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Dodgy transactions from Zimbabwe to London via Mauritius, Cayman and aided and abetted by layers, banks & others


A Report examines how a politically connected oil tycoon in Zimbabwe moved suspect funds [SFs] from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to the City of London using front companies, fake invoices, and offshore financial façades.

Fronts, Fakes, and Façades is Open Secrets’ first investigation into allegations of state capture beyond South Africa.

But integral to this story of alleged cronyism in Zimbabwe are various professionals and companies who facilitated the transactions.

The deal examined in the report required the assistance of

  • South African company directors and lawyers,
  • A Mauritian management company agent,
  • A Cayman Islands investment fund,
  • Banks in numerous jurisdictions, and
  • The company administrators Duff & Phelps (now known as Kroll) are in the United Kingdom.

In 2019, Zimbabwean presidential advisor Kudakwashe Tagwirei moved millions of dollars in suspect funds from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to the City of London.

The funds were used to buy two Zimbabwean mines— Bindura Nickel and Freda Rebecca Gold Mine—for $29.5 million (£23 million) from a bankrupt firm run by British company administrators Duff & Phelps (now known as Kroll).

At the time of the purchase, accusations of corruption and cronyism had already swelled around Tagwirei for years.

The report relies on almost 2,000 emails and documents, including financial records and correspondence, provided by a whistle-blower.

These documents and additional investigations reveal that the purchase of the mines involved behaviour that raises questions and may carry policy implications for deterring powerful and connected individuals from exploiting the international financial system.

Read more here

This report is the product of a collaborative investigation by The Sentry and Open Secrets.


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