OCTEA MINING NAMED IN PANAMA PAPERS SCAM

The local media have been reporting about the influx of Corporate Gangsters in the Mining Industry in Sierra Leone which has left the people in seemingly perpetual poverty while mafia investors and politician benefitted hugely from the sullied industry.

The recently released Panama Paper vindicate the serious section of the local media that have been exposing anomalies in the mining industry in Sierra Leone as they have indicted one of the top diamond mining companies in the country in a money laundering scam

“Leaked data from a Panama-based offshore fiduciary Mossack Fonseca, shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, sheds light on the internal financial structures created by BSGR to camouflage Octea’s financial activities.”

The paper continued that the data reveals a BSGR corporate structure, dated 2015, identifying Octea as wholly owned by Guernsey-based BSGR Resources but that the latter directly involved in the Guinea scandal and that BSGR is owned by several foundations based in Liechtenstein and Switzerland such as Nysco and Balda

“Incomplete diamond export data, obtained by the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), show that during some months from 2012 to 2015, Octea exported more than US$330 million in rough diamonds. Yet, although Octea’s rough diamonds average $350 per carat, the company is alleged to be more than US$150 million in the red.”

According to the report, dozens of creditors are waiting to be paid, including the government of Sierra Leone and Standard Chartered Bank.

“If these debts are not paid, the company could lose its license,” the paper revealed.

The papers exposed that the data leaked from Mossack Fonseca confirms a secretive financial structure connecting Koidu Holdings and Octea to wholly owned Steinmetz entities in Liechtenstein, the British Virgin Islands and Switzerland as some of these entities hold a great deal of money, especially when compared to Koidu Holdings, which had only US$5,401 in its HSBC account in 2007, highlighting that the same year, Nysco listed $27.7 million in a single HSBC bank account and that Beny’s brother and business associate, Daniel, was listed as attorney for an HSBC bank account with more than US$250 million.

“There is also more than one Octea. Multiple variations, all incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, exist, including Octea Diamonds, Octea Limited, Octea Technical Services, Octea Mining and the like.

BSGR did not clarify the different roles played by the companies,” the report maintained

According to the report, Octea Mining and the National Mineral Agency (NMA) declined commenting on the report of money laundering while the former threatened to go to court.

More on this story in the subsequent edition

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