By Lionel Faull & Oladeinde Olawoyin

A consortium of anti-corruption groups who have spent years investigating the Malabu OPL245 oil scandal have called on the Ministry of Justice to break its “thunderous silence” over a secret deal that could have seen huge sums of recovered assets flow to a private US company.

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By Lionel Faull and Paul Wafula

Former Everton FC and Formula 1 sponsor, the African betting giant SportPesa, has been sucking profits out of its lucrative Kenyan business by paying millions of pounds to a software company it owns in the UK – an arrangement that has significantly reduced its tax bills.

An investigation by Finance Uncovered and Kenya’s Daily Nation has found that the British company, SPS Sportsoft, has been providing software services to SportPesa’s Kenyan operation, Pevans East Africa, at what some experts believe is a staggering mark-up of more than 400% since 2017.

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The global economic crisis sparked by Covid-19 means governments urgently need additional revenue as emergency stimulus packages taper.

Capital gains tax – a tax on the profit from the sale of assets such as oil blocks and telecom licences – should be a reliable pot of revenue for countries, particularly poorer, resource rich nations.

However where there’s a tax there’s an avoidance trick. With capital gains tax, the trick is relatively simple.

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Most reporting about tax avoidance schemes in Africa focuses on oil and mining giants. Until now there has been little focus on one of the continent’s most precious natural resources — fish.

Our investigation published with the OCCRP scoured leaked documents to dig into a whistleblower’s claims that one of Europe’s biggest fishing companies, already accused of bribery in Namibia, had used an array of techniques to reduce its tax bills in the country.

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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 & Paul Wafula

(This story was first published by the Daily Nation in Kenya).

The enormous scale of Kenya’s betting addiction can be revealed after leaked figures from the regulator show that punters wagered more than Shs30 billion (£235m) in a single month last year.

The staggering size of the local betting industry has emerged from a leaked spreadsheet of revenue declarations made by gambling firms to the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) for May 2019, shortly before the government introduced tougher regulations and higher taxes.

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