After x27 years, 'BRIBE MONEY' placed in Jersey trust & bank to be returned to Mozambique
On Friday, 3 March 2023, Jersey's Royal Court ordered the forfeiture of £777,581 from a Jersey Trust, [TOLVEX TRUST], which had been placed there by Carlos Fragoso, a Mozambican national who received corrupt payments in the course of his employment. This 2023 order follows a 2013 decision to return £402,000 from another Carlos Fragoso trust [REX TRUST] to the Government of Mozambique.
The 2023 case is the latest in a series dealing with the proceeds of historic foreign corruption hidden in Jersey bank accounts, where the proceeds of this highly damaging practice can be returned to the relevant country to benefit its people.
Dodgy money settled in Jersey trusts [1996 + 1999]
- In Jersey, in 1996,
- Carlos Fragoso settled funds into the TOLVEX TRUST that used a Jersey bank account
- Carlos Fragoso falsely stated to the trust company and the bank that he was a civil engineer seeking to benefit his family with savings from his former earnings.
- The TOLVEX TRUST is subject to the 2023 forfeiture order of £777,581 [see below]
- In Jersey on 15 February 1999.
- Mr Fragoso also settled a JERSEY TRUST [REX TRUST] [2013 – value £402,000].
- He used the same deception [as above in 1996] as his employment and that the contents of this Trust were the proceeds of bribes paid to him by firms wanting to secure construction contracts in Mozambique.
- Mr Fragoso had been unable to explain the funds, [in the Rex Trust] which vastly exceeded his legitimate income, and were returned to the government of Mozambique.
2013 - the Rex Trust - In Re the Representation of Lloyds TSB Offshore Trust Company Limited (31 October 2013)
- The Jersey Court made a significant finding regarding the basis upon which a financial institution holds money which is said to be the proceeds of bribery and corruption.
- Jersey's Royal Court was asked to determine the ownership of the assets held in a Jersey law-governed discretionary trust known as the Rex Trust.
- Read Comsure’s news from 2013
- The Court declared that Lloyds TSB was holding the trust fund of the Trust as constructive Trust for the Government of Mozambique.
- With the declaration the funds no longer represented the proceeds of crime, the Attorney General, confirmed that there is no bar to the same being paid to the Government of Mozambique.
- Lloyds Trust Co (CI) Limited v. Fragoso  JRC 211
Following the Court's decision, suspicion arose that the TOLVEX TRUST might also contain tainted funds resulting from bribery and corruption.
On Friday, 3 March 2023
- Jersey's Royal Court ordered the forfeiture of £777,581 from a Jersey Trust [TOLVEX TRUST]
- Mr Fragoso did not attend and was not represented.
The Forfeiture of Assets (Civil Procedure) (Jersey) Law
- Using the provisions of the Forfeiture of Assets (Civil Procedure) (Jersey) Law 2018, His Majesty's Attorney General initiated an investigation into the matter, followed by a successful application to the Royal Court for the forfeiture of the money, which concluded last week.
- The enactment in 2018 of the Forfeiture of Assets (Civil Procedure) (Jersey) Law has provided a new and helpful mechanism to secure the forfeiture of tainted funds.
Attorney General Mark Temple KC said:
- "This is a good example of the use of the summary procedure to forfeit tainted assets under the Forfeiture Law 2018 and
- also of the benefit Jersey's "no consent" regime (which differs from that of the UK) where there is a suspicion that the assets are the proceeds of crime.
- I intend to start negotiations with the relevant Mozambique authorities so that the funds can be returned to the people of Mozambique.
Read the JEP article
- A SUM of almost £780,000 placed in a Jersey trust is due to be forfeited after the Royal Court found that the money had been obtained through deception and bribery in an African state.
- At the conclusion of a recent hearing, the court ordered the forfeiture of £777,581 from the Tolvex Trust, after it was found that the funds had been placed there by a former civil servant from Mozambique who had received corrupt payments.
- A statement from the Law Officers’ Department said Carlos Fragoso, formerly in charge of road and bridge maintenance in Mozambique, had set up the trust in 1996 and deposited the money into a Jersey bank account.
- The statement said Fragoso had falsely stated that he was a civil engineer seeking to benefit his family with savings from former earnings.
- The statement continued:
- ‘In 2013, the Royal Court found that Fragoso had settled another Jersey trust, using the same deception, and that the contents of this trust were the proceeds of bribes paid to him by firms wanting to secure construction contracts.
- ‘Fragoso had been unable to explain the funds, which vastly exceeded his legitimate income, and they were returned to the Government of Mozambique.’
- Suspicions arose that the Tolvex Trust might also contain tainted funds resulting from bribery and corruption, leading to an investigation under the Forfeiture of Assets Law passed in 2018 and culminating in last week’s case.
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