Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Friday, 24 July 2020

Huawei CFO asks Canadian court to stay extradition proceedings

Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese technology company Huawei, has applied to stay her extradition proceedings on the grounds that the US is allegedly using her as a “bargaining chip in a trade dispute”, according to reports.

Meng’s lawyers reportedly said in court documents that US President Donald Trump had created an “ominous” climate for her potential extradition from Canada to the US, after he claimed he would intervene in the case if he thought it was necessary amid the trade war between the US and China.

Canadian authorities arrested Meng on the US’ behalf in December 2018 over alleged fraud and sanctions violations. She denies wrongdoing.

Fishrot-implicated companies accused of moving $6 million through investments funds

Two companies implicated in the Namibian bribery scandal known as Fishrot paid millions to major investment firms over a six-year period, according to reports.

Namibia’s Anti-Corruption Commission has reportedly submitted documents detailing payments from Celax Investment and law firm DHC to investment firms IJG Securities, PointBreak and Investec Asset Management.

South African lawyer Maren De Klerk, who owns Celax and DHC, allegedly used his companies to launder bribes for Namibian officials and businessmen, including President Hage Geingob. Geingob and Klerk have denied the allegations. 

Prosecutors have also charged Investec’s former client manager Ricardo Gustavo for securing fishing licences for Icelandic fishing company Samherji in exchange for kickbacks. Gustavo has denied the charges.

Singapore charges engineering executives and Chinese company with corruption

Singapore has charged a former deputy director of the Land Transport Authority (LTA), executives at various construction companies and the Singaporean subsidiary of a Chinese engineering firm with corruption tied to S$1.24 million (US$900,000) in contractor loans, according to reports.

Former LTA director Henry Foo Yung Thye allegedly took corrupt payments in the form of loans from contractors and subcontractors of the LTA between 2014 and 2019 to advance their business interests with the agency.

Six individuals who allegedly gave Foo the loans have also been charged, as well as the Singapore branch of China Railway Tunnel Group, which allegedly gave Foo $220,000 in inducements. They have not responded publicly to the allegations.

University professor says punishments needed after botched US sanctions case

Howard University law professor Lucius Outlaw III has asked the Manhattan federal court to consider punishing US prosecutors who failed to promptly disclose potentially exculpatory information in a high-profile sanctions case.

Judge Alison Nathan formally ended the case against Ali Sadr Nejad – an Iranian national found guilty in March in connection to an alleged scheme to launder $115 million through the US financial system – on 17 July, after prosecutors admitted to committing several errors when turning over evidence.

In a letter filed with the Manhattan federal court on 23 July, Outlaw said: ”sanctions are needed – case dismissals are clearly not sufficient [as a deterrent to committing evidence disclosure violations].”

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