Politics

Mercenaries, Missing Millions, Money Laundering?

Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars missing? Bribes? Money Laundering? Mercenaries, Military, Militias? Gina Rinehart’s dead family bodyguard? Swiss bank accounts? Senior politicians and officials in both Australia and PNG involved, or turning a blind eye for years?

While one thousand refugees remain trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare? That’s the cost of doing business on Manus Island argues Serkan Ozturk who looks at the shady entity called ‘Paladin’.

It’s the fast-moving fiasco that could arguably become one of the greatest political and military scandals in Australian history. Regardless, it will go down as yet another deep, dark stain on this country’s failure to provide adequately for the vulnerable. In a special forensic investigation, True Crime News Weekly will help join the dots of what has already become known as the #PaladinAffair. The widening scandal could very well be the final nail in the coffin for Scott Morrison’s government, as well as perhaps leading to the end of a few careers, starting with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Our investigation will show how a privatised quasi-version of the ADF with links to controversial and maligned mercenary groups such as Blackwater and Sandline International is – along with senior levels of the Australian Government – highly involved in the bribery of foreign officials as well as the laundering of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars meant to provide basic services for refugees.

WHAT’S THE DEAL

Over the space of the last two years, the Federal Government under the direction of Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs ministerial super agency has quietly awarded almost half-a-billion dollars worth of contracts without tender to one small company led by a man with a string of bad businesses and unpaid debts. The beneficiary has been the little-known Paladin Group. $423 million has been handed over to the private security contracting firm to provide security and other services at the Manus Island detention centre for asylum seekers. They even got a generous helping hand to get things going, with the thinly capitalised company given $10 million from the public purse as Paladin didn’t have any funds itself. For the first five months of the deal, Paladin were operating without a contract. Instead, they just had a letter of intent.

Almost $110 million of taxpayers funds was given to Paladin on January 3 just after the New Year despite the Federal Government being aware of a serious legal case launched against two of its directors alleging deceptive practices. Meanwhile, one of Paladin’s directors has been banned from entering PNG. While another was arrested just a fortnight ago for his involvement in fraud and money laundering. A former senior employee alleges large “ex-gratia payments” are being made by the company, and that it also lacks the resources to actually fulfill the government’s contract. Before greater media scrutiny over the past few days forced the company into some hasty moves, Paladin’s registered principal place of business was an isolated beach shack on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, with no phone number or mailing address listed. The beach shack remains the company’s registered address.

SEE THE CONTRACT WITH PALADIN HERE

An investigation by The Australian Financial Review has found Paladin is likely receiving more than $20 million a month from Dutton’s ministry, despite experts estimating the true cost to provide the required services being closer to $3 million each month. That means a clean $17 million each month is basically unaccounted for. Over 18 months, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars. Where is all that money going to?

Paladin is contracted to provide security, as well as some maintenance, IT services and local transport at the East Lorengau Transit Centre, Hillside Haus and the West Lorengau camp. Local guards working at the detention centre are believed to be getting paid only two dollars an hour. Vehicles are said to be run down. And there’s little fancy technology to speak of. Asylum seeker activists, such as Sarah Ruby and Amanda Perram, have been publicly voicing their concerns about the dubious contracts given to Paladin since 2017.

With the PNG Supreme Court ruling the detention centre on Manus Island was unconstitutional in April 2016, it made the few large and ‘reputable’ companies involved in the business of imprisoning asylum seekers fearful of getting involved due to fears of massive law suits. It was largely for this reason that Broadspectrum announced at the time it would not not extend its contract to run the centre after it expired in mid-2017. Its new Spanish owners, Ferrovial, did not want to risk future law suits from hundreds of refugees. For instance, despite providing services for Australia’s onshore immigration detention facilities, UK-based giant Serco has committed not to get involved again in Australia’s offshore facilities. But the PNG Supreme Court’s ruling provided a sly opportunity. An opportunity that politicians, military types and their coterie were only too happy to take advantage of. A quick buck’s a quick buck. Even what loot is grossly engineered off the backs of refugees.

WHAT IS PALADIN? WHO ARE ITS KNIGHTS & DAMES?

Paladin Aus Pty Ltd (formerly known as Paladin Group Pty Ltd, and briefly High Risk Security Group (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd is wholly owned by Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd, registered in Singapore. According to ASIC, they were notified of this change on 12 Feb 2019.

Prior to this, Paladin Aus was wholly owned by Paladin Group Limited, registered in Hong Kong.  ASIC was notified that Paladin Group Limited had acquired the issued shares in Paladin Aus from the sole and beneficial owner, Craig Ross Thrupp, on 19 November, 2013.

Thrupp, 38, is a former ADF soldier who served in East Timor. For the past few months, Thrupp has been banned from entering PNG. The reasons for his ban are unclear. It has been reported that Thrupp has “left a string of bad debts and failed contracts across Asia”. Questions have been raised as to how someone with his business history passed probity and background checks which are supposed to form a large part of government procurement and contracts.

Along with Thrupp, Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd’s directors are the British-born Ian Duncan Stewart; Birgitta Hildegard von Dresky, a lawyer based in Singapore with the German law firm Luther; and (Ian) Ng Fook Yun, a Singaporean lawyer with a small practice called INC Law LLC. Mr Yun also serves as the secretary of a business called DEALGURU Holdings Pte Ltd.

Paladin director Craig Thrupp (Image: UNSW)

Swiss Lawyer Brigitta Von Dresky

Von Dresky is a Swiss born lawyer who describes her area of expertise as mainly advising German and Swiss clients in relation to “the proper structuring of their business, financial and fiscal affairs” both in Singapore and elsewhere.

“Typically, this would include advice and guidance on M&A, Venture Capital, Private Equity, the setting up of corporate structures for the region, corporate restructuring, as well as drafting and negotiating the relevant contracts,” Von Dresky states on her bio.

She became a partner of Luther in 2008.

Paladin Holdings Pty Ltd’s shareholders are Stewart, 41, and Thrupp.

Ian Duncan Stewart

Stewart owns one of the company’s former principal place of business at 9 Torrens Street, Gilberton, South Australia with an individual by the name of Talei Anne Stewart. She holds a Masters in Psychology from Adelaide University. True Crime News Weekly suspects it could be his wife. It is likely the now-infamous beach shack on Kangaroo Island with no phone number or post box that was listed as Paladin’s head office in Australia is linked to the Stewarts as well.

Former Paladin Solutions PNG CEO: Craig Coleman (Image: Axinto)

Craig Coleman, a former Australian Army major who served in Iraq as a bomb disposal expert, became the CEO of Paladin Solutions PNG in about mid-2017 just as the company received its first massive contract for Manus Island from Dutton. He was sacked in January 2018, only a few months into the job after he raised concerns over a number of issues involving Paladin’s operations, including claims of deceptive conduct, bullying and a lack of preparedness and resources. In July of last year, Coleman launched legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Thrupp and Stewart, and is suing them for breach of contract for his sacking.

Before his short-lived stint with Paladin, Coleman was the CEO of an outfit called Professional Service Solutions (PSS). In June 2014, it was reported that an employee of Coleman’s, a woman by the name of Marnie Tisot, has been caught out spying on a group of anti-coal activists.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s report at the time, it was claimed that “using false identities, the spies-for-hire have attempted to penetrate the inner sanctum of a group of environmentalists and local landowners who have vigorously attempted to stop the coalmines at Maules Creek and Boggabri”.

Coleman denied his company had anything to do with the spying, saying that Tisot did it “in a personal capacity”.

“This has nothing to do with PSS,” he told the Herald. “I have confidentiality agreements with my staff and I’m sure whatever ops they had down at Maules Creek also had confidentiality agreements as well.”

Arrested for fraud and money laundering: Paladin director Kisokau Powaseu (Image: Facebook / Supplied)

Another senior employee of Paladin involved in a court battle – this one, of the criminal variety – is local PNG director Kisokau Powaseu. On January 31, he was arrested and charged with 109 counts of fraud as well as money laundering. A former 20-year veteran of PNG’s Armed Forces, the charges relate to the 58-year-old’s “purported involvement in the misapplication of Commercial Support Program Funds belonging to the defence force between 2008 and 2011.” Powaseu’s family have been linked in business with Thrupp and Stewart since at least 2015.

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Others connected to Paladin include Canberra consultant David Mayo and former ADF infantry officer, James Kiwi. Mayo has previously worked at Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services. The pair were involved with a company called Dreamtime Indigenous Services that has ties to Paladin through its share ownership. Kiwi’s LinkedIn account seems to have been shut down very recently, while his presence was removed from the company’s website in recent days. However, his bio can still be accessed through a ZoomInfo page.

Another notable employee of Paladin seems to be a certain Brisbane-based Karen Dutton. She too has deleted her LinkedIn account in the past few days. Rumours have been raised as to whether she may be a relative of the Home Affairs Minister. She had previously been employed by Broadspectrum and before that was a teacher with Queensland’s Education Department. True Crime News Weekly could not ascertain her identity and whether she is a familial relation to Peter Dutton before she switched off her LinkedIn profile.

  • Karen Dutton who works for Paladin – her work history from Linkedin is below (Image: LinkedIn / Supplied)

Finally, we have a certain Lawrence Kedea. According to his LinkedIn profile, Kedea is a Paladin employee having previously been linked to Black Swan, a local PNG security provider. Black Swan was purchased by Paladin in July of last year for an undisclosed sum. There have long been rumours that Black Swan operates as PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neil’s private militia.

Of even deeper concern are two notorious mercenary outfits with a controversial history for whom Kedea has seemingly worked for: Sandline International and Blackwater.

Sandline International was a private military company based in London. In 1997 it made headlines around the world after getting itself involved in a political scandal in PNG that resulted in rioting, looting and almost a military coup. Local members of the military had become upset the PNG Government was using and handsomely paying foreign mercenaries in their battle against separatists in Bouganville. The political scandal became known as the Sandline Affair.

Kedea also has experience working for Blackwater – perhaps the most notorious private military company in recent decades. Many observers view Blackwater as a mercenary force. The author Jeremy Scahill has likened the mercenary group to a “Praetorian Guard, protecting top authority figures and enjoying immunity from the usual constraints and regulations on traditional armies”.

Paladin Aus has two registered business names: Security Risk Australia and Greater Monaro ECM. Its current registered office is care of Addept, a small accounting firm.

United Overseas Bank has registered an all monies charge over Paladin Holdings Pte Ltd, which suggests that it has lent money to Paladin Holdings. But it’s not clear why, since Paladin is clearly in receipt of significant funds.

True Crime News Weekly believes that Swiss bank accounts or similar trusts are receiving monies out of Paladin Holdings with money then being fed back to the ultimate beneficiaries, whoever they may be, through arm’s length third party companies.

FROM BRIGADIER TO PALADIN CEO

David Saul is an intelligent man.

A graduate of one of the country’s most academically gifted schools Melbourne High, he holds a BA (Hons) in History and Economics from the University of NSW, as well as a Master of Defence Studies and an MBA. From 2006 until 2010 he held a number of senior positions with the Australian Defence Force. He was the Commander of a heavy logistics and medical brigade numbering some 2,500 Army personnel. Then, for almost two years he was the ADF’s Director General for Strategic Logistics. Judging by his biography and his accomplishments, Saul sounds like a man who knows what’s he doing, and how to do it.

In an article for the Australian Army Journal in 2007 titled
‘Hardened, Networked … and Commercially capable: Army and contractor support on operations’ Saul largely sang the praises of using private contractors alongside the ADF in military operations. However, using the Iraq War as an example, he could see how serious problems could develop in the field:

“Difficulties in securing contracted support in Iraq occurred in various situations, including when services needed to be expanded or replicated in different locations quickly, specifically in less than ninety days,” Saul wrote 12 years ago.

“When local providers were involved and these contractors were subjected to intimidation, including death threats and kidnappings, the provision of services such as tentage or a labour force was unreliable or non-existent. Only one or two companies bid for contracted work outside well-established bases and this resulted in grossly inflated costs and often left no mechanism to compare proposed costs. Further to this, unscrupulous contractors took advantage of poor contract management and failed to perform the contracted services.”

After reading those words, it may then come as a surprise for some to learn that he is the current CEO of Paladin: the shady private security company with deep links to the ADF and the governments of both Australia and PNG that’s now making headlines after being given almost half-a-billion dollars without tender to ‘look after’ refugees still languishing on Manus Island.

His job as Paladin’s CEO is a position that Saul seemingly doesn’t really want anyone to know about though. He’s nowhere to be seen on any of the websites linked to Paladin. On his LinkedIn page, Saul cleverly lists his current occupation only as a “Senior Executive at Private Risk, Security and Support Services Company”. Which according to his bio, he began in August 2018.

  • D
  • David Saul (Image: Supplied / LinkedIin)

The only hint of Saul possibly being linked to the controversial Paladin comes from a Zoom Info page. Right at the top. He’s listed as CEO. It’s a somewhat solid though tenuous link. It could be outdated. It could be wrong, or completely made up. However, thanks to a photo-happy diplomat True Crime News Weekly can provide some evidence of much greater consequence.

Just a few weeks ago, in late January, Saul so happened to be in the nation’s capital, Canberra. He was visiting PNG’s Acting High Commissioner, Sakias Tomeo. What they may have talked about, one does wonder, but a photo exists which captures the two in a handshake. Tomeo even posted it on Facebook, with the following caption: “Acting High Commissioner Tameo with CEO of PALADIN, Mr David Saul at the PNG High Commission this morning”.

The next post to feature on Tameo’s Facebook page is a photo with Prime Minister Minister Scott Morrison on Australia Day.

GINA RINEHART, THE SAS SOLDIER & PALADIN

Jeremiah John Rouwhorst was in East Timor just a year after the 2006 East Timorese Crisis which almost saw a military coup take place. And he became a hero there. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2007. Rouwhorst was surrounded by a crowd of almost 200 people baying for blood near the World Bank building in the country’s impoverished capital of Dili. A riot broke out. Police officers were attacked and vehicles smashed. The incident has since been described as follows:

“As events intensified, a man was hit by stones and knocked unconscious. While he lay defenceless on the ground, rioters continued to attack him with sticks and rocks. Witnessing the callous act, Mr Rouwhorst left the safety of the Bank and tried to drag the victim into the bank compound. While dragging the victim into the compound he came under heavy attack. Once inside Mr Rouwhorst began administering first aid to the victim but was forced to retreat deeper into the compound to shelter from the barrage of stones. Realising the victim required hospital treatment, Mr Rouwhorst placed the man in a bank vehicle, and as they headed out into the crowd of rioters to drive to hospital, their windows were smashed in a sustained attack.”

The man would later die in hospital from his wounds. Rouwhorst would eventually, in 2014, be awarded a bravery medal by Australia’s Governor-General. But just two days later at the age of 35, he too would be dead.

It is believed Rouwhorst was in East Timor working as a private security contractor having a few years earlier left the SAS. There is scant information about him.

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It is possible he had dealings with former soldier and future Paladin director, Craig Thrupp, who had arrived in East Timor in 2006 looking to make profit from the chaos on the streets.

In any case, after East Timor and his display of heroics, the Tasmanian-born special forces soldier would soon score work as a private security guard for the Australian ambassador in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Australia’s richest person: Mining magnate Gina Rinehart who is closely linked to a director of Paladin who died in strange circumstances in 2014 but was kept on as a company representative for over a year (Image: Wikipedia)

By March 2013, he would end up taking a job as a bodyguard for the family of mining billionaire Gina Rinehart: Australia’s richest person, one of the richest women in the world, and believed to be one of the principal funders of conservative causes in the nation.

Rouwhorst’s main responsibility was to be deployed as the bodyguard for Rinehart’s youngest and perhaps favourite daughter, Ginia. During Rinehart’s well-publicised, ongoing bitter dispute with her own children regarding a billion dollar trust, Ginia was the only one who took her mother’s side from the very beginning.

According to a News Corp article a little after his death, Rouwhorst and Ginia were described as “inseparable” by one source who was said to be a “Rinehart insider”. The source was also quoted at the time saying:

“He joined her at parties and gatherings where there was absolutely no imminent threat to her personal safety,” the source told News Corp.

“When she would nip from one room to the next, he would be right with her.”

Rouwhorst died on March 19, 2014, three days after being found naked and unconscious in a room at the five-star Dorchester Hotel. Ginia was the first person to find him after going to his room at about midday, concerned by a text message he had sent. It has been reported that Rouwhorst had tried hanging himself. He had been residing in a suite next to Ginia’s for three months. His death came less than a day after throwing a party for Ginia ahead of her return to Australia, and just two days after the bravery award. A police officer who attended the scene said Ginia was “obviously very distressed and at one point she even collapsed in the hotel corridor”.

Bodyguard and deceased Paladin director, Jerry Rouwhorst (Image: News Corp)

A Coroner’s Court in London heard that the “professional” Rouwhorst had for some reason consumed an “uncharacteristic” amount of alcohol on the night of the party. Apparently “ashamed” and “disgraced” about his behaviour, at just before 10.30am on March 16, the morning after the party, Rouwhorst send a text message to his client saying he would be resigning from his position as her bodyguard. Ginia told the coroner’s court she had been sleeping from 8am until about midday after Rouwhorst had picked her up from a friend’s place in the posh neighbourhood of Chelsea.

The inquest into Rouwhorst’s death returned an open verdict.

“It is possible he sent the text message as a possible cry for help and was hoping to be found. I cannot be sure he wanted to kill himself,” Assistant Coroner Shirley Radcliffe ruled.

“One thinks that this may have been an impulsive gesture whilst under the influence of alcohol. He was devastated at having lost an element of his professionalism the night before.

“This may have been suicide, I cannot be sure. It may have been an accident, I cannot be sure.”

A bit over two years later, Ginia would end up marrying another member of her bodyguard team – former SAS soldier Simon Robinson. At the wedding was Fairfax Media director Jack Cowin, media millionaire John Singleton, as well as the former Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce. It was to Joyce whom Rinehart infamously awarded an oversized cheque worth $40,000 in November 2017. The man now known as “The Bonking Beetroot” initially accepted his prize before sobering up the next morning and realising it kind of put potential corruption on full display.

The tale of Rouwhorst is a tragic one. It’s also gravely mysterious. From June 2009 until August 2015, Rouwhorst was listed alongside Thrupp as a director of Paladin Group Limited. His directorship and connection with Paladin stayed alive over a year longer than he did. Dead men tell no tales though so we can not question Rouwhorst on how this ghoulish feat was managed. Thrupp remains the sole director of the existing company.

PALADIN AND THE LINK TO LIBERAL PARTY MILITARY MAN & OPERATION SOVEREIGN BORDERS ARCHITECT JIM MOLAN

Manus Island is of course part of the Federal Government’s suite of punishing measures for asylum seekers who dare attempt to come to Australia by boat. From 2013 onwards, under the LNP Government, Australia has undertaken a “military led” operation to protect its national borders from asylum seekers on boats seeking an escape from persecution in Australia.

One of the chief architects of the Operation Sovereign Borders plan was former Iraq War major general, Jim Molan. He is now a federal Senator for the Liberal Party. After many years of trying, and with the support of Tony Abbott, Molan finally got into the Senate in December 2017, replacing Nationals politician Fiona Nash who was ruled ineligible to sit for Parliament because of her British citizenship.

Molan has never shied away from his single-minded belief that locking up weaponless and vulnerable asylum seekers in concentration camps is beneficial for the nation. In late 2016, during the ABC’s Q&A program, he claimed that medical services and conditions for asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru were better than most Australian towns.

“We are so far ahead of refugee camps throughout the world compared to Manus Island that it is not funny,” Molan told the largely disbelieving audience.

Earlier this month, Molan claimed the recent ‘Medivac’ Bill that passed Parliament after an embarrassing and historic defeat for the Federal Government and which will now allow doctors a greater say in the medical treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru was only “about politicising border control”.

However, due to his own long career with the ADF, it is likely Molan himself is possibally linked to Paladin; one of the companies that is now relied upon to maintain Operation Sovereign Borders.

During a studio interview with the SBS foreign affairs show Dateline in August 2011, Molan was joined by none other than recently sacked Paladin Solutions PNG CEO, Craig Coleman. Molan was in Canberra, while Coleman was in Brisbane. The pair discussed the chances of the West prevailing in Afghanistan. At the time of the interview, Coleman had been running a “project management business in Afghanistan overseeing development projects in the most dangerous corners of the country” for the past seven years.

OTHER CONTRACTS ON MANUS

Before Paladin was seeing hundreds of millions of dollars come its way from about mid-2017 onwards, Broadspectrum had earlier received about $2 billion over a number of years to provide security and other essential services for the Manus Island concentration camp. Following a takeover by Spanish conglomerate Ferrovial, the company announced in April 2016 that it would not seek to extend its contract when it came to an end in October 2017.

There are a number of other contracts on Manus Island and Nauru related to Australia’s asylum seekers policies that at the very least seem overinflated. Canstruct is a small Brisbane civil engineering company that also happens to be a donor to the Liberal Party. It received at least $385 million in November 2017 to provide garrison and welfare services on Nauru. Its offices seem to be a shared outer-suburban shed in Queensland. At the time, it was reported that a Senates Estimates hearing held a month earlier had hear that Canstruct lacked experience in the provision of welfare services. The company’s CEO is Rory Murphy.

Moreover, the ‘Medivac’ Bill that passed parliament earlier this month has simply highlighted the terrible medical services available for refugees detained on Manus and Nauru. Many serious health complaints suffered by detainees are dealt with by being supplied with paracetamol. Many asylum seekers are heavily dosed with other prescription medication such as Valium and Largactil. The lack of treatment and care facilities has led to what would usually be considered mild medical conditions flaring up to become chronic and serious. It is believed about a dozen refugees have died while detained on Manus Island. Medical providers such as International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) were given close to $2 billion over six separate contracts. The company has links to former military personnel.

WHO IS PROFITING FROM THIS?

According to reports from PNG, that country’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, is alleged to be one of the main beneficiaries of the missing hundreds of millions of dollars linked to Paladin. It is believed O’Neil is funneling the ill-gotten gains in a bid to rig PNG’s upcoming elections. It is believed O’Neil rigged the previous election in 2017, which secured himself a second term as the nation’s leader.

Paladin was given the contract to provide garrison services at Manus Island in September 2017, just a month after O’Neil’s successful election which is believed to have also been helped along by the Australian Government.

The banning of Paladin director, Craig Thrupp, and the arrest of local director, Kisokau Powaseu, are said to be classic power plays from O’Neil’s ‘handbook’.

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review has followed up its impressive reporting with evidence that funds given to Paladin are also finding their way to the families of other senior PNG politicians such as the country’s parliamentary speaker, Job Pomat.

Former Manus MP, Ron Knight, has alleged that senior politicians in the Australian Government, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, are also handsomely profiting from the Paladin scandal.

“Seeing what’s on the ground and what services [there are], I would say less than 10% of that funding is put to use. I believe it’s a cash cow for some very smart pollies in both countries. The standard rip-off in PNG is hyperinflating costs,” Knight has posted on Twitter.

“For example, a road worth $2 million contracted for $20 million.”

Knight also delivered a message squarely aimed at Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Dutton.

“Are you not the PM who is supposed to make the hard decisions? That’s why you and Dutton score the big bucks! (Even the bucks we supposed to not know about) Don’t blame it on flunkies. Your [sic] the boss the buck stops there and shit rolls down hill. Ya know very well ya’ll are crooks.”

WHAT DOES THE PALADIN AFFAIR MEAN

From a wider political, economic and sociological perspective, the Paladin Affair is yet another symbol of the moral malaise the modern liberal nation-state finds itself in. No longer able to foist colonialist attitudes in the open, it must be done under the cover of darkness. In this case, we have a front group of people highly connected with the nation’s military and political elites who have created a channel to illegally transfer resources from the Australian public while helping imprison some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the overwhelming majority of whom have not committed a crime by seeking safe refuge.

Quite simply, the level of greed and lack of basic ethics is astounding. The bodies of asylum seekers, many of them Muslim, are being used as a political cash cow. People are literally dying as capital flows from Australia and then eventually to the locked bank accounts of Switzerland and various tax havens belonging to the already wealthy and powerful.

But at its heart, the Paladin Affair is a simple story of bribery and money laundering. And for that, we can only hope the Australian public seeks some sort of justice soon for the hundreds of millions swindled in their name.

Not many people like thieving criminals. Especially political ones.

– Additional reporting by Michael Nelson

  • First published at True Crime News Weekly – 18 February 2019
  • See: https://truecrimenewsweekly.com/the-dark-knights-of-paladin-mercenaries-missing-millions-money-laundering-the-minister-responsible-for-one-of-australias-biggest-scandals/

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