In a show of strength and increased military capacity, the Mozambican celebration of Armed Forces Day was used to show off new military hardware, including Marauder personnel carriers and Gazelle helicopters, which were bought from the Paramount Group. Four of the Marauders with heavy machinegun turrets took part in the 25 September Parade in Pemba. They were accompanied by 3 different helicopters. According to Africa Intelligence in December 2020, there was a reported agreement between Mozambique and Paramount to deliver at least 12 Marauder armoured vehicles and four Gazelle helicopters, with delivery beginning in February 2021 with the Gazelles. So far 15 Mozambican military pilots are believed to have been trained by Paramount at the company’s Paramount Technical Training Academy, which is based at the Polokwane International Airport. The training was given in conjunction with Burnham Global, which provided the operational training on the armoured vehicles in situ in Mozambique. The cost of this exercise and training and capacitation is not known, however on 23 February, in a joint statement, Paramount and Burnham Global announced a multimillion-dollar contract to provide a wide range of military training and advisory services. The statement did not explicitly name the country that contracted the Private Military Contractors, however, it is strongly believed to have been Mozambique.

Ivor Ichikowitz’s Paramount Group, based in Midrand, South Africa, is once again embroiled in scandal. This time, the private military contractor is accused of money laundering in Mali. According to the National Financial Information Procession Unit (CENTIF), in Bamako, a report shows a transfer made on 30 September 2005, by Arouna Thiam, who was acting as a conduit for Paramount to the Diamond Bank Senegal. The payments were allegedly in connection with a contract to supply armoured Marauders, both the vehicles and spare parts, for a total contract amount of approximately $60 million. As the intermediary, Thiam was paid approximately 20% of the contract amount into an escrow account, with the rest being paid over a period of 3 years in annual instalments. In return for these payments, Paramount was able to deliver and be paid for the Marauders within a period of 15 months. In the investigative report by CENTIF however, there is no performance contract/agreement to be found between Bamako and Paramount. Moreover, and possibly even worse, there was in the 2015 financial year no explicit budget allocated for these purchases, no proof of authorization of the purchase, no signed documents confirming the contract, and no proof of registration of Paramount in Mali in the documents seen by CENTIF auditors. In a series of hearings, Arouna Thiam confirmed he was an agent in charge of the development of Paramount’s business interests in Mali, and that he received transfers of more than $447 000 from the Paramount. In the same year as the contract was signed in Mali, Barclays New York reported several transactions deemed suspicious by Paramount Logistics Corp, a subsidiary of Paramount Group, from bank accounts in Cyprus and Dubai.

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