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]

Finance Uncovered is expanding. We are looking to hire a full-time reporter on a 12-month contract although this position could be split into two part-time roles depending on applications.

The successful applicant(s) will focus on international tax avoidance and/or money laundering and corruption by working with journalists from developing and emerging countries, particularly kleptocracies.

The position(s) is not suitable for beginners.

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US banking giant JP Morgan is being sued by the Federal Republic of Nigeria for $875m in the London courts over its alleged failure to block payments made from a massive oil deal that is subject to a string of international corruption investigations.

The Nigerian state quietly issued a civil claim in the High Court in late November, arguing JP Morgan had been “grossly negligent” when it was banker to a previous government.

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A London estate agent who appeared on the BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer has been named in an investigation into alleged corruption by a former Nigerian oil minister known as ‘The Madam’.

Court documents filed in the US alleged King’s Cross estate agency Daniel Ford helped to buy millions of pounds worth of properties for Diezani Alison-Madueke in London.

Daniel Ford’s sole director is Adeyemi Edun, UK company records show.

The Nigerian government is trying to recover billions of pounds it believes were looted from the country during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan between 2010 and 2015. As part of these efforts, civil asset recovery proceedings have been separately filed in the UK, US and Nigerian courts.

Two of the properties were frozen by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service last year.

A separate court application filed by Nigerian investigators in Abuja in August this year claims ‘one Adeyemi Edun’ received more than $5.5million in cash from Alison-Madueke to be used to buy properties for her in Lagos in May 2011.

Edun said: “Daniel Ford and I have always conducted [our] estate agency work honestly, within the law and the relevant regulations, and that there have been no recorded incidents of [us] engaging in any corrupt activity”.

Read our Mail on Sunday story here:

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-5096287/TV-property-expert-named-Nigerian-bribery-probe.html

And our Premium Times (Nigeria) story here:

Nigerian who helped Alison-Madueke buy properties in London revealed

 

After our story was published, Nigerian anti-corruption investigators arrested the estate agent the next time he touched down in Nigeria. He was questioned and later released.

“TV property expert held in Nigeria after our probe”

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-5186485/TV-property-expert-held-Nigeria-probe.html

[Mail on Sunday (UK), 16 December 2017]

 

“Estate agent who helped Diezani Alison-Madueke buy properties in UK arrested”

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/252696-estate-agent-helped-diezani-alison-madueke-buy-properties-uk-arrested.html

[Premium Times (Nigeria), 17 December 2017]

 

We are delighted to put out a call to journalists, campaigners and academics to attend our four-day financial investigative journalism training course in London.

The dates for our next training will be: Tuesday 7 November 2017 – Friday 10 November 2017

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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Today, De Correspondent (Netherlands), The Daily Reporter (Kenya), The Observer (Uganda) and MO (Belgium) have published an investigation into the Rift Valley Railway, the historic railroad connecting Kampala to the port of Mombasa. The investigation developed a project of Patrick Mayoyo, one of our members from Kenya and involved journalists from Belgium and the UK. 

In this article our team reveals that the World Bank has opened an inquiry into potential embezzlement of public funds after international development institutions invested over $140m into the line. We travel from Nairobi to Mombassa to find out why RVR has gone off the rails.  

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