Canadian Sakto Corporation admits Taib involvement
In the spotlight: Ottawa-based property developer Sakto (Screenshot Global Televison)
(OTTAWA, CANADA) J Bruce Carr-Harris, an Ottawa top lawyer who is representing Jamilah Taib Murray, the daughter of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud ("Taib"), has confirmed the Malaysian potentate's financial involvement in Sakto, a controversial Canadian property business. Sakto has been accused of laundering illicit assets that are believed to be linked to the logging of tropical rainforests in Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state on the island of Borneo.
In a legal letter sent to Canada's Global Television, Carr-Harris acknowledges that Abdul Taib Mahmud (Taib) "is on the record as saying that he contributed money" to his daughter's property business. Jamilah Taib is a director of the Ottawa-based Sakto corporation and seven other property companies that are holding properties worth several hundred million US dollars in Ottawa and in the United Kingdom.
Carr-Harris also confirmed that Sakto corporation was founded in 1983 by the college student Jamilah Taib "and her Uncle Onn". Sakto co-founder Onn Mahmud, Taib's brother, was later found to have organized a multi-million dollar kickbacks scheme by abusing his monopolistic control over export licences for Sarawak timber. The scheme was disclosed in 2007 by Japanese tax authorities who found financial irregularities in the books of nine shipping companies that were transporting Sarawak timber to Japan.
Sakto's beneficial owners remain in the dark - BMF maintains allegations
While Jamilah's lawyer denies that Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had "economic benefits from, or any direction of" Sakto corporation, "directly or indirectly", his carefully worded letter fails to disclose just who Sakto's beneficial owners are. "No member of Jamilah's family plays an active role in the company", the top lawyer writes enigmatically.
The Bruno Manser Fund maintains its allegations that Sakto and its associated companies in the UK, the US and Australia are beneficially owned by the Taib family and that these companies have been used since 1983 to launder illicit assets from Sarawak, Malaysia. We are challenging Sakto, which has been founded and for more than two decades run by politically exposed persons from Malaysia, to finally disclose its ownership structure and financial records to the public. This is a matter of significant public interest, not a private family business.
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