Daily Maverick Investigative journalist, Pauli van Wyk will be hosting Prize-winning journalist, Nick Donovan, Head of Investigations at Open Secrets, Michael Marchant & Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development, Janet Zhou to discuss Open Secrets and The Sentry’s latest investigative report: “Fronts, Fakes and Façades”.
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.