Tag Archives: Panama

#PandoraPapers: President Kenyatta hidden wealth

Strasbourg 05.10.2021 While Uhuru Kenyatta succeeded in a political comeback by campaigning against corruption, his family’s secret fortune was growing offshore, a massive new leak to @ICIJorg shows.

At his annual State of the Nation address last autumn, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed Kenya’s Parliament acknowledging that too many Kenyans live in poverty and too many civil servants loot the country’s public resources.

During this address the son of Kenya’s first President and leader of one of Africa’s largest economies, the 59-year-old Kenyatta urged lawmakers to join him in fighting corruption and yet again repeated “the centrality of transparency, accountability and good governance as the anchors of sustainable development.”

However a massive amount of newly leaked documents show that Kenyatta’s family has for years been intensely accumulating a personal fortune behind offshore corporate veils.

Kenyatta, along with his mother, sisters and brother, have for decades shielded wealth from public scrutiny through foundations and companies in tax havens, including Panama, with assets worth more than $30 million, according to records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with more than 600 reporters and media organisations around the world.

The records – from the Panamanian law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) – show that the family owned at least seven such entities, two registered anonymously in Panama and five in the British Virgin Islands. One BVI company owned a home in central London, according to the records, and two other companies held investment portfolios worth tens of millions of dollars. The Kenyattas’ offshore wealth, revealed here for the first time, represents part of an estimated half-billion-dollar family fortune amassed in a country where the average annual salary is less than $8,000 a year.

The family began to accumulate much of its offshore wealth while Uhuru Kenyatta was a rising star of politics, promising defeat corruption. Two offshore companies were created during an investigation into alleged looting of the public treasury during the watch of President Daniel arap Moi, Kenyatta’s former political patron.

Under Kenyan law, the President must provide a list of financial interests to the Ministry of Finance each year. Kenyatta and his family members did not respond to requests for comment, including whether he declared any offshore interests or was required to do so.

Details of the Kenyatta family’s offshore wealth have been brought to light by the leaked Pandora Papers, a collection of more than 11.9 million records from 14 law firms and other service providers based in the United Arab Emirates, the Seychelles, Panama, Singapore and other tax havens.

The investigation has revealed assets of 35 current or former world leaders, including the king of Jordan, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, and Kenyatta’s fellow African leaders Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.

Russian sailors abducted near Benin

Six sailors were abducted when pirates attacked a ship with a Russian crew off the coast of Benin (picutred) in West Africa, Russia’s Maritime and River Transport agency confirmed.

The pirates boarded Panama-flagged MSC Mandy early on December 2, Wednesday, Rosmorrechflot said.

There were 23 Russians and one Ukrainian among the crew members. Six sailors were kidnapped by the perpetrators, while the rest remain aboard unharmed.

AMENDED 5.01.2019 A group of armed individuals boarded the MSC Mandu vessel in the Guinea Strait on the night of January 2 and kidnapped six members of the crew: five Russians, and one Ukrainian.

In the Russian Embassy in Benin in West Africa the diplomats commented on information about the abduction of the vessel crew. The diplomatic mission confirmed the incident, citing representatives of the Benin government.

To clarify the situation with the cargo ship MSC Mandy, the Russian Embassy in Benin contacted the relevant authorities. They were informed  by the Navy of Benin,  about the incident on the night of January 1 and 2, when the cargo vessel MSC Mandy, which was located near the territorial waters of Benin was attacked by an armed group <…> The attackers kidnapped six people and escaped. Afterwards the ship navigated into the territorial waters of Nigeria and is currently located five nautical miles from Lagos, said Dyabin Albert, first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Benin.

According to preliminary information, on board of the ship MSC Mandy, there were 26 people, including 20 Russians, four Ukrainians and two citizens of Georgia. Armed with firearms attackers, a group of 7-9 people, climbed onto a ship sailing under the flag of Panama, and committed a robbery and kidnapping.

Now the consular departments in Nigeria and Benin are working on the issue of the release of people abducted by pirates. There are some indications, making investigators suggest the attackers were Somalian pirates.