This week, political opponents of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the FBI to investigate the President over money laundering claims; Pakistan’s improved AML-CFT regime could see the country move off FATF’s grey list soon; and two property-developing brothers in Bradford, UK, have agreed to pay millions to the NCA in money laundering case.
Find out more on these stories below.
Official opposition party calls for South African President to be investigated by FBI over money laundering and theft
John Steenhuisen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s official opposition party, announced on Monday the 21st of June 2022 that his party requested an investigation into President Ramaphosa over laundering money.
The request followed former State Security chief Arthur Fraser’s confirmation that he had also laid charges against the President for covering up the theft of “above four million US dollars” from his farm in Limpopo province, Phala Phala, in February 2020.
Fraser elaborated that the charges “include defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping suspects, their interrogation on his property and bribery. The President concealed the crime from the South African Police Service and South African Revenue Service (SARS) and paid the culprits for their silence.”
Steenhuisen added that the DA have additionally called on South Africa’s Financial Intelligence unit (FIU) to probe how the stolen cash was used and whether the president met all tax commitments from the sale of game at the Phala Phala farm.
He was damning when he said that "it is becoming more and more clear that the president's decision to remain silent is frankly not sustainable for a day longer."
Read more on this story at EWN.
Pakistan hopeful it could be taken off FATF’s grey list by the end of 2022
Following a recent assessment by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan could be removed from the FATF’s ‘grey list’ of countries and/or jurisdictions deemed vulnerable to money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
Pakistan has been on the list since early 2018, but since then has met the FATF’s 27-point combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) target in June 2018, and subsequently attained the 7-point anti-money laundering (AML) target in October 2021. In total, they have now achieved 32 objectives out of the set of 34.
This progress greatly strengthens Pakistan’s case for being removed from the grey list. FATF said the promising signs that Pakistan has strengthened its AML-CFT regime means the “the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future.”
The on-site evaluation is scheduled for October 2022.
Read more on this story at Chanakya Forum.
UK property developers settle with NCA for £4.3m in restitution over money laundering case
Earlier this week, the National Crime Agency (NCA) accepted an offer of £4.3m in restitution from Parvez ‘Boney’ Akhtar and his brother Zaheer Akhtar Nazir following a money laundering recovery investigation into their Bradford-based property development business portfolio. The two brothers have been active property developers in the Bradford area for over 30 years.
The NCA alleged in its case to the high court that the developers’ criminality extended beyond using their property portfolio to launder funds on behalf of criminals, alleging they have also:
- Been involved in other serious economic crime since the 1990s, including various kinds of fraud
- Possibly been associated with known serious organised criminals and crime groups, both domestically and abroad.
Zaheer Akhtar also had a penchant for flashing luxury vehicles and sports memorabilia in YouTube videos.
NCA Civil Recovery Head Andy Lewis commented that “taking the proceeds of crime off individuals such as these brothers is particularly significant for the Bradford community. Through this work we have sent a clear message that no one is above the law, while simultaneously taking away the ability of the pair to benefit from what we assessed as the proceeds of crime.”
Read more on this story at The Business Desk.
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