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Friday, September 16, 2011

Canada alerted to Taib’s ‘dirty’ assets

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:50 PM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Swiss-based NGO claims that several top Canadian political leaders have taken an interest in the complaints about Taib's alleged money-laundering activities in Canada.
KUALA LUMPUR: Swiss-based NGO, Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), claimed that the Canadian government is taking a keen interest in complaints raised by BMF about Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s alleged money-laundering activities in Canada.
The BMF, however, could not confirm if a formal investigation had been initiated on Taib-family-founded Sakto Corporation for the alleged offence, but said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is well aware of the allegation.

Sakto owns and administers properties in Ottawa, Ontario, estimated to be worth well over US$100 million. It is also the centre of a Taib family-linked property empire with significant holdings in the UK, the US and Australia.
“(We) can confirm that our letter (about the money-laundering activities in Canada) has aroused great interest in the Canadian government and was brought to the attention of several top (political) leaders there.
“This includes Finance Minister, James M Flaherty, the person who is ultimately responsible for money-laundering matters,” BNF said in a statement yesterday.
In a correspondence with the NGO, a top executive of Canada’s Department of Justice gave an assurance that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) integrated market enforcement team are experts in dealing with capital fraud.
Sakto run by Taib’s daughter
But BMF said Canada’s federal police have refused to disclose if Sakto Corporation and the Taib family were under investigation, adding that the RCMP does not normally confirm or deny the existence of any criminal investigation.
“These types of investigations are conducted confidentially to protect evidence, international partnerships and reputations. A public statement is not issued identifying suspects until the matter is one of public record,” the RMCP was quoted as saying.
The attention of the Canadian government over Taib’s assets there comes just as the German government announced that it would launch an investigation into allegations that a German bank, Deutsche Bank, had been involved in dubious dealings.
In May, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) announced a probe into Taib’s assets in Switzerland, at the instigation of Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey.
Sakto was founded in 1983 by Onn Mahmud, Taib’s brother, together with two of Taib’s college-aged children. Today, Sakto is run by Taib’s daughter, Jamilah Taib, and his Canadian son-in-law, Sean Murray.
Jamilah is also a major shareholder of Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), Sarawak’s largest private company, which BMF said “has made corruption the core element of its business strategy”.

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