Tagwirei placed on new UK sanctions list against individuals involved in corruption around the world

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  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today announces new UK sanctions against five individuals involved in serious corruption in Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iraq
  • Sanctions target cases of serious corruption which have deprived developing countries of vital resources
  • One of those designated spent millions of misappropriated funds on mansions, private jets and a $275,000 glove that Michael Jackson wore on his “Bad” tour, another ruthlessly exploited public food programmes in Venezuela.

Zimbabwean business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei has been placed on a new UK sanctions list against individuals involved in corruption around the world.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today announced further sanctions on individuals under the UK’s Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime.

“This second set of Global Anti-Corruption sanctions targets corrupt individuals who have lined their own pockets through misappropriation, with their greed causing untold damage to the countries and communities they exploit,” the UK said in a statement.

The UK will impose asset freezes and travel bans against the said individuals to ensure they will no longer be able to channel their money through UK banks or enter the country.

The new sanctions announced today target five individuals involved in serious corruption in Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iraq. The individuals designated today are:

  • Teodoro Obiang Mangue, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, and son of the current President, for his involvement in the misappropriation of state funds into his own personal bank accounts, corrupt contracting arrangements and soliciting bribes, to fund a lavish lifestyle inconsistent with his official salary as a government minister. This included the purchase of a $100m mansion in Paris and a $38 million private jet.
  • Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei for profiting from misappropriation of property when his company, Sakunda Holdings, redeemed Government of Zimbabwe Treasury Bills at up to ten times their official value. His actions accelerated the deflation of Zimbabwe’s currency, increasing the price of essentials, such as food, for Zimbabwean citizens.
  • Alex Nain Saab Morán and Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas for exploiting two of Venezuela’s public programmes which were set up to supply poor Venezuelans with affordable foodstuffs and housing. They benefitted from improperly awarded contracts, where promised goods were delivered at highly inflated prices. Their actions caused further suffering to already poverty stricken Venezuelans, for their own private enrichment.
  • Nawfal Hammadi Al-Sultan has been involved in serious corruption in his role as Governor of Nineveh province, Iraq, where he misappropriated public funds intended for reconstruction efforts and to provide support for civilians, and improperly awarded contracts and other state property. Al-Sultan is currently serving a combined five-year prison sentence in Iraq for corruption offences, including wasting five billion Iraqi dinars (approximately £2.5 million) through fictitious public works.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The action we have taken today targets individuals who have lined their own pockets at the expense of their citizens. The UK is committed to fighting the blight of corruption and holding those responsible for its corrosive effect to account. Corruption drains the wealth of poorer nations, keeps their people trapped in poverty and poisons the well of democracy.

These measures follow the first tranche of UK sanctions under the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime in April, which targeted 22 individuals involved in serious corruption cases in Russia, South Africa, South Sudan and Latin America.

Over 2% of global GDP is lost to corruption every single year. Today’s action demonstrates the UK’s ongoing commitment to the fight against corruption.

Since the Foreign Secretary launched the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime in April, in total the UK has now sanctioned 27 individuals around the world involved in serious corruption.

Further details:

  • The financial restrictions will also apply to any entities owned or controlled by the persons designated today.
  • The UK Sanctions list can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-sanctions-list

Further background on those designated today:

  • Teodoro Obiang Mangue – In a country where, according to UNICEF, a third of the population does not have access to even basic sanitation, investigations and media reports show that Obiang has spent over $500 million since he was appointed a government minister in 1998. This includes buying a $100 million mansion in Paris and others around the world, a $38 million private jet, a luxury yacht, dozens of luxury vehicles including Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins and most notoriously, a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia including a $275,000 crystal-covered glove that Jackson wore on his “Bad” tour.
  • Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei – Both Sakunda and Tagwirei, as its CEO and owner, profited significantly from the misappropriation of property at the expense of wider macroeconomic stability in Zimbabwe, in one of the most serious incidences of corruption under the current government.’

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