Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Friday, 06 September 2019

Head of Denmark's SØIK suspended

The head of Denmark’s State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK), Morten Niels Jakobsen, has been suspended, the agency announced on 5 September.

The SØIK has declined to provide any further information at this stage. Jakobsen has not commented publicly on the matter.

The Danish justice minister recently raised concerns over how the SØIK was conducting its investigation into alleged violations of sanctions on Syria by bunker fuel company Dan-Bunkering.

However, Reuters reports that the decision has nothing to do with the agency’s handling of the investigation.

Jakobsen has been leading a number of probes into Danish bank Danske Bank after an internal investigation in September 2018 revealed that €200 billion was laundered through the bank’s Estonian branch.

Heineken responds to corruption reports

Dutch beer manufacturer Heineken and its subsidiary Nigerian Breweries have reaffirmed their commitment to carrying out appropriate procedures and investigations in response to a news report about alleged corruption at the breweries.

Sade Morgan, corporate affairs director at Nigerian Breweries, said on 4 September that the company was aware of allegations that it had protected its managing director, Nico Vervelde, from corruption allegations by moving him to Singapore shortly after he was interrogated by Nigerian police in January 2017.

She said the boards of both Nigerian Breweries and Heineken had conducted an internal and external audit and investigation into the matter but did not disclose their findings.

Dutch journalists revealed the alleged scheme in March 2018, which Premium Times published for a Nigerian audience for the first time on 3 September 2019.

Brazil appoints new attorney general

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has appointed Agusto Aras as attorney general, it was announced on 5 September.

Aras, who is currently the deputy attorney general, has worked at the public prosecutor’s office for 32 years. He will replace the current attorney general, Raquel Dodge, who steps down on 17 September.

Separately, Reuters reported that the plea bargain of a middleman tied to a corruption scheme at state oil company Petrobras has implicated a number of executives at the company and at commodities trading companies Trafigura and Vitol.

Petrobras said it had begun internal inquiries after learning about the plea bargain testimony and removed employees named in the testimony from their roles.

Vitol said it would not be appropriate to comment on the testimony and Trafigura said it had not been contacted by Brazilian authorities. 

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker ordered to pay £7.3 million

The Southwark Crown Court in London has handed down a £7.3 million confiscation order to former Goldman Sachs banker Ellias Nimoh Preko for money laundering.

The court ordered Preko to bay back the money after he was found guilty of laundering millions of dollars for James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State in Nigeria, the UK National Crime Agency said. If he does not do so within three months, he faces a ten-year default prison sentence.

Preko was convicted in December 2013 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The confiscation proceedings against Ibori are still ongoing.

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