When we read that Gérard Lamarche was to become responsible for the philanthropic initiatives of the de Pret family, we had doubts about the quality of the headhunter who had the brilliant idea of this selection!(1)
Arnoud de Pret is one of the main shareholders of the beer giant AB Inbev. A philanthropist is one who is concerned with improving the material and moral condition of men. We think that there was a slight casting error in this selection, unless Gerard wants to redeem himself in heaven…
Indeed, until now, Gerard has not distinguished himself by his fights in terms of altruism and concern for the good of the human race. Gérard was the ideal man for the board of directors of companies in which Albert Frère (GBL) held strategic stakes.
Two of them attract attention: the oil company Total and the cement company Lafarge Holcim. With regard to Lafarge, Frère’s stake was 20% of the capital. The flagship of this company was its new factory in Syria. This one had cost, in 2010, 680 million euros and Lafarge was in the process of merging with Holcim, at the time. It therefore seemed vital to the board of directors to keep the factory open during the period when Daesh was running this part of Syria. Even if it means paying several million dollars between 2012 and 2014 to the Islamic State and other terrorist militias.
It would seem that Gérard’s attitude during Lafarge’s board meetings clearly tipped the balance in the direction of keeping the factory open at all costs, including the massive financing of Daesh and thus of terrorism. However, Gérard was also present on the board of directors of Total, which had decided to withdraw entirely from Syria during this period, given the circumstances.
This earned Gerard an early morning courtesy visit from Belgian police in November 2017, as well as wiretaps. However, we have learned that the Belgian justice system, which is known worldwide for its courage and self-sacrifice, is moving towards a dismissal of the case(2). Indeed, it is much easier to prosecute the mothers of young Belgian jihadists who have left to fight in Syria than to try to make trouble for Gérard and his friends.
The comparison is interesting because the moms put small amounts of money into their children’s accounts thinking they were helping them survive. Lafarge has paid millions of dollars into the accounts of the Islamic State and their accomplices for profit.
However, we advise Gerard not to abuse the trips. Indeed, the French and American courts do not seem to have appreciated his attitude during this period. This will undoubtedly allow our man to enjoy his modest cottage at the Baraque Fraiture. Gérard Lamarche is the owner of the huge château of Bois St Jean and hundreds of hectares in this region(3).
Joking aside, once again we can ask ourselves questions about the totally rotten and iniquitous functioning of our justice system. Clearly, there is a double standard. Once again, French justice seems to be in better shape. Despite the enormous pressure, it has just decided to continue to pursue the Lafarge executives.
Concerning Gérard, nobody is fooled. He will especially take care of the fiscal engineering of the de Pret family with the mission to avoid Arnould de Pret’s daughters to pay too much taxes. A role in which he is probably competent. But why would Arnould de Pret risk tarnishing his name by associating it with Gerard’s?
And what about the weight of the dead. It doesn’t seem to be the same in Paris, New York or Brussels. Those of Maelbeek and Zaventem, Gérard must not often think of them!
- Cf. De Rijkste belgen, « Gérard Lamarche conseille le family office d’Arnoud de Pret ».