Monday, October 30, 2017

Money laundering 101

From our Facebook post

Paul Manafort, the former Trump's presidential campaign manager was today indicted on 12 counts of conspiracy to launder money, failure to file foreign banks report and false statements. He was indicted together with his former business partner, who between the two, "generated tens of millions of dollars as a result of their Ukraine work."
More than $ 75 million "flow through" offshore accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom. Monies were wired from these offshore accounts to New York to buy luxury apartments and real estate and also to buy luxury goods.
Why is the Manafort case relevant to what's currently going on in The Gambia? Because it involves offshore accounts which are used primarily to conceal illegal activities and to conceal taxable income from the taxman both actions of which are illegal.
In the case of Amadou Samba and the Panama Papers which showed that almost $ 1,000,000,000 "flowed through" this particular offshore account. And this is the only offshore account we have knowledge of. Are there any more offshore accounts managed by Samba or Bazzi or Fadi Mazegi,? That is an open question.
For now, even if there's only this one offshore account that has since been closed, almost D 50 billion or 3-4 years of Gambia government budget "flowed through" this account. As we can see from the Manafort case which involved only $ 75 million for a rich country such as America, the Gambia's case is far more serious not only because of the humongous sums involved but the damage and pain such illegal activities have caused to some of world's poorest human beings.
It is our duty, as good citizens of the Gambia, to insist that the origins of every deposit and, the destination of every withdrawal, be traced and documented, which will give us a clear picture of what happened to our money so that we can go after every penny, even if we have to solicit the assistance of foreign governments and private forensic investigators.