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FBI refuses to meet anti-Taib corruption campaigners

FBI refuses to meet anti-Taib corruption campaigners

Locked doors: anti-Taib corruption campaigners in front of the FBI office at 1110 3rd Avenue in Seattle.

SEATTLE (WA, USA) Officials of the FBI's Northwestern Regional Headquarters in Seattle refused to meet anti-corruption campaigners protesting in front of the FBI field office at 1110 3rd Avenue in Seattle yesterday at noon. The protest was directed against the Malaysian Taib family that owns the FBI's premises in downtown Seattle through Wallysons Inc, a Washington state corporation.

Upon arrival of the anti-Taib campaign, security guards locked the doors of the Abraham Lincoln Building, making it clear that the Federal Bureauf of Investigation (FBI) does not wish to broach the sensitive issue that the US government is renting the building from the corrupt Malaysian Taib family. A security guard explained that the anti-Taib campaign would not be allowed to enter the building nor take photographs of the high security premises. The FBI's Seattle field office is in charge of combating terrorism in Asia, securing the US-Canadian border and fighting against public corruption and money-laundering.

Ahead of the meeting, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) had written to Special Agent Laura M. Laughlin, head of the Seattle FBI office, requesting a formal meeting with the FBI. "Given the FBI's strong stand against public corruption, we believe it is unacceptable for the FBI to rent its office space from a kleptocratic Malaysian family that is systematically abusing its political power for personal gains", BMF wrote to Special Agent Laughlin. "We are therefore asking the FBI and the United States government to review its rental contracts with Wallysons Inc, to investigate the Taib familiy under the US anti-money laundering legislation and to freeze all Taib assets in the United States."

The FBI left the embarrassing allegations unanswered and instructed its security guards to lock the doors on the anti-Taib campaign. After a picketing action in front of the FBI, the anti-corruption campaign went on to Taib's mansion at 1117 Boylston Ave East in Seattle - a gift from Sarawak logging tycoon Yaw Teck Seng - and to a second Taib mansion at 2222 Everett St East.

(04 March 2011)

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