Fronts, Fakes, and Façades

How South African and Mauritian enablers helped move millions from Zimbabwe to Britain

FrontsFakesFacades - Cover

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Read the reportThe evidence: read the source materialReferral letters to authoritiesRead the fact sheetsListen| Twitter Space RecordingRegister| Webinar 12 July, 18h00

This report is the product of a collaborative investigation by The Sentry and Open Secrets. The report examines how a politically-connected oil tycoon in Zimbabwe moved suspect funds from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to the City of London using front companies, fake invoices, and offshore financial façades.

Fronts, Fakes and Façades is Open Secrets’ first investigation into allegations of state capture beyond South Africa. But integral to this story of alleged cronyism in Zimbabwe, are various professionals and companies who facilitated the transactions. The deal examined in the report required the assistance of South African company directors and lawyers, a Mauritian management company agent, a Cayman Islands investment fund, banks in numerous jurisdictions, and the company administrators in the United Kingdom.

This story is about Zimbabwe, but it is also a story about the global financial economy that creates an enabling environment for state capture and the flow of funds out of the poorest countries in the Global South to offshore financial centres.

Response from a representative for Mr. Kundomal and Capital Horizons

Read the report

Accountability for the facilitators

Our letters to law enforcement agencies, regulators and professional bodies in South Africa, Mauritius and the United Kingdom
Read the referral letters

We believe that it is important to hold private sector actors accountable for human rights abuses and profiteering from economic crimes. This is why we have written to the following regulators, professional bodies and law enforcement agencies:

  • The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) “The Hawks” – South Africa
  • The National Crime Agency (NCA) – UK
  • The Legal Practice Council (LPC) – South Africa
  • The Financial Services Commission (FSC) – Mauritius

Download the Fact Sheets

Available in English, Ndebele and Shona

The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy. Pull back the curtain on wars, mass atrocities, and other human rights abuses, and you’ll find grand corruption and unchecked greed. These tragedies persist because the perpetrators rarely face meaningful consequences. The Sentry aims to alter the warped incentive structures that continually undermine peace and good governance. Our investigations follow the money as it is laundered from war zones to financial centers around the world. We provide evidence and strategies for governments, banks, and law enforcement to hold the perpetrators and enablers of violence and corruption to account. These efforts provide new leverage for human rights, peace, and anti-corruption efforts.