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FBI locks out anti-Taib protesters

KUCHING: Embarrassed officials from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Northwestern headquarters in Seattle refused to meet with protesters of the “Anti-Taib Mahmud” campaign yesterday and instead ordered the building security to lock them out. 
The FBI's office in Seattle slammed its doors
shut on 'Anti-Taib Mahmud' campaigners and
refused to engage in a dialogue with Bruno Manser Fund.

The campaigners, who were protesting against the injustices meted out to the indigenous communities in Sarawak and the massive raping of the Borneo rainforest, were demonstrating in front of the FBI field office located in the Abraham Lincoln building.

The FBI premises is owned by Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud through Wallysons Inc, a Washington state corporation.

Wallysons Inc was among 49 companies in Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund’s blacklist of Taib-linked companies in eight countries estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of US dollars.

Wallysons chairman is Taib’s son, Sulaiman Rahman, while Taib’s Canadian son-in-law, Sean Murray, is its president.

According to BMF, security guards at the Abraham Lincoln building locked the door upon seeing the arrival of the protesters.

“It was clear that the FBI does not wish to broach the sensitive issue that the US government is renting the building from the corrupt Malaysian Taib family.

“A security guard explained that the anti-Taib campaigner would not be allowed to enter the building nor take photographs of the high-security premises,” BMF said on its website.
The FBI’s Seattle field office is in charge of combating terrorism in Asia, securing the US-Canadian border and fighting against public corruption and money-laundering.

San Francisco next
BMF said that it had written to the head of the Seattle FBI office, Laura M Laughlin, requesting a formal meeting with the agency.

“Given the FBI’s strong stand against public corruption, we believe it is unacceptable for the FBI to rent its office space from a kleptocratic Malaysian family that is systematically abusing its political power for personal gains”, BMF wrote in its letter to Laughlin.

BMF has described Taib as “one of Southeast Asia’s most corrupt politicians and the chief culprit in the destructive logging of several hundred thousand hectares of Borneo rainforest”.
A second protest is scheduled to be held in San Francisco on March 9.

The San Francisco protest will be held outside the Citibank branch which is ensconed within another Taib-owned building and the “seat” of his US-operation, Sakti International Corporation.
According to BMF, Sakti used to be headed by the late Ross Boyert. After being dismissed by the Taibs, Boyert filed legal action against Sakti at a San Francisco court in early 2007.

In September 2010, Boyert was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel.

Sarawak Report yesterday released a 16-minute video interview held with Boyert before his death.

In the interview, Boyert openly figured Taib as the real owner of the company, saying: “Taib is the owner of this company and all of its assets.“

BMF has also urged the US government to investigate Boyert’s allegations against the Taibs and the circumstances of his death.

“We are therefore asking the FBI and the US government to review its rental contracts with Wallysons Inc, to investigate the Taib family under the US anti-money laundering legislation and to freeze all Taib assets in the US.”

The US protests followed similar campaigns in London and Ottawa (Canada) on Feb 28. More such protests are also expected to be held in other countries hosting Taib-linked companies.

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