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many pursuits in the Bahamas was his senior position in a company that controlled the Bahamas Commonwealth Bank of Nassau.
Facts regarding the actual ownership of the bank are very complex. However, Subcommittee investigators did determine that together Vesco and LeBlanc were able to direct the bank's affairs and that the Bahamas Commonwealth Bank was central to the vast financial structure Vesco presided over.
Bouchard said one of the gangsters helping to plan the heroin venture was "like a father to LeBlanc.” This father figure was later identified by Bouchard as Giuseppe (Pepe) Cotroni, according to Peroff.
Bouchard, who has a heavy French accent, told Peroff that a meeting was to take place the next day, July 7, at which final arrangements would be ironed out. Then, Bouchard said, Peroff was to fly in the executive jet to Costa Rica. Bouchard said either Vesco or LeBlanc would give Peroff the money, The full transcript of the July 6 conversation follows:
PEROFF. Jesus Christ, I've been trying to get you for I
BOUCHARD. I've been busy, I got your message.
PEROFF. No, I've been calling and your phone's been busy.
BOUCHARD. My phone hasn't been busy for a while yet.
BOUCHARD. Well, I had a meeting last night, and the guys
PEROFF. Yeah, why?
BOUCHARD. Then we'll know. I told them I was ready and everything, you know. So Saturday I'll have a sure answer, you know. Everybody is going to be there at the meeting and you know.
PEROFF. Do you want me to be there?
BOUCHARD. You know this guy down there, down south,
PEROFF. Yeah, I read about him.
PEROFF. Yeah, sure. I seen him, I seen him quite a few
BOUCHARD. Yeah, you ever talk to him?
Peroff. Let me tell you, I know a couple of his people, you know.
BOUCHARD. Say that, say that I have a very close friend of his, you know. That you could go and see him and ask him for any-amount of money on his behalf, you know?
PEROFF. What do you mean?
Botcharn. Well, I'll let you know, I'll explain to you after the Saturday meeting anyway.
Perofr. You mean he'll put up some bread?
BOUCHARD. Yeah. Because you know there is a guy from
PEROFF. Yeah. I don't know who the guy is, but I mean
BOUCHARD. He's a guy from Montreal, his righthand man.
BOUCHARD. This guy made a fraud here for $110 million you know. He's a righthand man of Vesco, you know, and one of the guys at the meeting is like a father to LeBlanc, you see. PEROFF. Right, I see.
BOUCHARD. So any amount of money I think will come from there. So you might have to go direct down there to get the bread, you know what I mean?
PEROFF. I was just there.
Bouchard. Oh, you were there, that's right.
PEROFF. You see, you've got to understand that there is a couple of other guys that used to live in Freeport that moved there. You understand?
PEROFF. And I was just down there doing some little business there. S
BOUCHARD. Listen, one of the guys at the meeting there, I will be able, only then to be able, only then to give you his name, you see?
BOUCHARD. And then with this name I'll give you another phone number where you can reach me, you know?
BOUCHARD. Because this phone here I don't want to take a chance to give out that name, you understand? PEROFF. Right.
BOUCHARD. So, I'll give you, when you phone me like Sunday morning, I'll give you the name exactly, and if we have to go through there, we'll go through there.
PEROFF. Right. BOUCHARD. So you will go to Vesco or LeBlanc, I think it will be LeBlanc.
BOUCHARD. And you'll tell him to phone this guy's name I am going to give you, you understand, in Montreal?
BOUCHIARD. And he'll give you whatever we need, under-
BOUCHARD. Yeah, yeah, everything.
BOUCIIARD. So give me a ring about 10 o'clock Sunday
PEROFF. All right.
PEROFF REPORTS TO O'NEILL
Peroff said that after the July 6 conversation with Bouchard he called Dos Santos in New York. Dos Santos was not at his desk so he spoke with Dos Santos' boss, Group Supervisor John J. O'Neill. Peroff said he played the tape for him over the phone (pp. 48, 49).
O'Neill's response, Peroff testified, was "one mixed with excitement and a little amazement that Vesco could be involved." Peroff said that O'Neill asked him to replay those parts of the tape with references to Vesco and LeBlanc. Neither he nor O'Neill knew who LeBlanc was, Peroff said, but O'Neill told him he would "immediately contact” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and try to obtain more information (p. 49).
Peroff referred to the July 6 tape as conversation No. 1. He said that during the next week he made tapes of four more conversations with Bouchard, numbering them 2, 3, 4 and 5. Each of the tapes concerned the purported role of Vesco and LeBlanc in the heroin conspiracy, Peroff said.
RONALD SIEBERT VISITS PEROFF
Octavio Pinol moved from Customs to DEA on July 1, 1973. With the change, Pinol got a new boss, Ronald U. Siebert. Peroff said Pinol introduced him to Siebert in a visit the two men made to Peroff's apartment in early July. Peroff said he filled in Siebert on the Bouchard case (p.51).
TIIE JULY 7 CALLS TO BOUCHARD
On July 7. 1973, a Saturday, Peroff called Bouchard twice. He said he taped both conversations on a single Scotch brand cassette. In both these conversations, Peroff said, he tried to learn from Bouchard of any new developments in the heroin plot.
Afterwards, he said, he tried to reach Dos Santos in New York but couldn't so he left word with the DEA answering service. He said Dos Santos did not return his call (p. 50).
Peroff said he made these calls from the Chabots' phone. He said he identified the Bouchard calls as conversations No. 2 and 3 (p. 51).
Peroff said that on July 8, Dos Santos did call him. Dos Santos explained that he was busy with another investigation but would call him the next day. Peroff said Dos Santos indicated he knew of the July 6 Bouchard conversation and of the references to Robert Vesco (p. 50).
Peroff said he told Dos Santos that he wanted to call Bouchard again but that he did not have access to a phone. Peroff did not say in this testimony from where he was making this call. Peroff said that Octavio Pinol came to his apartment at 7 or 8 o'clock that evening and drove him to the San Juan DEA office where he was allowed to place the call to Montreal. Peroff said he carried his tape recorder and tapes in a brown paper bag (pp. 50, 51).
Peroff said that at DEA offices he turned over to Pinol the tape with conversations No. 2 and 3, the recording of the Bouchard discussions of July 7 (p.51). Peroff retained tape No. 1.
It was 11 p.m. when he finally reached Bouchard, Peroff said. The tape of this conversation of July 8, 1973--what Peroff identified as No. 4-was received as evidence at the hearings. The conversation is important, for in it Bouchard told Peroff that the planning meeting had been held and that Peroff was to go to Costa Rica and pick up $300,000 from Norman LeBlanc. The reference to LeBlanc was veiled. Bouchard referred to him as the man with the “French name .. the partner of the other one,” the "other one” being Vesco.
Bouchard told Peroff that an unnamed individual was expected to arrive in Canada from Costa Rica within a day or two. Upon this individual's arrival, Peroff would be given a password. Peroff would give the password to LeBlanc in Costa Rica and LeBlanc would give Peroff
Bouchard told Peroff that he was to fly into Costa Rica in his private jet. Then, Peroff was to meet Bouchard, either in Canada or
Fleeing Canada-or at least going overseas in connection with the heroin deal-seemed to be very much on Bouchard's mind. While talking about the proposed drug transaction, Bouchard also spent a considerable amount of time questioning Peroff about getting a fake passport. The full transcript of the July 8 conversation follows:
PEROFF. They can't hear me. Will you ring them back
PEROFF. At the beginning, I couldn't hear you but now I hear you good.
BOUCHARD. Something is wrong with the phone. I hear you, you're very far.
PEROFF. I am, I'm calling from a long way.
PEROFF. Well, you know, I'm breaking my ass, man, for food money.
BOUCHARD. I told you I had a meeting. I had that meeting.
BOUCHARD. And I mentioned you a name there, French name.
PEROFF. I don't remember
BOUCHARD. And the place where you've been about a month and a half ago.