Reference No: 95/08/2012
05 July 2012
MDP Calls on Attorney-General Azima Shukoor to come clean on invoices sent by UK Fraud Investigators
MDP has today called on the regime’s Attorney-General Ms. Azima Shukoor to come clean on the invoices sent to her office by the UK Fraud investigators Grant Thornton (GT). According to a report carried in the local news outlet Sun-online, the Attorney General was claiming that her office had received invoices from the UK company to the tune of 358,000 dollars and 4.6 million pounds. It was further reported that the Attorney-General had said that the invoices were drawn up against legal advice received by the MDP government for which the government had so not even received a report.
MDP would like to remind the Attorney General that the terms of engagement contracted between the UK forensic investigators was not on a contingent fee basis where the government agreed to pay as fee a percentage of the proceeds of the stolen assets that were recovered. This type of fee was used because a fee-paying engagement would have been too expensive. However, given that the firm was not charging any fees, the engagement letter that was signed between the GOM and GT included a penalty clause in the event the investigation was unreasonably stopped by the government. Under these circumstances, the penalty would include retroactive charges for the work done by the GT but also a fine for not proceeding towards a full recovery.
Thus the invoice for the penalty fees was submitted to the government last month when the government decided to close the investigation rather than continue with the criminal and civil complaints that had been lodged in Singapore Courts. The MDP believes that for the current regime paying the penalty of 10 million dollars is a small price to pay in order to suspend the civil and criminal proceedings underway in Singapore.
“I believe that GT has not submitted a full report on what it uncovered in stolen assets by the members of the dictatorship is because they might want to litigate in UK courts to recover the 10 millions in penalty fees. Clearly, the work undertaken by GT revealed the illegal monies embezzled through the Mocom scam and the existence of secret off-shore companies owned by members of the former dictatorship. A criminal complaint was ready for filing in Singapore courts in February when the coup d’etat intervened. Now the old boys are back in power and the money swindling operations are ready to take off again,” said Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, MDPs spokesperson for international affairs.
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs