“The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, at the FCA’s 2016 Financial Crime Conference, stated:15 ‘The UK is attractive to criminals and corrupt kleptocrats who steal billions from their own people, often some of the poorest people in the world.’ The Home Secretary concluded: ‘If…we develop world leading legislation to combat financial crime whilst continuing to develop the capabilities of our law enforcement agencies, then we will reduce the flow of dirty money into the City….’” (RAID, P: 14, 2017).
Well, this is not the first or the last time we will discuss mineral-resources and the extractions of these to gain quick profits, either in sophisticated ways of administrative affairs between the ones the licence the operations to the company, which usually is government officials who are pocketed by subsidiaries if multi-national corporations; this is happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Guinea. As showed in the RAID report of January 2017: “Bribery in its purest form”; that I will uncover certain parts of to show the apparent companies and holding-companies that are owning and operating in the these countries by bribing officials to export minerals. They get ownership of giant mines and resources from these nations as they are licenced after favourable transactions for the governments, as they are kept bribed to uphold production as well.
This happening in nations that are sanctioned and has sanctioned persons that should stop these transactions and licences of United Kingdom and United States corporations, even if they have shell-companies and official headquarters in Tax-Havens that proves the ability of extracting the massive fortunes in these minerals, without proper transparency in the nation they operate with their mining operation.
I think the report should speak for itself and should be publically known to show how they are able to take the monies, profit and also bribing the officials without any consequences, even when the nations of Zimbabwe and DRC had sanctions against it; still the His Majesty Treasury of United Kingdom didn’t stop the transactions and trade with them. This proves that the UK Government doesn’t care about their own sanctions and how their businesses are operating without judgement and fear of getting fined for breaking laws to get rights and takeover mining operations in other countries.
Take a look!
“The review of mining licences that the Congolese government embarked on in 2007, which was supposed to clear up the murky legacy of wartime contracts, provided Och-Ziff and its collaborators with a golden opportunity to snap up valuable assets at knock-down prices. Working with the Congolese political elite, this group were able to exploit the threat of expropriation or revocation of mining permits to their own advantage. By 2014, according to Forbes Magazine, President Joseph Kabila had amassed an estimated personal fortune of US$15 billion in just over 13 years of power.xxiv In 2015, The Sunday Times Rich List estimated Michael Cohen’s wealth to be £335 million (US$500 million). Forbes puts Daniel Och’s (the founder and CEO of Och-Ziff) net worth at US$2.5 billion and Dan Gertler’s wealth at $1.18 billion. The DRC is one of the poorest and least developed nations in the world, ranked 176 out of 188 countries.xxv Almost 87% of its 69 million people live on less than $1.25 a day. Put another way, that $1.25 each day equates to $450 per year, and with life expectancy of 58 years, Och’s personal fortune would last the lifetimes of more than 95,000 Congolese at today’s values” (Raid, P: 10, 2017).
“Mvela Holdings is incorporated in South Africa.31 Mvela Holdings is described in the Och-Ziff release as ‘a private investment company founded in 1998 by Tokyo Sexwale, Mikki Xayiya and Mark Willcox. It is the controlling shareholder of JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Group Ltd and has a significant interest in JSE-listed Mvelaphanda Resources Ltd. It has other substantial privately held interests in the mining, energy, real estate and various other industrial sectors in South Africa and Africa.’ It appears that Mvela did not ultimately participate directly in AML” (…) “Palladino Holdings is described as a private investment vehicle, founded in 2003 by Walter Hennig holding ‘a variety of significant mining, energy and other assets in Africa.’32 A company under the name Palladino Holdings Limited is registered in the UK, and recorded as originating in the Turks & Caicos Islands.33 Other market notifications that refer to Palladino Holdings Limited as a shareholder give an address for Palladino in the Turks & Caicos Islands.34 Palladino Capital 2 Limited, a closely-related Palladino subsidiary behind a controversial loan to the Guinea government (see below), is registered in the British Virgin Islands” (…) “Other than Och-Ziff employees, directors of Africa Management (UK) Limited include or have included, Walter Hennig (Palladino), Andre Cilliers (Palladino) and its chief executive Mark Willcox (also Chief Executive Officer of Mvela Holdings)” (Raid, P: 17, 2017).
“Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B, along with the CEO of AML and South African Business Partner, conceived of a related-party transaction that would accomplish these goals….According to the deal documents, South African Business Partner was to buy 31.5 million shares in the oil and gas company from the South African conglomerate for $77 million and then immediately resell 18.5 million of those shares to AGC II for $77 million.…” (…) “Contrary to the deal documents…Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that South African Business Partner would not pay the full $77 million to the South African conglomerate. South African Business Partner bought 31.5 million shares…for only $25 million, and then immediately resold 18.5 million shares in that same company to AGC II for $77 million, providing South African Business Partner with $52 million and an additional 13 million shares in the company. With the $52 million, South African Business Partner then paid $2.1 million to Och-Ziff to satisfy an outstanding debt relating to AGC I (in which the Investor had no interest), $25 million to the government of Guinea to try to secure access to valuable mining investments there, $1 million to the agent affiliated with the a high level Guinean government official and his family, and the remainder to personally benefit himself and his business partners” (RAID, P: 19, 2017).
“In or about March 2011, a company controlled by Coconspirator #1 [‘the beneficial owner of the Turks & Caicos Entity’ ] entered into an agreement with the Guinean government, which gave the company the option to buy into the SOMC [‘Guinean state-owned mining company’]. On or about April 29, 2011, an affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity loaned the government of Guinea $25 million as part of a deal to become a partner in the SOMC. Coconspirator #1 raised the $25 million through a related-party stock sale to the Joint Venture. MEBIAME signed the loan document on behalf of the affiliate of the Turks & Caicos Entity. According to MEBJAME, the partnership with the SOMC ultimately did not go forward due to negative press accounts, which indicated that the deal between the Guinean government and Coconspirator #1 was corrupt” (…) “He [Alpha Condé] said that he agreed. So we made the loan, we signed the loan to Soguipami…,and so I was authorised to sign and make the transfer.’ Another exhibit – a witness statement, from a UK High Court case, made by the chief executive of a company advising BSGR – states:67 ‘funds were transferred to Alpha Condé by way of a recorded loan of $25million and further unrecorded transfers believed to be “much much more”….Alpha Condé attempted to reward his backers. He entered into an agreement known as the Palladino Contract, pursuant to which the provider of the $25million loan would, on default of the loan, become entitled to a 30% share in a new Guinean national mining company established by Alpha Condé.’ Other exhibits in the ICSID case refer to Walter Hennig and AGC” (RAID, P: 20, 2017).
DRC laundering of mining exports:
“Gertler’s use of London markets to launder DRC assets began with another AIM-traded entity, Nikanor plc. Nikanor plc was described as ‘the holding company of a Group with copper and cobalt assets in the DRC’. The company was incorporated and headquartered in the Isle of Man.87 On 17 July 2007, Nikanor was admitted to AIM” (…) “In the Nikanor admission document, reference is made to allegations that Dan Gertler ‘acquired a temporary monopoly on sales of diamonds from the DRC as a result of improper dealings with the Government of the DRC’.88 The Nikanor admission document concludes that: ‘These allegations do not relate to the Company [Nikanor], the Group or any of their activities. They concern Mr Gertler in his capacity as a shareholder.’ Yet it is stated under ‘risk factors’ in the admission document: ‘…each of the Major Shareholders will be able to exercise significant influence over all matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of Directors and significant corporate transactions.’ Moreover, there is also a reference to how the group of Nikanor companies with mining assets in the DRC and ‘some of the Major Shareholders’ have been ‘subject to criticism from a number of NGOs’ which included lack of transparency in the process by which the assets were awarded, the absence of public tendering and a joint venture agreement ‘unreasonably favourable to the Group and that as a result Gécamines [the DRC’s state-owned mining company] has not received proper consideration for valuable assets with a resulting detrimental effect on the economy of the DRC”(RAID, P: 22 ,2017).
Another DRC Agreement – Camrose transaction:
“The DOJ refers to ‘a $124 million convertible loan through a subsidiary company and AGC to Company B, a DRC Partner-controlled shell entity, funded in or about and between April and October 2008 (the “Convertible Loan Agreement”)’.121 Under the heading ‘C. Corrupt Takeover of DRC Mining Company’” (…) “the SEC Order states: Also in April 2008, Och-Ziff caused AGC I to enter into an approximately $124 million convertible loan with a holding company affiliated with DRC Partner. The stated uses of these funds were threefold: first, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $15 million to purchase a Congolese entity that had acquired the rights to a valuable mining asset in the DRC (the longstanding asset of a Canadian mining company) through an ex parte default judgment in the DRC that resulted in judicial misconduct proceedings; second, to provide DRC Partner with approximately $100 million to purchase a majority stake in that Canadian mining company in exchange for resolving its legal issues; and third, to advance an additional $9 million to be used for future mining operations in the DRC” (RAID, P: 26, 2017). “The transaction gave Och-Ziff control over what assets could be bought or sold by the entity, equity conversion rights into DRC Partner’s entity, a pledged interest in the shares of the Congolese entity, and a right to future deals with DRC Partner in the DRC. Moreover, the transaction gave DRC Partner complete discretion over how to use approximately $24 million of the funds provided by Och-Ziff. Further, Och-Ziff understood this transaction was part of a broader, ongoing partnership with DRC Partner. Finally, both Och-Ziff Employee A and Och-Ziff Employee B knew that DRC Partner was going to use a portion of the funds to pay bribes, and knew that the transaction was structured to accomplish that goal. This knowledge was not shared with others within Och-Ziff or with outside counsel” (RAID, P: 27, 2017).
“A 50% interest in Société Minière de Kabolela et Kipese Sprl (‘SMKK’) was acquired on 9 November 2009 as part of the CAMEC acquisition….In 2009 the Group acquired an option, for a cash consideration of US$25 million, to purchase the outstanding 50% of the issued share capital of SMKK by acquiring the entire issued share capital of Emerald Star Enterprises Limited (‘ESEL’), (an entity controlled by the Gertler family trust), the owner of the outstanding 50% of SMKK. The Group exercised this option and the acquisition of ESEL was effectively completed and control obtained by the Group in June 2010. The total cash consideration in respect of the outstanding SMKK shares, inclusive of the US$25 million option, amounted to US$75 million” (…) “Throughout the period of DRC Partner’s acquisition of Kolwezi Tailings and SMKK, DRC Partner continued to make corrupt payments to DRC Official 2. For example, on or about December 23, 2009, DRC Partner delivered $1 million to DRC Official 2; on or about January 5, 2010, DRC Partner delivered $2 million to DRC Official 2” (…) “On or about August 20, 2010, Mining Company 1 acquired 50.5 percent of Company B. Mining Company I agreed to pay up to $575 million over two years, including $50 million in cash. Och-Ziff Employee 3 and Och-Ziff Employee 5 were informed by a co-conspirator that the $50 million was for DRC Partner to “use on the ground” to corruptly acquire Kolwezi Tailings. As part of the deal, Mining Company 1 guaranteed repayment of the Convertible Loan Agreement through a novation of the loan” (RAID, P: 30-31, 2017).
“Camrose Resources Limited, BVI company number: 1055983, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on 9 October 2006. “ (…) ”124 According to the company website: ‘The Fleurette Group is comprised of various businesses organized under Fleurette Properties Ltd., a company established in 2006 for the benefit of the Gertler Family Trust.’ (<http://fleurettegroup.com/>). A press release attributed to Fleurette Properties Limited states: ‘The Fleurette Group of Companies is a Dutch-resident group of companies whose primary activities are the investment in, exploration, exploitation and development of mining assets in Africa. The parent company of the group is called Fleurette Properties Limited, which is owned by Line Trust Corporation Limited strictly and solely on behalf of the Ashdale Settlement, a trust established in 2006 for the benefit of the family of Dan Gertler.’” (RAID, P: 58, 2017).
“Camrose is described as holding indirect interests in five copper and cobalt exploitation licences in DRC, including a 70% interest, via the Highwind Group, in Metalkol Sarl, which ENRC states as owning ‘the tailings exploitation licence covering the Kolwezi Tailings Site (otherwise known as the Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings, or “KMT”) (PER 652)’. See ENRC plc, ‘Acquisition of 50.5% of the Shares of Camrose Resources Limited’, op. cit” (RAID, P: 59, 2017).
UK gives Concent to Camrose transaction:
“Consent for the Camrose transaction was therefore sought from the UK authorities, consent that was clearly forthcoming. ENRC sought to prevent publication of media reports relating to the SAR: 101Reporters has published not only the SAR, but also the letter it received from ENRC’s lawyers, which stated: ‘you will respect the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality in SARs and remove that aspect from your article.’” (RAID, P: 33, 2017). “There is a permissive pathway by which mines and minerals from zones of conflict and weak governance are transferred to companies trading on AIM who, in turn, through a process of acquisition, transfer these tainted assets to companies in the premium segment of the main market. This process can only be described as asset laundering. Certain of ENRC’s Congolese and Zimbabwean assets, at the heart of the SFO criminal investigation, were derived from the acquisition of AIM-traded Central African Mining and Exploration Company Limited (CAMEC), which was allowed to flourish unchecked on the junior market, despite a myriad of compliance issues that have never been addressed by AIM Regulation” (RAID, P: 34, 2017).
Zimbabwe Platinum deal:
“On 11 April 2008, CAMEC announced the acquisition of an interest in platinum mining assets in Zimbabwe via its acquisition of 100% of Lefever Finance Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands.209 Lefever owned 60% of Todal Mining (Private) Limited, a Zimbabwean company, which held the rights to the Bougai and Kironde claims south west of the city of Gweru in Zimbabwe. 210 The remaining 40% of Todal was held by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (‘ZMDC’), wholly owned by the Government of Zimbabwe” (…) “…The consideration paid for Lefever was a cash payment of US$5 million and the issue of 215,000,000 new CAMEC ordinary shares. CAMEC’s announcement of the acquisition stated:211 ‘Furthermore, CAMEC has agreed to advance to Lefever an amount of US$100 million by way of loan to enable Lefever to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Repayment to Lefever is to be made from the ZMDC’s share of dividends from Todal.’” (…) “According to the company’s own 11 April news release announcing the Zimbabwean platinum deal, CAMEC advanced the $100 million loan to Lefever to enable it ‘to comply with its contractual obligations to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe “ (PAID, P: 38, 2017).
“Och-Ziff had control over divesting from CAMEC after the platinum deal was announced (Mugabe and senior Zimbabwean government figures were already designated under US sanctions) or after the designation of both the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC – CAMEC’s state-controlled partner in the platinum venture) and Billy Rautenbach, later described by the US as a ‘Mugabe crony’. Och-Ziff, however, held onto its CAMEC shares into 2009, selling its remaining holding only when ENRC acquired CAMEC in November of that year” (RAID, P: 41, 2017).
“Africa Management is referred to in the Memorandum of Association of Camrose Resources: ‘…Africa Management Limited, a company incorporated in Guernsey with registered number 47651 and whose registered office is at Ogier House, St Julian’s Avenue, St. Peter Port.’ (See Memorandum and Articles of Association of Camrose Resources Limited, Incorporated 9 October 2006, Amendment registered in this 20th day of November 2008, Memorandum of Association, 10 Definitions and Interpretation, 10.1, “Africa Management Limited”)” (RAID, P: 55, 2017).
That this company Och-Ziff and their subsidiaries are handling their business in this way is not acceptable, the way they are catering to corrupt government officials and stifling the citizens of the nations they are earing fortunes. These corporate-stooges are writing-off dozens of nations desirable taxes and regulated levies on businesses. As they are bribing both high-level like Alphe Conde who accepts the deals in Guinea, as well as friends of Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo, even getting Tokyo Sexwale the former minister of ANC in South Africa to be parts of their network. These levels of bribing and usage of political connection to get resources and takeover companies with ownership of licences of profitable mines, proves the graft and bribe that occurs to secure extravagant luxury for the government officials that are accepting these deals.
The Och-Ziff are using these subsidiaries and corporations to money laundering or tax-exempt them to gain more profits on the mining in the nations. Certainly done with the leadership knowledge and showed their employee tactics to bribe and secure the transactions and ownership of profitable mines. That is certainly the reason for these sophisticated business-models, that enrichen the corporate leadership and gives government officials giant envelopes to give away nations vital resources. These well-planned well-crafted companies that uses all kind of loopholes and ways to escape the punishment for their breaching of international and national law to salvage as much profit as possible.
The long-term effect is certainly that the Guinean, Congolese and Zimbabwean government get less tax on the dollar as the corporate leadership pays them directly a smaller fee, than actually paying the legitimate taxation for their operation and their owned businesses. These actions shouldn’t be in the wind, it should be in the public and be addressed, even send the corporate leadership and government officials should answer to the public thievery as the minerals are taken without proper legal rights because of the fraud, secondly the corporate and the government officials are implicated in the thievery and should be sanctioned by courts and under the rule of law. Third the corporations themselves should lose the licence and the mining operations as they got them without proper procedure and there is invalid. They should also be fined and get banned from working in this nations or the corporations with these corporate bosses that are acting for them to gain this default destructive profits. Peace.
Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) – ‘‘Bribery in its purest form’: Och-Ziff, asset laundering and the London connection’ January 2017