drag the process out far longer than is necessary. Be that as it may, the truth will eventually come out and justice will be served."
For the waiting teams of forensic accountants at the SCC however, this is just the beginning. Now the daunting process of sifting through the innumerable records to discern the faint pattern of the Angel Cartel paper-trail still remains.