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    UK Foreign Aid Agency Accused of Sponsoring Fraudsters

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    The UK Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), responsible for boosting economic growth in developing states, allegedly poured taxpayers' millions into companies reportedly connected with looting and money laundering.

    MOSCOW, January 29 (Sputnik) — The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a British foreign aid government-sponsored agency, has invested large amounts of taxpayer money in overseas companies allegedly linked to criminals, according to a report by UK Committee of Public Accounts issued Thursday.

    "Some of PIDG's investments raise questions over its decision making and the Department's oversight," the report said. "We questioned the Department [for International Development] and the Private Infrastructure Development Group on alleged links between investments funded by PIDG with UK taxpayers' money and companies associated with known criminal fraudsters."

    In one example, PIDG's Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund provided 20 million of pounds [$30 million] to Nigerian oil and gas company Seven Energy, for a gas processing and distribution project, despite the company's questionable reputation.

    "Seven Energy was named by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in a 2014 investigation he conducted into the allegations of looting of Nigerian oil revenues," the report highlights.

    PIDG also allocated 19 million of pounds [$28 million] to a power plant project in the Ivory Coast, in collaboration with fellow investor and UK citizen James Ibori, who became a Nigerian governor, prior to his 2012 conviction and served 12-year sentence in the United Kingdom for multiple counts of money laundering and fraud.

    The UK Department for International Development, a major funder of the PIDG, is likely to see its activity examined by the Committee of Public Accounts and the National Audit Office on whether British government expenditures were granted inappropriately, according to British media.

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    fraud, Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), UK Committee of Public Accounts, Britain
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