Australian Police move to seize ex-South Sudanese General’s $1.5m Narre Warren mansion

BY: DAVID HURLEY, Herald Sun, FEB/09/2018, SSN;

POLICE have moved to seize a $1.5 million mansion in Melbourne’s southeast from the family of a former South Sudanese (Chief of Staff) general linked to the nation’s military elite which fleeced millions of dollars from the war-torn country.

The Australian Federal Police took the case against General James Hoth Mai Nguoth, and several members of his family, to the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday as it pushes ahead with a proceeds of crime restraint.

It is targeting the luxury Narre Warren home, which has an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, as well as an Audi owned by the family.

Gen Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Investigators from the AFP’s Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) launched a probe into the purchase of the property in September 2016 following allegations that several former and current South Sudanese public officials have bought houses in Australia with the proceeds of corruption.

General James Hoth Mai’s family bought the sprawling Narre Warren property in 2014 when his wife and children were living in taxpayer-funded housing commission accommodation.

Police have moved to seize the $1.5 million mansion in Narre Warren. Gen Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators targeting those who profit from genocide in Africa co-founded by actor George Clooney.

Gen Hoth Mai served as the chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from May 2009 to April 2014.

Before that he was the deputy chief of staff for logistics. Investigators understand his biggest salary was no more than $58,000 a year.

J.R. Bailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said the group found information regarding the General’s purchase of the Narre Warren house in 2016.

“Gen Hoth Mai is a well-known military commander in South Sudan,” Mr Bailey said. “We discovered his purchase of the Melbourne home during a 2016 investigation into the assets accrued by senior South Sudanese military and government officials.”

“The Sentry found Hoth Mai’s purchase of the Melbourne home to be noteworthy — and worthy of additional scrutiny — for several reasons.”

General James Hoth Mai was named in a 2016 report compiled by The Sentry, a team of investigators co-founded by actor George Clooney.

The Sentry report accuses senior officials on relatively low salaries in South Sudan of profiteering from the country’s civil war.

“First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonably afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank,” Mr Bailey said.

“Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.”

“Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.”

“We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”

Shortly after The Sentry published its report — War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan — the AFP launched a probe with help from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Investigators visited the Narre Warren property in August 2016 and saw a BMW 316i, used by one of Gen Hoth Mai’s daughters, in the driveway.

An AFP spokeswoman said: “The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.”

The General and his family did not appear at the County of Court of Victoria on Tuesday when the AFP’s criminal assets confiscation and proceeds of crime matter was heard. The case, before Judge Susan Cohen, was adjourned for three weeks.

Clooney, writing in The Sentry’s 2016 report, said the organisation’s investigators spent two years “following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy”.

“The Sentry’s investigation has generated substantial information indicating that top officials ultimately responsible for mass atrocities in South Sudan have at some time managed to accumulate fortunes, despite modest government salaries,” Clooney said.

The original sale documents for the Narre Warren property lists the general’s wife, Nyawarga Hoth Mai, as the buyer.

The luxury Narre Warren home has an infinity pool. The documents were then altered on the day the sale went through in August 2014 and buyer was listed as the general’s son, Nguoth Oth Mai, an Australian citizen.

Barrister Simon McGregor, for the General’s family, declined to comment.

The AFP’s legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. Criminal charges have not been laid against the General or his family.

david.hurley@news.com.au
@davidhurleyHS

FROM THE EDITOR, SOUTH SUDAN NATION:
LET’S ALL JOIN IN SUPPORT OF THE SENTRY CAMPAIGN BY REVELING AND REPORTING ALL THOSE IN KIIR’S GOVERNMENT WHO’VE STOLEN THE NATION’S MONEY AND HAVE PURCHASED SUCH ABOMINABLE HOMES OR HAVE SET UP BUSINESSES IN THEIR FAMILIES’ NAMES.

THE SOUTHSUDANNATION.COM IS EVER READY TO PUBLISH ANY DOCUMENT PERTAINING TO THESE CRIMES, WHETHER THEY ARE IN CANADA, USA, EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA.

ONE STEP FORWARD FOR JUSTICE IN SOUTH SUDAN.

20 Comments

  1. Eastern says:

    False Millionaire,

    Are you there? The Sentry has now started biting….Closer to home, they should attack Malong’s and Oyayi’s properties in Uganda, Kiir’s and Riek’s properties in Kenya, etc.

    Kleptocracy can be discouraged in South Sudan if the world acted like Australia. Let me now see morons for hire demonstrating against Australian government in Juba!

    • Elhag Paul says:

      FPD False Millionaire
      You are pointing finger at your colleagues. What about you, the slimiest of them thieves? We the people of South Sudan will come after you all the “idiots rotten to the core” You have destroyed our country and you think you will get away with it. Perfidious creatures!

  2. Elhag Paul says:

    I hope that the Assusies start investigating Kiir’s extended family next. They are doing good job fishing out the Juba criminals

  3. Mor-amook says:

    I support recovery of looted money by whoever, starting from top to middle because the bottom cannot loot resources like the big fish.
    Let them check Kiir, Dr. Riak, Majak Agot, Pagan Amuom, Nyandeeng and all those who were in the government from 2005 – 2016. The money should be returned to South Sudan for development, I mean an international company be identified through transparent process and awarded contract to construct roads and be given that $1.5m of Gen Hoth Mai if it is true and not propaganda.

    • D. Manyok says:

      I am here in Australia and I can tell you with absolute certainty, that it is true. In Australia there is a strong rule of law and if the general’s family can not provide legally reasonable explanation of where they got their fortune, they will lose their properties to the commonwealth of Australia, unfortunately not South Sudan. The lucky corrupt goon are those who bought properties in Kenya and Uganda because those countries are as well corrupt on their own.

  4. False Millionnaire says:

    Easter,
    Your point agreed,if u haven’t pinched any one’s bread and u haven’t kicked a dog to cause some one an injustice,all that you said is more than fine with me.
    Just never shorten to understand that,australien concept of justice and moral conducts are the same as those of the great britain.The idiot named Elhag Paul is here going Merry without knowing that he is in a spotlight for the internet incitments that have cost innocent lives on road targeting violence.He is one among those with something to be worried about.

    • Eastern says:

      False Millionaire,

      Elhag Paul is more of a tribune; a champion of people’s right. He uses his time and resources to bring to the public domain what kleptocrats thought would remain unearthed.

      The best inciters in the country are chief Macham, Makuei, Malong, Manyang, Mayardit,…….just wondering why their names all starts with the letter “M”.

      Be very afraid, False Millionaire; the millions you acquired falsely would haunt you! It’s already started with Hoth Mai. For the time being those with ill-gotten wealth/properties stashed away in Uganda and Kenya are safe thanks to the regimes of Museveni and UhuRuto. That won’t last forever though.

    • Elhag Paul says:

      FPD False Millionaire
      When I complete my enquiry about you and spill the beans, you will not be able to look other South Sudanese in the eye. I have nothing to worry about. However, your current worries are nothing. Once you have been unmasked you will be a goldfish with nowhere to hide. It is good that the future belongs to the people and not the thieves masquerading as military officers/politicians. The end of your abuse of South Sudan is coming to an end.

  5. Tyson says:

    Editor,
    This is the best news of the year!
    If all the other government in Europe, America, Asia and the stooges in Africa can recover the money looted by these idiots, it will be great! This will be a turning over in the history of this poor nation.
    The first class thieves and hard core criminals are the Jieng followed by the Naath and then the confused Equatorians. Bravo, the Australian government

  6. Gatdarwich says:

    Fabricated claim against General Mai. Only the traitorous Jenges are the thieves in GOSS not Nuer.

  7. Dhong says:

    I want the investiagation to be inclusive,Dogs have accumulated wealth within glimpses of an eye at the expense of the poor south sudan.

    • Mor-amook says:

      I don’t agree with Mr. Gatdarwich, stealing money in the government has no tribe. To be honest, the innocent south Sudanese accuse all those who participated in the government from 2005 – 2017 especially top positions starting from governors regardless of tribes. If they are all investigated today everyone including Kiir and Dr. Riak will not be found clean my brother including my governor and your governor, the former and the current.

      Our problem as south sudanese, we are defensive along tribal line even if truth is evident. Nobody is clean including equatorians who has/had been in the government. Let us accept reality and not to defend our tribesmen for the sake of defending. Also, corruption has no degree to be compromised, even taking 100 USD from public money for personal gain is big corruption and we cannot say it’s ok, not like so and so who took 1 millions. Therefore, from 1 SSP to trillions is corruption.

  8. mading says:

    Gatdarwich. People like you in South Sudan are not worth talking to, because you are so sick with Muonyjaang hatred to the point that you don’t see the truth. Australia government caught Hoth red handed, not your easy target Jieng or any tribe member in Equatoria did it.

  9. Beek says:

    Saddam was treated like a cow. They will hang you.

  10. False Millionnaire says:

    Eastern,
    It’s à pity to see u crossing the desrt after the apparent golden days in
    Sarbon.
    Why would a material millionaire waste his time debating matters of conviction for?
    Elhag is writing,”We south sudanese”,what is this fool talking about?
    The gaps are narrowing mec.The next bad surprise of your life will be the lowest of the jieng like Nyandeng inking à deal in a broad day light to hand over the oil to the yankees who will give her the green light to place you under the sol of her feet for centuries.
    That’s the issue you should be very worried about instead of allowing the whisky influenced brain to mislead you into hallucinating that an invisible internet debater named false Millionnaire is a true material millionaire by merit of stollen money.

    • Eastern says:

      False Millionaire,

      My alma matar is Sorbonne Univery not what you spelled here. French Excellence. Be part of it. Sorbonne University.

      That being said, we will dig out your ill-gotten wealth from wherever you have stashed it the way rodents dig out nuts during periods of scarcity.

      There’s no problem striking oil extraction deals with America; China and Russia are two countries with a lot of innocent African bloods in their hands: the easy availability of the death machinein Africa, the AK47 and its variants, can be traced back to China and Russia. Taban Deng is in agreement with this observation. The youth for hire, aka the unknown Gunmen in Juba just emphasised. Chief Machan echoed the same view. Please go ahead and attack the US Embassy in Juba at the heart of Kololo area. Libya did that why not the mighty South Sudan?

  11. Deng Hanbol says:

    There is no better word to describe this disgrace Nuer Wew. Hoth Mai is a traitor and disgrace. In fact, he’s a dirty rotten traitor.

  12. Malouda says:

    That is what is going in South Sudan since our hero Dr. Garang got lost.This looting and destruction of our nation is not only from this looter you mentioned above ,but most of our senior officials in army or in civil servant whether in government or in opposition are all like the one you mentioned and even some of them are more than what general Hoth looted.Let us pray to almighty God to bring to us the one who will bring back our looted properties.

  13. Mor-amook says:

    We better understand things in the line of national interest like points from Mr. Malouda. You are true southerner Malouda, we need people who look at thing holistically not narrowly like the so call Gatdarwich who doesn’t know any other thing than Jieng as the only bad thing on the planet. Shame on you Gatdarwich!!

    If we meet on social media to think about future of our country as one people regardless of tribe, we can bring change in future. But, if we keep saying so and so, it will not take us anywhere but only protracted suffering.

    So thanks Malouda

  14. mading says:

    Deng Hanbol. Not James Hoth only, Hoth is the begging of everything. But he is not the only evil, others are coming including those who are still in the government and those who are out, you need to know that your evil uncle Riek, Pagan, Nyandeng and her weir looking son Mabior, Majak Agot, Salva Kiir, Thomas Crillo Joseph Bangesi, and others are having many sleepless nights since Hoth’s news broke, So don’t put the whole blame on James Hoth back a lone.

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