Top govt officials used to launder billions

HARARE - Top government officials including ministers could be receiving millions of dollars in bribes from foreign businessmen who use local politicians to launder money from Zimbabwe, documents seen by the Daily News reveal.

In email exchanges seen by this paper, a Harare-based businessman of Oman origin who also holds a British passport, Kamal Khalfan boasts about his connections with top government officials and how he could arrange deals with the Zimbabwe government.

Khalfan also owns Catercraft, which does catering for airlines in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars in sleazy deals, especially involving gold and diamonds, and some top government ministers are believed to be behind the illicit activities bleeding the country.



Businessman and Catercraft owner, Kamal Khalfan, claims to have connections with top government officials in Zimbabwe.

The government officials work with middlemen who collect bribery money on behalf of billionaires some from Europe, who then benefit from deals to mine or buy gold and diamonds then smuggle minerals and cash out of the country.

President Robert Mugabe, last year admitted that corruption was pervasive in his government and before that he had revealed that some of his ministers were demanding bribes in order to grant mining licences.

The deals are done behind Mugabe’s back while some of the dubious businessmen are even introduced to the 89-year-old Zimbabwean leader.

Mugabe is usually told that these are clean businessmen who operate above board yet some of them are known international fraudsters and money launderers.

In the latest scam unearthed by the Daily News investigation team, a German national, only identified as Dietrich Herzog, asks Khalfan, to assist him to clandestinely acquire diamonds from top government
officials using opaque methods.  

In the 2012 emails seen by the Daily News, Dietrich wrote to Khalfan and saying he was seeking to “buy stock which would be totally controlled by the top management of the country.

The question here of course is, does the establishment at the top indeed dispose of an important contingent of this product?”

Dietrich clearly tells Khalfan that the deal to buy diamonds should not go through official channels but through underhand dealings using top government officials.

In the email exchanges, Khalfan also appears to suggest that Dietrich must budget for money to pay government officials in return for the favours he wanted.

Yesterday, Khalfan confirmed that he knew Dietrich and was aware of the emails in question but warned the Daily News against writing a story based on “stolen” emails.

“Yes, I know him but through somebody. He is involved in a business deal with someone I know and I am involved because I come from the same country with that person,” he said.

Khalfan however, refused to discuss the email exchanges with Dietrich over the phone.

The Daily News visited him at his home where he claimed that his rivals are out to smear him and damage his reputation as a diplomat.

“How did you receive these emails, they were between me and Dietrich,” he said referring further questions to the police.

“The case is before the police and I cannot comment further.”

Khalfan then appeared to threaten the Daily News: “What I can tell you is be very careful because this is dangerous territory.”

He reportedly also boast of his connections to the security structures of the country.

In one email, Dietrich outlines his business proposal, which Khalfan later said must be redone because apparently it did not accommodate funds for “special purposes.”

Wrote Dietrich to Khalfan in which the issue of illegally taking Zimbabwe diamonds was discussed: “I am sending you this mail to familiarise you with a plan of a possible transaction, which would need your total involvement in order to evaluate the chances to succeed."

“I am, together with a colleague (special agent) in contact with a person acting as the Principal, representing an organisation, which disposes of a substantial amount of cash funds (Euro). They aspire to acquire diamonds for reasons you will understand.

“But they request that relevant acquisitions of the product have to be realised within a transactional framework of “private’ purchases - i.e. not through the normal channels of the (4) operating diamond mining corporations.”

The deal involved “substantial amounts” of money which Dietrich promised to divulge to Khalfan through a landline telephone conversation.

However, Dietrich’s request initially hits a snag as Khalfan is demanding a sweetener to the deal particularly “Point 3.1.2 to include monthly “fees” or “expenses” to cover the unavoidable assistance I will need to offer to ensure I am provided with as much support as I need.”

“I think you should have known me enough by now and know how I operate, the connections I have, the respect shown to me by the key individuals in the country, the complicated power plays amongst the top personalities, and the “mine fields” to avoid in pursuing our interests.

“To reach the stage I am now has not been without cost, and I can sure (Sic) you it was considerable, and expenses will continue in one form or another. I see no mention of this in your proposal, and this is only one of the points that you need to address if you are serious in your negotiations with me,” wrote Khalfan.

Citing the stalled multimillion dollar Essar deal between Zimbabwe and an Indian company, Khalfan says the reason for the late completion of the transaction, is “wrong connections and wrong advice.”

Khalfan proposes monthly fees to “cover the unavoidable assistance I will need to offer to ensure I am provided with as much support as I need in pursuance of our objectives. I look forward to the figure you feel is appropriate.

“How I utilise such funds will be at my discretion, and mine alone. The $1,000 mentioned will be a separate transaction subject to receipts and your knowledge and approval.

“ I noted from your communications that $6,000.00 was originally mentioned which you then revised downwards to $2,500.00 and now to Zero.”

Just before the Daily News went to print yesterday, Khalfan sent an email insisting that the emails used in the story were stolen and that it was in breach of the Communications Act to publish the story.

Comments (20)

The looting continues unabated. A "loota" continua!

Nyanisi Ruzengwe - 6 January 2014

It is not surprising at all. The writing is on the wall for all those who have eyes to see.

mambo - 6 January 2014

daily news we don,t want old news this has been going on for donkeys years

JACK - 6 January 2014

If Mr Jack thinks this is old news. My question to him is, "If this has been going on for dinkeys years what did you, Mr Kack, do about it?"

Rotsiniri - 6 January 2014

Thanx Daily News for this massive expose. This has been happen going on for long time. Keep exposing them cde Gama and your crew of competent investigative journalists!

shumba - 6 January 2014

Its time to organise ourselves into a powerful fighting force that can restore our dignity. These monsters don't warrant the fear we have of them mhani. And it is through this needless fear that Zimbabwe has been reduced to a nation of cry babies who complain endlessly without doing much to free themselves. Fear is from the devil not from God. Fear is sin. Kubvira rinhi tichingobowa without doing something really impactful? if we new how fear these monsters are we would not be as fearful as we are. Surely we have become the world's laughing stock because of our naivety. Come on guys, the time to pull ourselves out of this mess is now. We are the change we want to see in this country. Indeed we must do something for Christ sake!!! What are we waiting for?

time to organise - 6 January 2014

Our media is only concerned with juicy issue to sell their papers. they don't follow through issues. What happened to the Masimirembwa $6m scam? What happened to the Savannah cigarettes smuggling issue?

Watch Man - 6 January 2014

Taura hako time to organise. What are we waiting for. These dogs and dzajaira mhani when the majority of hard working Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty. Men and women in that ZANU-PF SHIT party are the face of evil walking the face of this earth re carnations of the devil. This is pure evil and nothing else can best describe this rot. It is only us who can put a stop to it and regain our dignity as a country. God wipe this evil party from the face of this earth. The majority of Zimbabweans have suffered enough.

vongai - 6 January 2014

He operates an airline catering company?! I urge Zimra to urgently start searching these food trolley's thoroughly. If I was him, that would be my way of transporting cash and diamonds to and fro.

simba - 6 January 2014

Thank you "Time to organise" for your inspiring words. Surely what are we waiting for, and why should we continue to fear the wrong? Nelson Mandela once said, "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not fear but he who conquers that fear". Indeed we must conquer our fear and face the enemy head-on. The wrong will always seek to intimidate the right because they know thats the only weapon left in their possession to perpetuate their rule. But the wrong are also aware that their end will immediately come the day those they intimidate choose to be fearless . Lets drive the demons to the mountains. indeed they must be vanquished. Martin Luther King Jnr once said, "we only become real man when we identify a cause for which we are prepared to die for".

I've conquered my fear - 6 January 2014

No to corruption. Even in the newsroom it's now there. Journalists are demanding money to retract or publish stories . H Metro is notorious of this. There is a dreadlock guy anonzi Trust ishasha otaku demander Mabribe

Peres - 6 January 2014

One of the biggest connections to this Catercraft guy is Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa must rate amongst the top 5 most corrupt ZANU PF tools

David Moyes - 6 January 2014

And who owns Croco Motors, the vehicle dealing company that has literally substituted Willovale motor industries as vehicle supplier for government departments, parastatals, state enterprises, local uathorities, etc

corrupt crocodile - 6 January 2014

Please Mr Editor don't censor this comment. Please Zimbabweans need to know the truth. Kamal Khalfan tinomuziva isu. We know this Kamal Khalfan. This guy corrupted his way into Zimbabwe in the 1980s after he was declared persona non grata in Tanzania because of his corrupt activities. He was active in Zanzibar where there is a big number of people of Arabic descent. He entered Zimbabwe with an expensive Lambourgini or Lagonda for which he did not pay duty. Within days of entering Zimbabwe he bribed his way to become a close associate of then Minister of State Security, Emmerson Mnangagwa. They then somehow wrestled the Catercraft business from one McManus, a British guy who ran it. Those of us who know are surprised that our government has accommodated this thief and even conferred on him a non existent diplomatic post. Mr Editor, ask the Oman government and they will deny that Kamal Khalfan is a diplomat. You see, claiming to be a diplomat suits him well as it facilitates his looting of cash and other valuables under diplomatic cover, transporting millions in suitcases on his and the behalf of his minders. We know that this has been going on for years. Have you ever wondered how Mnangagwa suddenly became one of the richest people in Zimbabwe? Look Mr Editor, you may be one of the born frees so you would be forgiven for not knowing in what state these fly by night so called chefs returned to Zimbabwe at independence. They had nothing! Where then did they get all this wealth if it is not from plundering our assets? To make it worse, their government salaries are in the public domain. We can calculate all their salaries and I can assure Zimbabweans these looters would be unable to account for their wealth. So yes, Mr Editor some us know. I could point you to one or two Tanzanians who now live in Zimbabwe who can confirm who this Khalfan really is.

Inzwai Isu Tinoziwa - 6 January 2014

Please Mr Editor don't censor this comment. Please Zimbabweans need to know the truth. Kamal Khalfan tinomuziva isu. We know this Kamal Khalfan. This guy corrupted his way into Zimbabwe in the 1980s after he was declared persona non grata in Tanzania because of his corrupt activities. He was active in Zanzibar where there is a big number of people of Arabic descent. He entered Zimbabwe with an expensive Lambourgini or Lagonda for which he did not pay duty. Within days of entering Zimbabwe he bribed his way to become a close associate of then Minister of State Security, Emmerson Mnangagwa. They then somehow wrestled the Catercraft business from one McManus, a British guy who ran it. Those of us who know are surprised that our government has accommodated this thief and even conferred on him a non existent diplomatic post. Mr Editor, ask the Oman government and they will deny that Kamal Khalfan is a diplomat. You see, claiming to be a diplomat suits him well as it facilitates his looting of cash and other valuables under diplomatic cover, transporting millions in suitcases on his and the behalf of his minders. We know that this has been going on for years. Have you ever wondered how Mnangagwa suddenly became one of the richest people in Zimbabwe? Look Mr Editor, you may be one of the born frees so you would be forgiven for not knowing in what state these fly by night so called chefs returned to Zimbabwe at independence. They had nothing! Where then did they get all this wealth if it is not from plundering our assets? To make it worse, their government salaries are in the public domain. We can calculate all their salaries and I can assure Zimbabweans these looters would be unable to account for their wealth. So yes, Mr Editor some us know. I could point you to one or two Tanzanians who now live in Zimbabwe who can confirm who this Khalfan really is.

Inzwai Isu Tinoziwa - 6 January 2014

Just come to think of it, no money from diamond proceeds ever finds its way to the treasury and there is absolutely nothing to ride home about in as far as the mining of this special germ is concerned. Down with development, Pamberi ne kuba. What a shame

tk - 7 January 2014

http://cashjite.com/index.php?share=21888

Real - 7 January 2014

@Inzwai Isu Tinoziva. Thanx for the information. It helps us Zimbabweans to understand the extent of corruption in this wasteland of a nation. It appears corruption has become the number one problem in Zim. Road toll fees are stolen, money for drugs is looted, innocent motorists are robbed of their children's school fees by policemen, elections are stolen, money for water treatment chemicals finds its way into individual pockets, kickbacks at passport offices, fake prophets conning the unsuspecting worshippers.............. We have to do something as "Time To Organise" suggests. We are letting hyenas eat all our children's and grandchildren's food. No ways!

Nyanisi Ruzengwe - 7 January 2014

Indeed Kamal Khalfan has an interesting past. Since his arrival in Zimbabwe he has been a controversial business figure on the one hand but a well known supporter of charity on the other. Oman ruled the slave trade on the coast of East Africa for a thousand years. It had its capital for a time at Ila do Mocambique. The (deposed) Sultan of Zanzibar is a cousin to the Sultan of Oman. Mr Khalfans diplomatic credentials have some credibility in an honorary sense. He is not however an ambassador and the adornment of the gates residence in the Royal Insignia of The Sultanate of Oman has raised eyebrows in both Harare and Muscat. In recent years his daughters have married key influential Omanis but Mr Khalfan has been playing the diplomatic card since the mid-1990's. So the question is to what extent does a British citizen of Zanzibari origin, really positively influence or represent the interests of Oman in Zimbabwe and vice versa ...

Rene du Lac - 9 January 2014

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