UK Government and SFO quietly let slip Kenyan crooks, offshore bank / tax havens with a scribbled note in the House of Lords
Yesterday Baroness Northover(Liberal Democrats Spokesperson on International Development in the House of Lords) received a written answer from The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) to the question she raised further to the Written Answer by the Solicitor General, Vera Baird, on 11th February (Official Report, House of Commons, col. 1990W), why the investigation into Anglo Leasing was terminated in January 2009. [HL1591]See BBC report
The glass twiddling, scarf adjusting smug lawyer lost the opportunity to look smug,to twiddle and adjust and provided a terse (and unhelpful) written answer:
The director of the Serious Fraud Office exercised his discretion to terminate the investigation because there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction without evidence being obtained from Kenya.A detailed and fiull report on thism ulti million pound scandal (with associated scams in total some US$250mn) can be read at Wiki
If evidence is received from Kenya in the future, the director will consider reopening the investigation.
Briefly in 2002, Sophisticated passport equipment system was sourced from France and forensic science laboratories for the police were sourced from Britain. The transaction was originally quoted at 6 million euros from a French firm, but was awarded to a British firm, Anglo Leasing Finance, at 30 million euros, who would have sub-contracted the same French firm to do the work.
The tender was not publicly advertised, and its details were leaked to the media by a junior civil servant. The Anglo-Leasing sales agent was Sudha Ruparell, a 48 year old woman who is the daughter of Chamanlal Kamani and sister of Rashmikant Chamanlal Kamani & Deepak Kamani. The Kamani family has been involved in various security supplies scandals in the past.
United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office began to examine Anglo Leasing's affairs in July 2007 especially relating to offshore accounts in the British tax havens of Jersey and Guernsey, which were used to transfer more than $30m to a company called Apex Finance between April 2002 and February 2004.
Although the firm was not registered in Britain, the original contract was signed by a UK accountant, Colin Flynn, and gave an address in an elegant Victorian house near Liverpool city centre. This, it transpired, was the offices of a small property company, Saagar Associates. Saagar claimed it was simply acting as UK agent for Anglo Leasing which was based in Switzerland.
Saagar's owner was Mrs Ruparell sister of Deepak Kamani who at the time lived in Barnet London.
Mr Flynn, a father of three who lives in a modest semi-detached house in the suburb of West Derby in Liverpool, has declined to comment.
Another fascinating UK company is LBA Systems of Fife and Daventry, which specialises in body armour and has been owned and run by Andrew Macgill since 1975. LBA has two contracts with Kenya for the supply of four M17 helicopters to the police and a communications system to the prison department. The Guardian discovered that in September 1994 Mr Macgill married a Russian woman, Ludmila Kalushenko. Her maiden name appeared on the Anglo Leasing CID contract in 2001.
So this is how HMG - anxious developers of the third world accordingto Gormless Gordon quietly bury funds that have been stolen from Kenyan citizens with the aid of UK entities and citizens usingof shore accounts (and ank accounts) - absolves itself from any responsibility.
Guradian today .. "Gordon Brown yesterday promised that Britain would keep its pledge to raise its overseas development aid budget to an internationally agreed target of 0.7% of national income in spite of the growing budget deficit."