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Sarawak Chief minister sold secret San Francisco property for USD 17million

Sarawak Chief minister sold secret San Francisco property for USD 17million

(SAN FRANCISCO, US) Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud raised USD16.94 million from the sale of one of his San Francisco properties. The historical 11-storey building at 260 California Street in San Francisco’s financial district was sold by Sakti back in mid-2012 already. Sakti, a US company, is controlled by Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud through a secret agreement with his closest family members.

Documents released by the late whistleblower Ross Boyert back in 2010 are showing that 50% of Sakti’s shares are being held by Taib Mahmud’s two brothers Onn and Arip and three of his children “in trust of Abdul Taib Mahmud”.

The Chief Minister’s majority control of Sakti was kept secret because the Sarawak constitution prohibits the Chief Minister from actively running commercial interests. The constitution says that the head of government and the Governor “shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in commercial enterprise.”

“The Sakti sale is a textbook example case of money-laundering”, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote on Tuesday. “A foreign politician who acts in an illegal and unconstitutional way should not be allowed to operate freely in the United States. The US and Malaysian authorities have to act decisively and confiscate all Taib assets whose origin cannot be explained.”

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