Sam Pa, head of the shadowy Hong Kong-based syndicate known as 88 Queensway Group, is reported to have been involved in trafficking weapons, smuggling diamonds, and bribing high-level officials for oil concessions. Through these and other acts, Pa has helped prop up some of the world’s most abusive regimes, particularly in Africa. Chinese authorities detained Pa earlier this October, which may signal the end for one of the most notorious actors to do business in Africa. Still, predatory investors will likely have little trouble taking Pa’s place, as the legal loopholes and systemic regulatory issues that allowed him to build his financial empire remain largely unaddressed.
A recent piece in African Arguments suggests that unless the shady global networks that Sam Pa exploited to make his fortune are dismantled, new actors will simply fill this void.
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(The Sentry, an initiative of the Enough Project, seeks to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts.)