LETTER: Independent specialists needed to recover SA’s stolen SOE loot
Paul Hoffman's proposed SPV should be staffed with independent and fearless personnel of impeccable integrity
Paul Hoffman doesn't go far enough on the topic of recovering the loot of state capture (“Criminal action cannot be first option to recover stolen SOE loot”, February 18).
The point needs to be made that the special purpose vehicle he envisages should not only be separated from fearful employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the state itself, but should also be staffed with independent and fearless personnel of impeccable integrity who will not fall prey to the threats and wiles of the kleptocrats and their fellow travellers.
It is also worth noting that the state probably does not have the accounting and forensic investigating skills that exist in the private sector. These have already been offered to the state and to the SOEs, which do not seem to have been keen to accept them. The skills could be effectively tapped by duly instructed attorneys, who could be asked to tender on the project of recovering the loot of state capture, perhaps on a contingency fee basis.
Many specialists in this little-known field understandably keep a low public profile, and build connections with US homeland security operatives as well as with Scotland Yard’s Serious Fraud Office and other similar agencies. These connections are invaluable, as are the services of attorneys and senior counsel who are well versed in the intricacies of tracking, tracing, freezing and recovering loot in the civil courts, both here and abroad.
The economic health of SA depends on the strategic use of these skills and resources to rake back the loot.
John Brand,Via e-mail
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