Washington DC – The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched proceedings last week to seize a million-dollar Melbourne mansion owned by General James Hoth Mai, former South Sudan Army Chief of Staff. The AFP pursued the case against General Hoth Mai after The Sentry’s September 2016 report, “War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the Looting and Destruction in South Sudan,” shed light on the General’s luxury property in Melbourne’s suburb of Narre Warren.
The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, revealed that South Sudan’s top officials and armed group leaders, including General Hoth Mai, amassed and offshored millions of dollars while fueling conflict and atrocities in one of the world’s deadliest war zones.
Experts from The Sentry are available for comment and analysis.
J.R. Mailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said: “This should be seen as a warning to those who loot public coffers and park their assets abroad. The Government of Australia and Australian Federal Police should be applauded. Governments around the world need to ramp up asset-tracing and recovery efforts to make sure that those responsible for continued atrocities in South Sudan can no longer operate with impunity.”
Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The numerous allegations of corruption against top officials demands that the government of South Sudan should launch its own investigations and take concrete actions. By showing such a commitment, the government can begin to restore public faith in its actions.”
Debra LaPrevotte, Senior Investigator at The Sentry, said: “The seizing of the assets of General James Hoth Mai in Australia reflects the positive impact ‘follow the money’ initiatives can have. The Sentry investigation revealed that while chief of staff of the SPLA, General Hoth Mai amassed millions of dollars in personal wealth. The evidence gathered by The Sentry is shared with any government in a position to take action to fight corruption. There is a direct correlation between the billions stolen from South Sudan and the current crisis.”
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About THE SENTRY
The Sentry is composed of best-in-class financial forensic investigators, policy analysts, and regional experts who follow the dirty money and build investigative cases focusing on the corrupt transnational networks most responsible for Africa’s deadliest conflicts. By creating a significant financial cost to these kleptocrats through network sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, and other tools, The Sentry aims to disrupt the profit incentives for mass atrocities and oppression, and creates new leverage in support of peace efforts and African frontline human rights defenders. The Sentry’s partner, the Enough Project, undertakes high-level advocacy with policy-makers around the world as well as wide-reaching education campaigns by mobilizing students, faith-based groups, celebrities, and others. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of Not On Our Watch (NOOW) and the Enough Project. The Sentry currently focuses its work in South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.
In less than two years, The Sentry has created hard-hitting reports and converted extensive research into a large volume of dossiers on individuals and entities connected to grand corruption, violence, or serious human rights abuses. The investigative team has turned those dossiers over to government regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world, as well as to compliance officers at the world’s largest banks.
Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.