Amaruk Wilderness Corp. hit headlines this week after CBC News reported on a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal complaint, in which a Trinity Western University graduate — Bethany Paquette — claims her application to work for the company was rejected because she's Christian.
Job too good to be true?
Clermont's application was met with a number of emails asking awkward questions — some of them sexual — followed by more that became insulting.
Amaruk Wilderness Corp.
Questions are being raised about Amaruk, the company at the centre of an alleged anti-Christian attack, and a number of associated businesses.
"We are very un-Canadian in the sense that we do not embrace mediocrity," one of the emails reads, apparently from Eric Teheiura, vice president South Pacific. "We are not about to hire just anybody to assist a CEO, consular official, and member of one of Europe's wealthiest families."
Sophie Waterman applied for the same job, but soon believed it sounded too good to be true. She withdrew her application after a friend in the tourism industry warned her Amaruk might not be all that it seems.
"When I cancelled the interview, I received about 15 emails in quick succession," she says. "All pretending to be from different people involved with the company, and all very litigious, accusing me and my friend of slander. My feeling is that it's all one person."
But if that's the case, who that person is remains something of a mystery.
Tracking down a CEO
Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen and Dwayne Kenwood -Bjørnsenare are listed as co-CEOs of Amaruk along with several other businesses, including Norealis, Spartic and Militis.
But the men do not live in Europe and they are not diplomats. And if Olaf Amundsen — the man who allegedly sent Paquette the offensive emails — is real, the picture of him on the company website is not. In fact, it's an image grabbed from social media site Pinterest.
|The image presented as Olaf Amundsen is fake.|
It was grabbed from Pinterest. Great picture though.
The domain names of the websites for all the companies were registered in B.C. by a Christopher Fragassi, who lists a Whistler P.O. Box as his address.
|This image was used to illustrate the Google+ |
account of Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen
Only Christopher Fragassi is named on Amaruk's B.C. corporate registry entry, though Industry Canada's website lists 217 employees and 20 company directors. Calls to several listed numbers reached no one, just a hold signal that played the song of loons down the phone line.
Guide questions aircraft claim
Experienced Yukon guide Nicolas Tilgner saw CBC News's original story about Amaruk and was reminded of the red flags raised when the company tried to join a tourism association in the north three years ago.
At the time, Amaruk’s website claimed to operate its own airline called Amaruk Air.
"We were quite perplexed with the claims of air transport they were saying they provide. They were saying they provide a C-130 heavy aircraft.
"We did find [that] the picture on their website they were using belongs to a military agency."
The photo and the plane pictured, it turns out, actually belongs to the New York National Guard.
|The C-130 promoted as part of Amaruk's wilderness adventures|
"We didn't really see any of their staff guides in the field or operating in the Whitehorse area," he notes. "They seem to be a company that existed on the web only."
CBC News sent questions to several Amaruk email addresses about these new allegations. Their lawyer says these are simply allegations. The company has not made any comment.
So, it would appear that this guy or these guys have been running scams for years, and were it not for shooting his mouth off at a Christian girl, he might have continued for several more years. I'll be very surprised if the RCMP isn't investigating this company already.