Tuesday 26 February 2019

Scotiabank offices raided by prosecutors in Costa Rica

On February 21, 2019, the Prosecutor in the Central American country of Costa Rica raided the offices of the Canadian multinational Scotiabank, claiming that the bank had failed to provide the government with information on accounts and deposits that could allegedly implicate Alejandro Toledo, the former president of Peru, with money laundering.
Scotiabank's offices in the Sabana Norte district,
in San Jose,  Costa Rica, were raided on February 21

During his presidency, Toledo is believed to have received C$26 million in bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht S.A. as payment to secure infrastructure contracts.

Toledo was last reported to be in the United States, with Peru having requested extradition. Interpol has had a red notice out for the former politician since May, 2017.

Bribery allegations against Odebrecht broke in Brazil in 2015. Since then, the company has been connected to corruption in at least ten countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with some of the allegations dating back many years.

Friday 22 February 2019

Jamilah Taib and Sean Murray ordered to pay $220,000 to Swiss NGO

A Swiss court has ordered the Malaysian-Canadian entrepreneur Jamilah Taib Murray and her Canadian husband Sean Murray to pay C$220,000 in damages, as well as C$26,000 in court costs, to the Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF).

(For an update on this story, see Jamilah Taib Murray continues campaign against Swiss NGO.)

This decision is the first round in a larger defamation suit. Jamilah Taib Murray and Sean Murray, who are active in philanthropic circles in Ottawa, are continuing to seek a permanent injunction that would ban 255 publications and 1,100 “infringing statements” allegedly made by BMF. The Ottawa couple are specifically named as plaintiffs in the suit, as are two of their companies, Sakto Corporation and Sakto Development Corporation.
The BMF team after the court victory in Basel, Switzerland

BMF, named in honour of the late Swiss environmentalist Bruno Manser, has been running a campaign against deforestation in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. It claims that over many years Jamilah Taib Murray, as the daughter of Sarawak’s chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, has received significant financial support from her father, who is alleged to have engaged in corrupt practices in Malaysia.