By Lionel Faull and Margot Gibbs

It is known as the ‘Beverly Hills of Dubai’, an exclusive housing estate whose gleaming marble-clad villas overlooking the perfectly manicured greens of a signature golf course fetch up to $52 million each.

They are the sunny, secure and very discreet retirement homes that most can only dream of.

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We are delighted to put out a call to journalists, campaigners and academics to attend our new FIVE-DAY financial investigative journalism and data security training course at City University, London.

The dates for our next training will be:

Monday 17 September 2018 – Friday 21 September 2018

You do not need to have a financial background to apply but we consider it important when selecting candidates to see evidence of your investigative experience. Class instructions will take place in English.

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The World Bank has in recent days sanctioned three companies for corrupt practices at the Rift Valley Railway. Africa Railways Logistics Limited, Africa Railways, and Rift Valley Railways Kenya Limited.

The Rift Valley Railway was the subject of an investigation co-ordinated by Finance Uncovered in 2016. It was published by De Correspondent (Netherlands), The Daily Reporter (Kenya), The Observer (Uganda) and MO (Belgium).

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Lib Dem leader and former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable has called on the Home Office and National Crime Agency to explain themselves over the revelation that the UK’s most important anti-money laundering agency let JP Morgan transfer $875m to a convicted money launderer involved in the notoriously “corrupt” Nigerian oil deal OPL 245.

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The UK’s frontline anti-money laundering unit gave the green light to transfer $875m from a “corrupt” oil deal – to a high profile politician with a money laundering conviction.

The shocking revelation is contained in High Court documents filed last week by JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Defending itself from a massive claim for damages by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the US bank claims it repeatedly sought consent from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to make the payments.

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Armen Sargsyan, Armenia’s former Ambassador to Great Britain, was appointed Armenia’s new president in April.

Kristine Aghalaryan, who participated in Finance Uncovered training in 2016 and works for top Armenian investigative news platform, Hetq.am, revealed Sargasyan’s myriad international business interests.
Sargsyan, pictured right, is a businessman with deep pockets and commercial holdings in Russia, Europe, the United States, various CIS countries and in offshore jurisdictions.
Journalists at Finance Uncovered showed that Sargasyan’s London property was owned through a secret British Virgin Islands company.
You can read the full story here

 

 

It has been one of the biggest African business stories of 2018.

In August, the Nigerian government ordered South African telecoms giant MTN to return $8.1 billion in allegedly illegal foreign exchange repatriations made over the past 15 years.

The announcement sent MTN’s share price tumbling on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and sank its plans to list in Nigeria.

Several banks – including the UK’s Standard Chartered’s Nigerian subsidiary – were also fined for their alleged role.

A few months earlier, Finance Uncovered exclusively obtained the confidential audit report on MTN’s foreign exchange trades, which the Nigerian government later acted on.

The audit centred on foreign exchange declarations the banks issued to MTN, for whom Nigeria is the biggest and most lucrative market.

While it made no allegations of wrongdoing against MTN, the audit’s claims raise questions about whether MTN knew about its bankers’ alleged violation of Nigerian laws and even if it might have benefitted from this.

MTN said it “has not at any material time participated in any improper repatriation of funds from any jurisdiction”. Standard Chartered declined to comment.

This is our story, published in conjunction with amaBhungane (South Africa) and Satellite Times (Nigeria).

Nigerian bank investigation could embroil MTN, Ramaphosa

https://amabhungane.org/stories/nigerian-bank-investigation-could-embroil-mtn-ramaphosa/

[amaBhungane (South Africa), 16 March 2018]