Odidigborigbo: James Ibori Named In #PanamaPapers

imageJames Ibori, former governor of Delta state who is currently serving a jail term for corruption in the UK, is one of those named in the #PanamaPapers, according to a report in Newsweek.

More than 11.5 million documents were leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) detailing how Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca helped world leaders and public officials stash away billions through secret accounts.

Mossack Fonseca has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that it only helps in setting up companies and does not determine how they are operated.

Newsweek reported that Ibori was linked to four offshore companies, one of which—named Stanhope Investments—was used to open a Swiss bank account, into which funds were channeled for the purchase of a $20 million private jet.

Ibori was governor between 1999 and 2007.

He was convicted in 2012 for fraud totalling nearly £50 million by a London court and is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence in the UK.

Other Africans named so far, according to the news magazine, are:


Khulubuse Zuma
Khulubuse Zuma


The papers name the nephew of embattled South African President Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, as a representative of Caprikat Limited—one of two offshore companies that acquired oilfields in Democratic Republic of Congo in a 100 million rand ($6.8 million) deal in 2010. Caprikat is registered in the British Virgin Islands, the main offshore tax haven involved in the Panama Papers. Khulubuse’s spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize said on Monday that “Khulubuse does not, and has never held any offshore bank account” and that the Panama Papers simply suggested he was associated with Caprikat, which was a matter of public record.


Kalpana Rawal
Kalpana Rawal


Rawal, the Deputy Chief Justice and Deputy President of Kenya’s Supreme Court, has been linked to as many as 11 offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands by the leak. The judge was a director or shareholder of four companies while her husband, Hasmukhrai, held the same position in seven other companies, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported. Three of the companies were used to buy and sell property in the UK. The judge has denied any wrongdoing and stated that the practice of registering and running businesses in tax havens is a “perfectly legal and legitimate corporate practice in the U.K.,” where her family are involved in the real estate business.


Jaynet Désirée Kabila Kyungu
Jaynet Désirée Kabila Kyungu


The twin sibling of Congolese President Joseph Kabila, Jaynet Désirée Kabila Kyungu, has been a member of parliament in the vast Central African country since 2012. Kyungu, who is also the daughter of assassinated ex-Congolese president Laurent Kabila, also runs a media company called Digital Congo, which has TV, radio and internet wings. She is linked to Keratsu Holding Limited, a company incorporated in the Pacific island of Niue in June 2001, months before her brother was elected as the president of Democratic Republic of Congo. Kyungu has yet to comment on the allegations.


José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos


José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos has twice served as Angola’s petroleum minister, between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2008 until present. He also served as president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2009. Angola is Africa’s second-biggest oil producer behind Nigeria, churning out 1.8 million barrels per day according to 2014 data from the U.S. Department of Energy. According to the Panama Papers, Botelho de Vasconcelos was listed as one of two individuals with power of attorney for Medea Investments Limited, which was founded in 2001 in Niue. Botelho de Vasconcelos is yet to respond to the leak.


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