A blackmailer who sells himself as a serious journalist
In the coronavirus era, business is going well for Klaus Bardenhagen. The 44-year-old journalist is one of almost a thousand Germans who live in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. From the forecourt to China, he gladly delivers reports and background information on COVID-19. Taiwan is considered a model country for coping with the pandemic. German online media, TV stations and radio stations still rely on Klaus Bardenhagen's reports.
Bardenhagen is also a member of the organization Weltreporter.net, in which 46 correspondents and reporters currently work. Bardenhagen has been reporting from Taiwan since 2008. His customers include Deutsche Welle, WELT, FAZ.NET and Spiegel Online. The taz, WDR and ZDF are also supplied, according to their own statements.
Bardenhagen’s self-advertising: “Formosa, Republic of China, tiger state, orphan of world politics, model democracy, latent hot spot, guardian of Chinese traditions, former Japanese colony, destination of guest workers and immigrants, ex-dictatorship with an unresolved past, high-tech forge – Taiwan is many things, but not a ‘renegade province’.”
In such an environment, 44-year-old Klaus Bardenhagen has found his supposedly safe hiding place.
But his journalistic glory should soon be over: American investigators in New York have Klaus Bardenhagen in Taipei, 12,520 kilometers away, in their sights. It is about character assassination, defamation, blackmailing, and years of damage running into millions.
If you believe the accusations, the glamorous life of journalists in Taiwan is only a facade. Klaus Bardenhagen has been hiding behind the ominous name “OZ” for more than 10 years.
OZ is the synonym for an international network of blackmailers, which directs its actions mainly against employees, companies and initiators from the multi-level marketing sector. Almost every MLM network company has already fallen victim to Bardenhagen’s machinations.
The media center of these criminal actions is, according to investigators, the Internet platform behindMLM.com. All attempts to legally withdraw this platform from circulation have failed miserably in recent years.
For 10 years, it has not been possible to find the real head, the responsible person behind the Internet platform. Rumors that Bardenhagen is behind it have circulated for years. Bardenhagen put new traces, invented new names, and blurred each purchase to its person.
Only a current, massive character assassination campaign in the USA led to the fact that American investigators could penetrate into the darknet and determine the actual operator: “no doubt, we can confirm the person”, it has been said with reference to Bardenhagen in New York.
The 44-year-old Bardenhagen left Germany in 2008, hand over head. After studying film studies in Mainz and Edinburgh, he completed a traineeship at Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). Bardenhagen was not taken on there. He moved to the news department of ZDF (Mainz). From the editorial office, it says: “Klaus Bardenhagen has left the house by mutual agreement.”
The investigation is an investigative coup: after massive attacks from all over the world, the platform took its leave in darkness years ago. Surrounded by human traffickers, drug mules, money launderers and multi-criminal gangs, Klaus Bardenhagen found a new home here. Nevertheless Bardenhagen could be investigated “with a trick”, as it is called. Details will be published after the completion of further investigations.
Disguised as a “forum”, anonymous, paid authors at BehindMLM.com are said to have “uncovered” alleged scandals and frauds over the years. This is a common method of international Ercpress gangs: everyone is torn apart mercilessly until they pay voluntarily.
The investigators claim to have identified international payment flows in which the extortion money was distributed. This can be seen from the available statements of the responsible investigators. The criminal file on Bardenhagen is currently still under lock and key.
Legally, nobody could defend themselves against BehindMLM.com, until today.
In the absence of contact data, the only way to communicate is through the forum. Even lawyers’ letters were manipulated, changed, shortened or deleted by OZ (Bardenhagen), according to the files. There was never a chance of correction.
Only a few days ago, a lawyer from Philadelphia, known by name, had pointed out a “deliberately” false report: “This had nothing to do with journalistic work. People are and were destroyed here. I was personally in contact with the administrator OZ. My legally impeccable comments and deadlines were simply deleted or editorially changed by OZ”.
The relevant copies and evidence have now also been presented to the investigating authorities.
The lawyer: “Simply untrue allegations are being made. There is no evidence. My client was even asked to pay to make the false contributions disappear. We pressed charges and prepare now a civil suit against Klaus Bardenhagen. He was named to me as responsible person. Apart from the compensation, we will also demand a punishment payment of millions.”
Today, it seems certain: the 44-year-old Bardenhagen destroyed families, enterprises and careers. In order to make further investigations possible, victims and “former employees”, who have confirmed the connection to Bardenhagen independently of the American investigators, are now to be involved in ongoing proceedings against the journalist.
In Taiwan, Klaus Bardenhagen is not safe from access by US investigators. There are already cases at the public prosecutor's offices in Wilmington (Delaware) and New York in which Taiwanese security authorities have made joint cause with their colleagues in the United States. Crooks are extradited to the USA.
In the case of Klaus Bardenhagen, the facts are also apparently clear: “We have secured extensive evidence and our officers are doing a good job,” according to the office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
If a conviction is reached, Klaus Bardenhagen faces up to 50 years in prison. Civil actions are not yet considered.
Seit Jahren stehen fast alle Network Marketing Unternehmen im Fokus einer Internetseite, die aus der Anonymität heraus mit äußerst dubiosen Methoden agiert. Der Name der Webseite: behindmlm.com. Zehn Jahre lang war es nicht geglückt, den tatsächlichen Kopf, den Verantwortlichen hinter der Internet-Plattform ausfindig zu machen. Gerüchte, dass ein Journalist aus Deutschland mit Sitz in Taiwan dahinter stecken könnte, gab es schon vor Jahren.
Über die von Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) angekündigte Anzeige gegen eine Mitarbeiterin der Tageszeitung «taz» gibt es noch keine Entscheidung. Seehofer selbst sagte alle öffentlichen Termine ab. Politiker zeigten sich irritiert.