Ni bora shetani unaemjua kuliko shetani usiemjua – Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know!
An Open Letter to the President of Tanzania, Dr. J.P. Magufuli
Copies to Prime Ministers Theresa May, Justin Trudeau, Ministers, Ambassadors, Media reporters
The internet and newspapers are full of the news that Acacia Mining are in discussions with Endeavour Mining to merge the two companies.
In reality, we Tanzanian’s have much to worry about if Endeavour Mining will come to our East African shores.
Acacia Mining might be the “devil” of gold mining in Tanzania and their misconducts of human rights corruption, fraud, tax evasion, environment damages and more is continually exposed in the media but when we research Endeavour Mining, we are afraid that Endeavour might be the “devil” we don’t know and “Ni bora shetani unaemjua kuliko shetani usiemjua” – Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know.
Barrick Gold certainly will love the merger idea because, as the media reports, Barrick will reduce their holdings in Acacia Mining from 63.9% to about 30%.
We know from the media that Barrick have been trying hard for some time to get rid of their stake in Acacia Mining but there have simply been no takers. Mining analysts are reported to have said that the reason is because of the huge legal and reputation problems that Acacia and Barrick Gold have in Tanzania.
After all, Acacia’s operational results have been quite impressive. So one must ask, why is there no queue of other mining companies to grab Acacia Mining?
The answer is quite simple: Acacia Mining’s huge legal burdens and potential losses in Tanzania that are waiting in the “shadows”. Who needs burdens like those?
People here and surely overseas are waiting patiently for the outcome of the corruption and fraud investigations that the media reported, which are being carried out by our Corruption Police (PCCB) and other authorities.
And if these investigations are not enough, Acacia Minings website reports that as at 30 June 2016, they were defendants in approximately 255 lawsuits, (probably more since they use the word “approximately”), for a total amount of US$234.9 million.
We know that their head lawyer, Katrina White, suddenly and mysteriously disappeared one day, that was a few months ago. Our friends in the Acacia Mining offices in Dar es Salaam tell us that the rumors, disappointments and uncertainty are still very much alive there and even more so now that there is talk of a “new devil” that might be taking over.
Mr. President, before we shock you with our research of Endeavour Mining, we must share with you and the public what we are hearing from the Acacia offices in Dar es Salaam, from Acacia’s Bulyanhulu gold mine and our friends in the Shinyanga region. We all know about Golden Ridge and the gold rich mining in that area. There are many rumors flying about Acacia Mining problems there. We know from the report on the website of “African Intelligence” in November 2015, that there was problems between Acacia Mining and Bismark. The website reported “Suspected of corruption, Acacia unloads Siga Hills for free”. There are reports now that this is another legal battle brewing in the shadows. We tried to get information from Bismark’s Directors but they would not give us comments due to their legal restraints of confidentiality. We are waiting to see when the press will provide more information about this.
Is Tanzania about to come under the influences of Endeavour Mining? Mr. President, did you know Endeavour Mining people have been exposed in the media for “interfering” and scams in presidential elections in the USA, where even the FBI were involved? When we share our research with you, Mr. President, you will understand why we call this article “Ni bora shetani unaemjua kuliko shetani usiemjua – Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”.
Mr. President, if ever you saw a “commercial” bowl of spaghetti that confuses everyone, our research from online reports gives us in Tanzania quite a scary picture:
Endeavour Mining is linked to La Mancha and linked to Mr. Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian telecoms billionaire. Mr. Sawiris has been accused of making an illegal political donations to a group affiliated with the 2012 USA presidential elections. The ex-CEO of Endeavour, Neil Woodyer, who was replaced recently by Sebastien de Montessus, was also involved in suspicious funding connected to presidential elections.
La Mancha is linked to Areva, a French nuclear energy company. Areva were involved in a controversy over their $2.5 billion purchase of uranium miner, UraMin, after reports were received about fraud activities.
Is it a surprise that Sebastien de Montessus, the new CEO of Endeavour Mining was a member of the Executive Board and Group Deputy CEO of Areva Group and CEO of Areva Mining (uranium)?
With that said, should we be surprised that Areva is documented in the media for:
>> Judicial investigation opened on irregularities in the Central African Republic;
>> High Court condemns Areva for disregard of environmental regulations;
>> Numerous violation of criticality rules at nuclear fuel fabrication plants;
>> Spill of uranyl nitrate at a Areva site;
And many, many more…
A Social Security Tribunal in France condemned Areva for lung cancer death of a former employee at one of their uranium mines in Niger. Greenpeace accused Areva of neglecting the health of their workers in their mines in Niger.
“The people of Arlit and Akokan continue to be surrounded by poisoned air, contaminated soil and polluted water,” Greenpeace said. “With each day that passes, Nigeriens are exposed to radiation, illness and poverty — while Areva makes billions from their (Niger’s) natural resources,”
France24.com reported that former Niger President Mamadou Tandja openly accused Areva of funding the Tuareg rebellion in order to discourage them from attacking its mining infrastructure. Besides alleged bribes made to Tuareg rebels, Areva was also criticised by several NGOs for polluting underground aquifers, aggravating a chronic water shortage, and exposing its employees to uranium contamination.
So, Mr. President, should we be worried that Sebastien de Montessus is in merger talks with Acacia Mining?
Let’s move now from Niger to Namibia.
The Mail & Guardian reported that Areva was involved in a payment of about N$30 million to United Africa Group (UAG) shortly after the Namibian company had bought shares in Areva’s desalination plant. Both companies have refused to explain the payment amid allegations that UraMin (Areva’s company) deliberately sought out political connections to advance its businesses, implicating Namibian political figures such as former Prime Minister Hage Geingob.
Let’s move now from Namibia to Mongolia.
Global Research reported that herders near to an Areva uranium mine, began correlating disease in domestic animal herds. The herders took action after calves started dying. Even the wolves would not eat the dead animals, and carcasses decayed in a few days even when frozen solid in the dead of Mongolian winter.
Tests by the State Veterinary and Animal Breeding Agency revealed chronic poisoning by heavy metals and radioactive isotopes.
So, Mr. President, should we be worried that Sebastien de Montessus is in merger talks with Acacia Mining?
But the problems go further and deeper inside our “spaghetti bowl”.
Behind and above Sebastien de Montessus and Endeavour Mining is La Mancha!
La Mancha is the private natural resource investment vehicle of the Sawiris Family. They added to the “spaghetti” through their strategic alliances formed with Evolution Mining and Endeavour Mining.
Here we introduce Frank Giustra, another Canadian billionaire – another of the La Mancha group and close to Mr. Naguib Sawiris. Mr. Giustra is publically close to Stephen Dattels, an ex-Barrick Gold senior executive. Should we be surprised?
Frank Giustra is known for his part in La Mancha – he was after all a Director. Mr. Giustra is all over the world media regarding the famous scandal involving Bill and Hilary Clinton and what went on before the recent elections. Ken Silverstein, a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist for VICE and for the New York Observer reported about the whole Clinton-Giustra scandal that it was going to be virtually impossible for the Clinton-Giustra group to put their house in order with the USA authorities without acknowledging that the group was engaged in massive accounting fraud since its inception.
Frank Giustra was Chairman of Endeavour Mining until 2007 and apparently, he is still an adviser there.
Mr. President, The World Net Daily reports an interview with Peter Schweizer, an investigative reporter and author. The contents of interview is quite shocking. One of the things that Mr. Schweizer focuses on is Frank Giustra. He explained how Mr. Giustra uses his relationships with Bill and Hilary Clinton to seek profit in natural disasters, including earthquakes in India and Haiti, and a hurricane in New Orleans. “The pattern we see with the Clintons is that they are money-driven and that’s what is of most interest to them,” said Schweizer. “Those issues – earthquakes, etcetera – create a mask for which they can conduct the rest of their behavior,” he explained. One example he shares in this interview was their trip to Kazakhstan in 2005. Mr Schweizer raises the question why Bill Clinton went to meet the dictator of Kazakhstan in November 2005? He explains that Clinton went there to help Frank Giustra secure a uranium deal. But he used the cover that he was there to help on HIV/AIDS issues. This and so much more is all online for the public to read.
Thom Hartman hosts the most popular radio talk show in the USA and he is a New York Times best-selling author. He reported online that “Giustra had other projects in Latin America that received US taxpayer money. Giustra’s Endeavour Mining arranged for Export-Import funding in September 2010 as part of an $858 million package of loans for a copper mining project in Mexico called Baja Mining. (According to an Endeavour PowerPoint marketing presentation, it “closed” the deal.)
The project involved developing an underground copper-zinc mine near the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia. Endeavour was an adviser on the deal, but Baja Mining was also a “core investment” for the firm, according to one investment document. US taxpayers were on the hook for approximately $420 million.
So, Mr. President, should we be worried that Endeavour Mining is in merger talks with Acacia Mining?
Let us go up the ladder to the billionaire ultimate Boss, Mr. Naguib Sawiris. This is a man of almost unlimited power. The Financial Times reported that Mr. Sawiris publicly opposed the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and he played an active role in its downfall. The Centre for Public Integrity (publicintegrity.org) also reported on whether Mr. Sawiris made an illegal political donations to a group affiliated with the 2012 USA presidential elections.
The Court in Algeria found Mr. Sawiris’s telecoms company guilty for breaching foreign-exchange regulations and fined them $1.3 billion.
Daily News Egypt reported that Italy’s financial police stated that Mr. Sawiris was under investigation for alleged corruption in a probe over the acquisition of the Italian mobile phone operator, Wind SpA. The probe concerned consultancy fees of more than €90 million ($135 million) which prosecutors believe were kickbacks masked as consultancy fees.
Still in Italy, Bloomberg News reported that Italy’s Tax Authorities were claiming about $75 million (€57 million) because Wind allegedly avoided paying taxes in 2009 transactions. The Tax Authorities determined that Wind Telecom used a combination of put and call options to avoid paying taxes.
Moving on to Israel, where a local newspaper, The Maariv, allegedly claimed that Mr. Sawiris paid bribes to then Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak and his wife Nili Priel, to help him win approvals for his company, Orascom Telecom Holding to increase its stake in the biggest mobile phone operator, Partner Communications.
On to the UK, where media reports exposed Mr Sawiris for abusing U.K. bankruptcy laws for his personal profit. The report states that Mr. Sawiris’s Greek telecoms company, Wind Hellas, was put through the UK bankruptcy system. Wind Hellas was Greece’s third largest telecom company. Mr. Sawiris knew that Wind Hellas was going bankrupt so he quickly moved the Wind Hellas assets and changed its address from Luxembourg to the UK.
The Independent described Wind Hellas as the third biggest mobile phone operator in the country, with 4.6 million customers and more than UK£ 1 billion revenue a year.
Apparently, this massive company had new “headquarters” in London in one office with one man!! Then, just two weeks later, Mr. Sawiris began the administration process and Wind Hellas collapsed. However, Weather Investments was born which belonged to Mr. Sawiris, of course, and Weather Investments “bought back” the ruins of Wind Hellas for a small amount and they were back in business!
The Indepedant reported that when Mr. Sawiris finished this procedure and Weather Investments were back in control, the loss to the Wind Hellas bondholders (creditors) was reported at € 1.5 billion.
Still in the UK, it was reported by Arab Finance that a U.K. judge ordered Mr. Sawiris to pay a former business associate more than € 75 million ($ 104 million) in relation to the acquisition of Wind SpA.
Mr. Sawiris was sued in the High Court in London by Italian businessman Alessandro Benedetti. The Judge, Lord Justice Nicholas Patten ordered Mr. Sarwaris to pay Benedetti € 75.1 million plus interest as a fee for his services. To indicate the type of people that Mr. Sawiris chooses to work with, we refer to the words of the Lord Justice Nicholas Patten in his written judgment online, in which he wrote: “….. in the 1990’s, Mr Benedetti was himself the subject of a criminal investigation in connection with MC (a dormant company) which led to his arrest on charges which included false accounting. He entered into a plea bargain with the prosecuting authorities under which he entered a guilty plea and accepted a sentence of imprisonment.”
Yet Mr. Sawiris selected Benedetti as his agent/representative/partner or whatever other title one will choose for a person that Mr. Sawiris offered to pay € 75.1 million for his business activities with Mr. Sawiris.
The straw that breaks the camel’s back was the way Lord Justice Nicholas Patten described Mr. Naguib Sawiris in his judgment, Lord Justice Patten wrote that Mr. Sawiris “told what can only be described as a deliberate lie about his involvement in other litigation. For this reason, I have approached his evidence with caution.”
So, Mr. President, should we be worried that Endeavour Mining is in merger talks with Acacia Mining?
In our culture, we say Muongo ni mwizi – A liar is a thief.
There is so much more to report to you, Mr. President, but there is one more media report that we feel we must share with you because it is so close to home, with our neighbors on our doorstep.
Nerrati News reports blatant corruption involving Mr. Nuguib Sawiris in Congo Brazzaville and Mauritius.
Mr. Sawiris’s company Orascom bought 100 percent of Libertis Telecom and that is how they obtained a mobile phone license in Congo Brazzaville. In exchange for this “favor” from the Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, that Osracom now had a significant part of that mobile phone market, Mr. Sawiris promised to give the President’s daughter, Giulia Sassou Johnson (aka “Joujou”), a 20 (twenty) percent share in the “new” Libertis Telecom.
In addition, Mr. Sawiris’s partner, Rami Antaki made a Mauritius off-shore company called BabyBells. This was for the purpose of tax evasion. Mr. Sawiris arranged for 15 (fifteen) percent of the telecom company to go to Babybells. In other words, one can say that a total of 35% of the business was allocated to corruption.
Ground Report online describes the ethical part of this corrupt deal by writing: “It would be bad to suggest Naguib Sawiris is robbing his business partners of cash. But in this case, he’s also robbing his shareholders.” Also interesting is that when Mr. Sawiris was on trial in the London High Court, the lawyers questioned him about the Libertis Telecom license. Evidence presented by a witness, Jack Hazout, testified that Mr. Sawiris’s account was not correct.
Muongo ni mwizi – A liar is a thief
In the Arab world, the reputation of businessmen often comes down to his relationship with dictators and corrupt political leaders. And unlike many people in the Arab world, Mr. Sawiris interfered in another country’s politics and supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
However, is it surprising that corruption was waiting in the shadows?
John Shaw, U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security, reported that Nadhmi Auchi, a controversial British-born Iraqi, was the key figure who engineered the disbursement of bribes to leading Iraqi officials who determined that Orascom’s bid would be the winning bid. Nadhmi Auchi was also reported to be a close ally and financier of Sadam Hussein and sat on Iraq’s Governing Council. Of course, Mr. Sawiris quickly became the owner of Iraqna, Iraq’s top mobile phone operator at the time, when Iraq was torn to shreds by war.
Reports from the Washington Times quoted a Pentagon investigation that said it had uncovered “fraud on the Ministry of Communications by Orascom…”
Nadhmi Auchi was in serious trouble as well. The British Government arrested Auchi on a French Extradition Warrant. He had to testify in a corruption and embezzlement trial involving a French oil company.
One must wonder about the type of person Mr. Sawiris chooses to work with?Forbes website reports investments between Mr. Sawiris’s Osracom and Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organisation by USA, EU, Canada, Japan and other countries.
Ni bora shetani unaemjua kuliko shetani usiemjua – Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know.
Mr. President, for the past 15 months you have set the standards for the new Tanzania. You have not been afraid to tell mining companies like Acacia Mining to stop the robbery. You have not been afraid to tell them that if they plead losses all the time, they should go home back to their countries. We are busy working and pulling together as a Nation to stop corruption and fraud. Do we need people like Endeavour Mining and their leaders like Naguib Sawiris, Frank Giustra, Sebastien de Montessus and others to come and make our ship unstable?
Will they interfere with our politics?
Will they operate here like they did in Niger?
And Central African Republic?
And only God knows where else and what else they do, at any cost to human rights, the environment, political stability, and more just to make more money?
Will we see more tax evasion schemes like our TRA exposed last year with Barrick Gold & Acacia Mining?
President, you are spreading the teachings of ethics, honesty and integrity here in our country. Please don’t allow these powerful, wealthy people with the track record you can see above (and there is so much more), please don’t allow them to buy their way into our new Tanzania if there is no perfect picture that our country and our nation will truly and justly benefit. You can see from the “spaghetti bowl” how these people create their businesses and hide behind their confusing camouflage safety nets.
Mr. President, we reported above what Mr. Sawiris did with his Greek company, Wind Hellas. One of our research team rightly asks the following question:
If Mr. Sawiris wants, he can take over Acacia Mining, come here and destroy the local company overnight and start the next morning with a different name and all our people who are owed money or who have claims against the local company – even our TRA who found Acacia guilty of tax evasion will not be able to collect their unpaid taxes – because the “old company” no longer exists. It will be an economic earthquake for our country. Of course, that is fraud and dishonest. But Mr. Sawaris did it once with Wind Hellas. Perhaps he plans to do it again here in Tanzania?
We already know from previous research sent to you, Mr. President, that Barrick Gold was founded with finances from the Saudi Arabian notorious arms dealer, Mr. Adnan Khashoggi. There is no shortage of scandals – illegal, financial, sexual, ethical and others, surrounding this Saudi man.
Can it be that God-given gold in our country is a magnet for these “types” of people?
Thank you, Mr. President and God bless you and God bless Tanzania and God bless our Nation.