By Lionel Faull and Paul Wafula

(A version of this story was first published by the Daily Nation in Kenya).

A cousin of President Uhuru Kenyatta has quietly accumulated a financial stake in SportPesa’s controversial gambling empire, Finance Uncovered can reveal.

The finding — discovered in details buried in corporate filings in Kenya, the UK and the Isle of Man — came as the president signed a law to axe a 20% excise duty on bets staked, a levy that contributed to SportPesa’s withdrawal from its lucrative Kenyan market last year.

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Nick Mathiason & Christian Eriksson

The UK government’s overseas anti-poverty fund is “urgently looking into” why a business it owns complied with demands from the Myanmar government to block independent media in the country.

CDC Group’s internal probe was triggered by a Finance Uncovered investigation, which has also prompted Labour shadow international development minister, Stephen Doughty to table parliamentary questions on the issue and suggest CDC should sell its stake in the company.

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By Lionel Faull & Margot Gibbs 

Nigeria has tracked down and grounded the luxury private jet purchased by its former oil minister Dan Etete with some of the alleged proceeds of the notorious $1.3 billion OPL245 oil deal.

Asset recovery lawyers acting for the Nigerian government swooped last week after the Bombardier 6000 jet, tail number M-MYNA (main photo), touched down at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport in Canada on Friday evening (29 May).

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By Lionel Faull & Oladeinde Olawoyin

(This story was first published by the Premium Times in Nigeria).

Serious disruption to court systems around the world caused by the global Covid-19 crisis is having a major impact on Nigeria’s struggle to claw back billions of dollars it claims was looted from the country via one of the most “corrupt” oil deals in corporate history.

As much as $5.5 billion could be at stake for Nigeria in its efforts to seek justice over the notorious OPL245 deal dating back to 2011, which it claims consists of allegedly stolen funds and damages. 

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We worked with BBC News and Transparency International to reveal that members of Kazakhstan’s ruling elite were the subject of an “Unexplained Wealth Order” (UWO), a new UK policing tool campaigners hope will stem the flow of dirty money into housing.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) targeted three London properties worth £80 million, including a £30 million mansion on London’s “billionaires row” belonging to Nurali Aliyev, the grandson of Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The other two properties belonged Nurali’s mother, Kazakh Senate chair Dariga Nazarbayeva, the second most powerful politician in the country.

Nurali Aliyev

The properties were bought via companies in the Latin American tax havens of Panama, Anguilla, and Curaçao.

Using only public sources, it was established that Nurali and his wife Aida Aliyeva were the “occupiers” of the mansion, and a request by them at the High Court in London in March to prevent the press from reporting the mansion’s address was quashed for this reason.

But in a blow to the NCA, Dariga and Nurali won an appeal against the UWOs this month. A high court judge criticised investigators’ handling of the investigation. The NCA is appealing this ruling.

This is a brilliant opportunity to join an innovative and growing organisation working on “Follow the Money” projects with emerging investigative centres, global media and committed activists around the world. 

We require a senior tax journalist who can provide us with additional capacity in investigative reporting and editing – and who has a track record breaking significant tax-oriented and financial stories.

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We are delighted to invite applications from journalists, campaigners and academics based in AFRICA who would like to attend our five-day financial investigative journalism and digital security training course in NAIROBI.

The dates for our Nairobi training will be: Monday 29 June 2020 – Friday 3 July 2020.

The deadline for applications is Monday 9 March at 18h00 GMT.

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Bawdwin will be Myanmar’s most lucrative mine when it starts operations early next year. By 2023, it will be one of the world’s top producers of silver and lead.

Profits to the Bawdwin Joint Venture (BJV) consortium will likely reach US$1.1 billion.

Despite this projected windfall, BJV, consisting of Perth-based Myanmar Metals, Win Myint Mo Industries and East Asia Power, is applying to the Myanmar authorities for a seven-year corporation tax holiday worth an estimated $163m.

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Secret documents suggest Namibia’s central bank gave Isabel dos Santos’s bank the green light to open branches in the southern African nation without completing due diligence on her businesses.

Namibian financial regulators also allowed the bank to trade even though it was completely owned by overseas shareholders. This is in direct contravention of Namibian policy objectives aimed at capping foreign ownership in key business sectors.

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The UK anti-fraud agency has posted an official notice detailing for the first time part of the vast wealth acquired by Gulnara Karimova (pictured below), the hugely controversial daughter of Islam Karimov, the long-serving former president who died after a stroke in 2016.

A jet-setting socialite who was dubbed the “robber baron” of Uzbekistan for allegedly abusing her position as the daughter of the country’s dictatorial president is linked to a sumptuous Surrey mansion with a private boating lake, a new Serious Fraud Office (SFO) document suggests.

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