Fiona Jackson acts for SFO in successful civil recovery order to recover £4.4m from corrupt diplomats in Chad Oil share deal.

Following a successful application in the High Court, the SFO is set to recover millions lost in a corruption case which saw Griffiths Energy bribe diplomats in the United States and Canada.

Securing exclusive contracts with corrupt deals, Griffiths Energy bribed Chadian diplomats with discounted shares deals and ‘consultancy fees’ using a front company ‘Chad Oil’ – which was set up days before agreements were signed.

‘Chad Oil’ was used by senior diplomats at the Chadian Embassy to the United States to facilitate a deal which saw the wife of the former Deputy Chief, Mrs Ikram Saleh purchase 800,000 shares at less than 0.001$CAD each, before selling them on for a considerable profit.

Griffiths later self-reported these and other transactions as bribes intended to illegally secure commercial interests in Chad and pleaded guilty to corruption charges brought by the Canadian authorities.

Following the takeover by Griffiths Energy by a UK corporation and share sale via a UK broker, the corrupt proceeds entered the UK’s jurisdiction and the SFO began civil recovery proceedings to secure the £4.4m share sale profits from Ikram Saleh.

The matter was brought to a three-day trial at the High Court which today granted the SFO’s order to the value of £4.4m, the first time money has been returned overseas in a civil recovery case.

Fiona Jackson has been involved for some years and this marks the most recent success for the SFO with their pursuit of criminal funds via civil recovery.   

Minister of State for International Development, Harriett Baldwin said:

“The UK Government has a zero tolerance approach to corruption and today’s landmark judgment means this money can be used to help the people of Chad.

“DFID is already working in Chad, investing in humanitarian programmes and supporting safety nets to tackle poverty. We will now be working on the details of how these recovered funds can best help one of the poorest countries in the world.”

If you would like to find out more about this case or instruct Fiona Jackson please contact her Practice Directors via email or on 0207 440 9950.

Fiona Jackson and Abigail Coghill-Smith speak at ACE Conference

Fiona Jackson and Abigail Coghill-Smith were invited by the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police to speak about Mutual Legal Assistance on the first day of a two-day conference of ACE [Asset Confiscation and Enforcement] Team Leaders at the City of London’s Guildhall, held on 26th and 27th February 2018.  They addressed in detail how to trace, restrain and confiscate, or freeze and recover overseas assets and repatriate their value to England and Wales, with tips on making successful applications for mutual assistance and mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil cases generating proceeds of crime.   

To instruct Fiona or Abigail or discuss any of the issues raised please speak with their Practice Directors on +44 (0) 20 7440 9950 or via clerks@33cllaw.com

Fiona Jackson invited to Roundtable on Co-operation Activities against Economic Crime

At the invitation of the Council of Europe, Fiona Jackson participated in Roundtable on Co-operation Activities against Economic Crime: tools, impact and lessons learnt,  a two-day workshop in Strasbourg on 15-16 February, joining 40 experts from across the Council’s Member States. 

The workshop reviewed the impact of Council of Europe co-operation actions and programmes to support reforms against economic crime and its components (corruption, fraud, organised crime, money laundering, financial crime, terrorism financing and criminally acquired assets); discussed cross-cutting issues, data protection and international co-operation; and identified issues and challenges in implementing Council of Europe standards through co-operation activities. 

It is intended that an advisory report will follow, summarising the findings of the workshop and aiming to strengthen future activity.

To instruct Fiona, please contact Martin Adams (ma@33cllaw.com) or Chris Chiles (ccc@33cllaw.com).