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UK Schools Fingered in West African Elites Money Laundering Deals – Report

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A report published in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace by a top expert on Nigeria, Matthew T. Page has disclosed that elites from West Africa use schools in the United Kingdom for money laundering.

Page, a former U.S Intelligence expert on Nigeria and currently a non-resident scholar at Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, uncovered information on how Nigerian and Ghanaian elites use illicit funds to send their wards to expensive schools in the UK.

He said while the full value of the illicit cashflow can’t be estimated easily, it is in the region of £30m annually.

The report, titled “West African Elites’ Spending On UK Schools and Universities: A Closer Look” pointed finger at the Nigerian government’s scholarship board, the Lagos State Scholarship board, the Petroleum Trust Development Fund, and Niger Delta Development Commission as possible channels through which these funds are laundered.

He said Ghanaian elites have also grown a penchant for sending their wards to universities in the United Kingdom, at the detriment of local education.

Page wrote that there has been a gradual reduction in the number of Nigerian students that gain admission every year to schools in the United Kingdom as the British government is trying to reduce these channels.

“Political, business, and cultural elites from around the world have a strong affinity for the United Kingdom (UK) education system. Nowhere is this truer than in West Africa, where some families in Nigeria and Ghana have a long tradition of sending their children to private boarding schools and universities in the UK, ” Page wrote.

These institutions are especially popular destinations for the offspring of prominent politically exposed persons (PEPs) from the region. Immigration officials, admissions staff, and UK law enforcement are not likely to scrutinize the conditions under which the children of PEPs enroll in British schools, even though the PEPs themselves may have modest legitimate earnings and opaque asset profiles that in other circumstances would raise serious financial concerns. This relative lack of review has allowed some West African PEPs to channel unexplained wealth into the UK education sector.
It is not easy to estimate the overall value of this flow, yet it likely exceeds £30 million annually.”

Most of these funds emanate from Nigeria and, to a lesser extent, Ghana; compared with these two countries, only a handful of students from elsewhere in West Africa seek an education in British schools. Tackling this small but significant illicit financial flow should be a priority for UK policy- makers.

“In doing so, they would be helping to realize the UK’s global anticorruption objectives, advance its International Education Strategy, and close a troublesome anti–money laundering (AML) loophole. Failing to do so would exacerbate existing corruption challenges both at home and abroad and increase the UK education sector’s reputational liabilities.”

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Two sentenced for Illegal Possession of Pangolin

Zambia Wildlife Act No 14 of 2015 stipulates a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment, without the option of a fine for persons found in illegal possession of pangolins, their scales, or other body parts.

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A police officer and a wildlife ranger in Zambia have been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for being in possession of a live pangolin.

Mr. Sakabilo Kalembwe from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer named the affected officials as Bertha Katanda, a wildlife officer from the department and John Pende, an officer in the Zambia police service.

Sakabilo Kalembwe

Mr. Kalembwe said the jailing of the two officers attests to the nation’s zero tolerance for wildlife crimes. 

“The Lusaka subordinate court has sentenced Bertha Katanda (42), a Wildlife Police Officer from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and John Pende (54), an Officer from the Zambia Police Service, to five years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of a live pangolin. The duo was jointly charged with two other persons, for Unlawful Possession of the Protected Animal contrary to section 130 (1) ZWA No. 14 of 2015. Two other suspects in the matter were acquitted” he said.

Zambia Wildlife Act No 14 of 2015 stipulates a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment, without the option of a fine for persons found in illegal possession of pangolins, their scales, or other body parts.  

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/zim-healer-arrested-for-wrongful-possession-of-2000-python-skin/

Each decade, over a million pangolins are poached especially from Africa and sent to China. Due to their prolific insectivorous diet, pangolins are significant in pest control, often eating insects that negatively impact crop production.

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Tanzania’s Electric SGR Operations Gets Power Boost

Energy minister for Tanzania Medard Kalemani has confirmed that the construction of power lines between Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam and Kingorwira in Morogoro was complete and that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) was set to supply the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives.

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Energy minister for Tanzania Medard Kalemani has confirmed that the construction of power lines between Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam and Kingorwira in Morogoro was complete and that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) was set to supply the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives.

Speaking at a Tanesco workshop on Sunday, he said

“We have invested Tsh71.1 billion (about $30.7 million) in building the necessary power infrastructure for the first phase of the SGR. The project is 100 per cent done,” he said, detailing a number of other projects that the government has implemented in the energy sector.

Dr Kalemani, who doubles as Chato MP dismissed concerns that SGR train operations could be disrupted in times of power cuts. He explained that the locomotives will have inbuilt power-saving systems capable of retaining charge for at least one hour.

Medard Kalemani

He further explained that in an effort to meet the 5,000 megawatts target by 2025, Tanzania was currently undertaking some power generation projects which includes the 2,115 megawatts (MW) Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station.

Tanesco’s managing director Tito Mwinuka said although the country’s current demand is 1,180MW of electricity, Tanzania now produces 1,604 MW.

Mwinuka showed confidence in the progress recorded and promised it will be completed by June 2022.

He further added that the Tsh6.5 trillion ($2.8 billion) Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station had strategic importance to Tanzania’s economic outlook and that the government deserved commendation for its implementation.

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Breaking: Veteran Broadcaster Sadiq Daba is Dead

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Sadiq Abubakar Daba, Ace broadcaster and Nollywood actor, is dead. The popular TV host and actor reportedly died on Wednesday evening after a long and harrowing battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer.

A Senior official of the Nigerian Television Authority confirmed the passing of the veteran broadcaster.

Sadiq Abubakar Daba

Daba was married to Bolaji Daba and has 2 children and 6 grandchildren. Although Daba hails from Kano state, he grew up in Sierra Leonne. He won the AMAA 2015 Best Actor Award for his role as ‘Inspector Waziri’ ‘in Kunle Afolayan’s October 1.

Details Shortly….   

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