This week, the government published its anti-corruption plan. It has a number of welcome measures – such as making it easier to freeze corrupt funds by lowering the evidential test for a restraint order – but in a number of respects it is a missed opportunity.

Repeated delays in publishing the plan, and an action list littered with yet more consultations and future reviews, mean money laundering loopholes which could be fixed in the Serious Crime Bill before the House of Commons in January 2015 look set to remain.

The shortcomings of the government’s anti-corruption plan reflect a wider lack of focus in parliament on corruption, despite its devastating consequences for the poorest in the world.

Parliament has voted to increase the overseas aid budget at a time of budget cuts elsewhere, and repeatedly debates the amount of aid the UK distributes. Yet there is far less debate on how much money is being lost from the poorest countries.

The cost of corruption in Africa is estimated by the African Union to be $148bn, on top of the $1tn which the World Bank estimates is paid in bribes.

Specific examples give a sense of the scale of leakage. Malawi is a country where according to Water Aid more than 3,500 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. The UK government gave Malawi £106m in aid last year.  Yet $30m was recently stolen from Government accounts, and a Minister murdered, in a scandal referred to as “Cashgate”.

The UK’s Department for International Development paid for consultancy firm Baker Tilly to provide expert investigators into Cashgate, but so far they have recovered no cash. External consultants like these do not have the power to obtain key transaction data from banks, or request intelligence from other governments, raising questions as to the value for money of their appointment.

In Nigeria over $1bn was stolen by corrupt officials in a single case, involving Malubu Oil. The oil minister of Nigeria awarded the rights to oil from an offshore site to a company which last year the UK High Court ruled was a company he owned.  $1bn is the equivalent of two thirds of Nigeria’s health budget serving 170 million people, in a country with the second highest HIV burden in the world.

The UK has some of the best financial investigators globally, but they are massively under-resourced compared to the best lawyers and accountants corrupt money can buy. They can only review a tiny fraction of the number of suspicious activity reports they receive. Investigators also have the cards stacked against them in terms of insufficient time limits to complete investigations.

There is a lack of transparency at home with for example non-government organisations suggesting 45 per cent of London property valued at above £2m is owned by offshore companies. The UK government does not know who owns these offshore companies, and so does not know if a modestly paid minister has suspiciously afforded a multi-million pound London property.

There is also a lack of transparency overseas. Why are we not requiring ministers who receive UK aid to publish assets declaration records, in line with the UN Convention? Why are we not extending the register of beneficial owners of UK companies to include overseas territories in 2015?

The benefits of aid risk being undermined due to a failure to tackle corruption laundered here in the UK.

Corruption is a rich person’s crime against the poorest people in the world. It should outrage us all. It is time for parliament to spend more time looking at how much money illegally comes out of countries, and not just how much money we put in.



Pamela Mattock  Porter

TOP – Pamela Porter

BOTTOM – Arthur Porter



Pamela Porter, wife of former hospital executive Arthur Porter, has pleaded guilty to money-laundering for her role in the alleged conspiracy to defraud the McGill University Health Centre of $22.5 million.

Quebec Court Judge Claude Leblond sentenced the 54-year-old Porter to prison for two years — minus a day — and ordered her to perform 240 hours of community service upon her release.

Porter shuffled into the prisoner’s box handcuffed, a winter coat draped over her arms. She appeared noticeably thinner since her last court appearance a few weeks ago. Her eldest daughter, Gemma Porter, sat in the back of the courtroom, and the two exchanged glances throughout the proceedings.

When the judge rendered his sentence, Porter remained seated, a stoic expression on her face. Gemma Porter refused to comment on her mother’s sentence when asked by a reporter afterward, shaking her head forlornly as she wrapped a scarf around her neck.

Pamela Porter’s guilty plea had been negotiated with the Crown prosecutor’s office in the past several weeks. Her conviction represents a first legal victory for the Crown after it pressed charges against eight other individuals in connection with an alleged bid-rigging scheme in which a consortium led by engineering firm SNC-Lavalin won a $1.3-billion contract to build the MUHC superhospital.

The judge imposed a one-day publication ban on much of the court hearing, prohibiting reporting on the names of the co-accused, the evidence against them, the detailed allegations against Pamela Porter and the contents of the joint summary of facts that she signed.

The Crown had also charged her with conspiracy, but that count was dropped, her lawyer, Marc-Antointe Carette, told the Montreal Gazette. She pleaded guilty to a second count of money laundering — technically, transferring the proceeds of crime — to pay for a $250,000 bail bond.

The judge actually sentenced her to 33 months in jail, but because of time she already served in Tanguay prison during the judicial process, nine months was shaved off the sentence. After her release, she will be placed on one year’s probation, during which she will have to perform the community service.

“I don’t want to comment on whether it’s a harsh sentence given her implication in the file,” Crown prosecutor Marie-Hélène Giroux told reporters after the court hearing.

Asked whether Pamela Porter agreed to co-operate with the Crown, Giroux declined to answer the question.

Paul Mercier, a lawyer who represents the Bureau de lutte aux produits de la criminalité, the provincial proceeds-of-crime agency, told journalists that Quebec authorities have taken the first steps toward confiscating $5.5 million in assets related to the alleged MUHC fraud. 

“The guilty plea (by Pamela Porter) is important because it allowed us to ask for a forfeiture of certain properties and (sums of) money,” Mercier said, noting that $5.2 million was in property and $300,000 in cash.

The process of recovering the assets could take up to year because there are international treaties involved, he explained.

Pamela Porter and her husband, the former executive director of the MUHC, were arrested on May 27, 2013, in Panama. Arthur Porter has been incarcerated in a Panamanian jail, La Joya, for more than 500 days, fighting extradition to Quebec.

The two had been living in the Bahamas prior to travelling to Panama.


Expéditeur: Phil Landa <>
Date: 17 décembre 2014 19:43:44 UTC+1
Objet: Download
Dear XXXX,


Five Star Trust

It was a pleasure speaking with you yesterday regarding my representation of blue screen funds on behalf of Five Star Trust (FST).

I attach my “authorization” for your review issued by FST, for your review.

Please be advised that there are several ways in which we can proceed to utilize the funds on deposit on the Interbank Screen.

1. The bank can issue a “Blocked Funds” letter simply by viewing the screen without any need to “download”.

The bank officer will not need to move, download, or work in any way with the funds “on-screen”. The bank officer only needs to view the funds on screen and even if they are blocked, issue a Blocked Funds Letter confirming that funds are, in fact, “blocked” in their bank.

The “Blocked Funds Letter” is a “bank instrument” which I can moneytize.

2. I am in close communication with a “Receiver” who serves in a compliance capacity with the World Bank.

The Receiver has received approval to to work with the Blue Screen Interbank Funds to facilitate specific World Bank projects.

The Receiver has authorization to  use these funds for special projects, even if the funds are “blocked” on-screen.

3. FST has funds on deposit on the Interbank screen for many German banks including Deutche for which I can provide you the master account number and codes which will enable your banker to view funds on the blue screen.

Please be advised that we have a relationship with the Central Bank of Germany which is prepared to “support” our use of the funds for project finance.

I am prepared to introduce our technical team / Receiver to your bank officer to coordinate activity, after the bank officer has views the funds on-screen.

4. Alternatively, the bank may choose to issue a CD or “guarantee” against the funds. We will not “redeem”, but will return them prior to maturity and utilize them only as a credit facility for project finance.

It it my belief, however, that a blocked funds letter would be the easiest to obtain.

5. I can provide you with master account and screening information for JP Morgan Chase, and other European, and world banks at you your request.

I can be reached USA east coast time 973-777-4628, email

Please provide me with your telephone contact I formation.

Best Regards,

Philip Landa

14384255-0 14384255-1



Marion Horn--passport

Marco Rossetto---passport

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Andrei Balabanov

Owner, Apollo Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd

  1. Apollo Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd

Tatiana Balabanova




Following the takeover of AsiaUniversalBank (AUB) by the Kyrgyz Interim Government in April 2010 an investigation was launched into the money laundering and balance sheet fixing schemes of the bank.

The Kyrgyz Republic’s Attorney General’s Office is still mulling over tons of corporate documents and payment orders of the AUB multi-billion dollar payment flow.  Some episodes already resulted in criminal convictions: Michael Nadel, the main owner of AUB, was convicted on 22nd October 2014 by Pervomaisky Court of Bishkek for embezzling millions from AUB and dressing up its accounts using offshore companies, to hide the embezzlement.

In 2011, long before the criminal sentence was given, the laundering and embezzlement episodes were subject to a public investigation by Global Witness, an NGO covering financial crime and related themes.

In its report titled «Grave Secrecy» ( Global Witness revealed that many offshore companies used for dubious financial transactions in AUB in fact were administered by a small handful of offshore corporate service providers.  Among those named was a Seychelles-licensed firm, Apollo Business Solutions (Pty), Ltd., part of a large offshore services group with Russian roots – Apollo International (  Its main marketing and sales offices are in Kiev and Moscow.

It was reported that some of the offshore companies serviced by Apollo were supplied with nominee owners and directors who in fact had no idea their passports were used by the offshore incorporators.  One extreme case cited by Global Witness was that a corporate resolution was ‘signed’ in Apollo’s London office by a man who died three years before that.


Being a large contributor to the Seychelles offshore industry Apollo escaped sanctions by the Seychelles regulators and continued business as usual.

This year, however, a few more criminal episodes happened involving Apollo International, showing that old habits die hard when it comes to the offshore industry.

In April 2014 the US FBI arrested a well-known Ukrainian businessman Mr. Dmitry Firtash in Vienna, Austria for allegedly paying millions of dollars in bribes to Indian officials for mineral rights.  It was then revealed ( that one of the firms which supplied offshore companies implicated in the FBI investigation was Apollo Business Solutions – the same company mentioned by Global Witness.

It was later revealed (,%202014/soc1_r4million_seized.html) that the very same Apollo Business Solutions certified corporate documents for a bank account used by a Russian cyber-gang in the Seychelles.  The account was frozen by the Seychelles Financial Intelligence Unit.

Just very recently news emerged from the Ukraine that Apollo got yet again into a criminal scandal.  This time it was theft of shares in a Ukrainian agricultural enterprise ‘Chumaki’ which was accomplished by their re-registration in the name of a Seychelles firm incorporated by Apollo.  The re-registration was on the basis of fake papers where signatures of the shares owners were forged.  As it transpired from copies of papers obtained in the course of Ukrainian police investigation, the Seychelles company used for the crime had a director whom neither the Police, nor the victim’s lawyers are now able to locate.  Very probably, this is another case of someone’s passport used by offshore crooks to make the company truly ‘anonymous’.