By: Yumoha Pasha
Somalilandsun – UK-based Franco-Djiboutian businessman Abdourahman Boreh, currently indicted for embezzlement, has been cited in the recent Offshore Leaks scandal. According to recent revelations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Mr. Boreh is the true owner of two offshore companies: Support Net Holdings Ltd in the British Virgin Islands and Value Additions Ltd (2007) in Samoa.
This development comes as Djibouti seeks to recover tens of millions of dollars in losses that it sustained as a result of Mr. Boreh’s wrongful misuse of his public authority to benefit himself and his companies during his time as a public official.
To develop the country’s port facilities, the Government of Djibouti created the Djibouti Port and Free Zone Authority (the DPFZA) in 2003 to oversee and supervise all port facilities, appointing Mr. Boreh as Chairman of the DPFZA Board. During his time as Chairman between 2003 and 2008, Mr. Boreh obtained significant and valuable shareholdings in several of the related projects; awarded construction, security, and other service contracts on these projects to companies he owned; and demanded “commission” from other individuals and companies involved in the projects.
In France, decisions from judges in the high courts of Paris (orders of August 3 and 7, 2012, October 12 and 15, 2012, December 18, 2012 and February 7, 2013) and Grasse (order of August 7, 2012) authorized the Republic of Djibouti to freeze assets totaling €23 million held by Mr. Boreh on French territory.
Furthermore, the Republic of Djibouti filed suit in the London Commercial Court in March 2013 aiming at seeking restitution of the profits that Mr. Boreh unlawfully obtained, notably in the context of the development of the port of Djibouti. Boreh has admitted obtaining benefits but denied he was a public official, claiming that his title was “honorific”.
Mr. Boreh’s activities appear to be an example of the “ill-gotten gains” scandal, which has been agitating the African continent for many years. According to the World Bank’s and the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime’s statistics, between 20 and 40 billion dollars “ill-gotten gains” disappear each year in developing countries to reappear on offshore accounts in developed countries.
Mr. Boreh’s business career has been marked by several controversies. He was publicly named by a UN Report (“UN: Report of the Panel of Experts on Somali Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1425 (2002)”, page 35) as a business partner and sponsor of one of the most important Somali warlords, Mohamed Deylaf, a financier of the radical “Islamic Courts” movement. In addition, a 2008 US diplomatic cable linked Mr. Boreh to accusations of siphoning “millions of dollars of unmonitored humanitarian aid” and “funnelling support to extremists” in Somalia.
For additional information about the lawsuits against Mr. Boreh, please contact:
UK: PPiatt@gibsondunn.com and France: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please submit any information pertaining to the offshore scandal to email@example.com