WikiLeaks cables: Sudanese president ‘stashed $9bn in UK banks’

Sudanese president Omar al-BashirWikiLeaks cables recount allegations that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has personally profited from Sudan’s oil boom while his country remains one of the world’s poorest. Photograph: Phillip Dhill/EPA/Corbis

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, has siphoned as much as $9bn out of his impoverished country, and much of it may be stashed in London banks, according to secret US diplomatic cables that recount conversations with the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court.

Some of the funds may be held by the part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group, according to prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who told US officials it was time to go public with the scale of Bashir’s theft in order to turn Sudanese public opinion against him.

“Ocampo suggested if Bashir’s stash of money were disclosed (he put the figure at $9bn), it would change Sudanese public opinion from him being a ‘crusader’ to that of a thief,” one report by a senior US official states. “Ocampo reported Lloyds bank in London may be holding or knowledgeable of the whereabouts of his money,” the cable says. “Ocampo suggested exposing Bashir had illegal accounts would be enough to turn the Sudanese against him.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/17/wikileaks-sudanese-president-cash-london

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