ALEK MOSES (MANLY, NEW SOUTH WALES). A whistle-blower from the Ministry of Finance has dumped a 130-paged document in the Northern Corridor Morning Post official email. The patriotic and anonymous official sent the document accompanied by a lengthy email that details an elaborate corruption scheme that would later be known as the DURA SAGA.
In the email, the official gave out 180 names of ‘traders’ and their shady companies who solicited up to $115,000,000 (SDG 253,000,000) which is just a fraction of what was lost in the infamous saga between 2008 and 2013. More than three-quarters of the funds were in Sudanese Gina (SDG), prior to 2011, at a cumulative amount of SDG 193,750,275 (at the rate of $1=SDG2.2).
The scandal saw the issue of Letters of Credit (LC) to bogus and none-existent companies with proprietors and company ‘directors’ promising to deliver dura (sorghum) on behalf of the government to famine-affected regions of the country, especially Northern Bhar El Ghazal and Warrap.
The failure was not logistical, neither did the companies try to deliver the merchandise as required, but a carefully orchestrated corruption scandal between those who issued the letters of credit and the recipients. The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) was the largest issuer of these letters of credit and has been adversely mentioned in the interviews conducted by the anti-corruption officials.
Some of the ‘companies’ mentioned was a mix of engineering companies, fisheries companies, and cocktails of everything else with vision and mission that were as unclear as their existence. These include the Bawiani Group of Companies Ltd, Abukdit Company Ltd, Kokbuong Enterprise Ltd, Cyerdit Company Ltd,Macham Commercial Enterprise and construction Co. Ltd., Marek for services and Investment Co.Ltd, Warperdit Trading and Investment Co.Ltd, Dogrot Trade and Investment Co.Ltd, Dove Transporters Limited, Handai Investment Co.Ltd, Manbol Trading and Investment Co.Ltd, Adiordit Trading Company Ltd, Kensud General Trading Co.Ltd, Lucky Friends Trading and Construction Co.Ltd, Kekui Trading and Investment Company Limited, Lou for Trading and Investment Co.Ltd, Jour Investment and Trading Co.Ltd, Acuer for investment Company Ltd, Maiwut Trading and Investment Co. Ltd., Mabutdit Trading and Investment, Leig for Trading and Investment, Kol Akoom International Trading Co. Ltd., GC Kol Akoom and Gogier for Trade Co. Ltd, Gunayuol Trading Investment, Koch Development and Investment Group Company Ltd, Mong National Trading and Investment Co.Ltd, Time Company Ltd, Alang Lang Company, Malith Book Jok Lol Co. Ltd, just to list a few.
KCB was the main issuer and had about three-quarters of these companies on their books, so it is impossible for KCB not to know their financial status. KCB had prior knowledge of these merchandisers, so it is ludicrous for the bank not to fulfill the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) obligations under international banking best practices. The remaining quarter of the ‘dura suppliers’ had bank accounts with Ivory bank, Agricultural Bank, Agricultural Bank of Khartoum, Al Jibal Bank, Equity Bank and other lesser known financial institutions.