African press review 4 April 2016

Premium Times

There are a number of Nigerians among owners of over 14,000 companies  incorporated in  offshore holdings and tax-havens discovered  in Panama in the biggest tax evasion scandal ever uncovered. The scam involved the holdings of 12 current and former world leaders as well as the hidden financial dealings of 128 politicians and public officials around the world.

The newspaper reports that they also include at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of evidence that they’ve done business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organizations, or rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.

The most shocking revelation , accordint to the Premium Times is that Mossack Fonseca appeared not to realize who its customers were. A 2015 internal audit found that the law firm knew the identities of the real owners of just 204 o al the account holders.

Daily Nation Kenya

Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal has been linked to a string of shell companies registered in a notorious Caribbean tax haven popular with tax dodgers, dictators and drug dealers.

According to the newspaper, Rawal was a director or shareholder of four companies and was actively involved in two of them after she was appointed High Court judge.

Daily Nation claims that three were used to buy and sell property worth millions of shillings in the United Kingdom. The publication argues that while it is not impossible for honest people to conduct business in secretive offshore jurisdictions, the British Virgin Islands, along with other tax havens, help individuals to conceal their wealth and either evade tax or launder the proceeds of illegal activities.

Punch

In Nigeria, there has been a breakthrough in resolving the country’s chronic fuel shortage problems. A number of international oil companies, IOCs, in the upstream oil and gas sector have agreed to provide foreign exchange for oil marketing companies for the importation of premium motor spirit.

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had pointed to the paucity of forex as one of the major reasons for the scarcity witnessed across the country. A top official of the company told the paper that the deal has resolved the sticking problem stating that refineries will resume production before the end of April.

Vanguard

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency says it has no plan to increase the official price of petrol and household kerosene. Punch relays a warning by the agency that hard sanctions await depot-owner found to be hoarding products. The oil price regulatory board also known as PPPRA urged motorists to desist from panic-buying, saying it was working hard with other sister-agencies to ensure that the current supply and distribution challenges were resolved within the coming days.

 Vanguard

The Nigerian Navy has impounded two boats carrying about 100, 000 litres of illegal diesel discovered off the coast of Rivers State. Coast guards arrested three men on board one of the ships but crew members on the second boat fled the scene on sighting advancing naval patrol gunboats.

Times Live South Africa

The leader of Nigeria’s Ansaru jihadist group, a Boko Haram splinter group ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has been arrested.

Khalid al-Barnawi who is one of three Nigerians listed by Washington in 2012 as “specially designated global terrorists” was reportedly rounded up in Lokoja, the capital of central Kogi state on Sunday.

Taliban-trained Barnawi,  was the alleged mastermind of the 2011 kidnap of a Briton and an Italian, both construction engineers, in northern Kebbi state and the killing of two hostages in a failed rescue bid by British and Nigerian Special Forces in the northern city of Sokoto in 2012.

Nigeria’s military spokesman Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar says Al-Barnawi’s arrest constitutes a huge succees adding that it will have a profound effect on counter-terrorism operations in Nigeria and beyond”.
 

Source: rfi afrique