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A costly lunch with the president’s son

It’s rare to get a glimpse into how companies and corrupt officials negotiate bribery deals.

Documents provided by one of the people involved in such a deal, enabled me to reconstruct the negotiation that led Sundance Resources, an Australian mining company, to give shares in its mining project to Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the son of Congo’s president. Turns out that corruption deals are negotiated mostly over lunch and email.

I published the story with Nick Mckenzie. We wrote a few articles, mostly in the Sydney Morning Herald and le Monde Afrique (in French). We also reported it in a documentary on the ABC.

The story was picked up by RFI, Jeune Afrique, Reuters and many others. Our findings started an investigation by the Australian Federal Police.

UPDATE: See also the following article on Sundance’s deal in Cameroon