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Pictured: ‘Corrupt’ Sudanese general’s housing commission home

This is the housing commission home lived in by a Sudanese general’s family before they suspiciously bought a $1.5million mansion.

General James Hoth Mai, who served as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s chief of staff from May 2009 until April 2014, has been accused by a private investigations team founded by George Clooney of stealing money from his war-torn country’s coffers.

Police are now probing how his son Ngouth, who moved to Australia with his mother and two sisters on humanitarian visas in 2001, bought a sprawling mansion in Narre Warren, Melbourne in 2014. 

It was a world away from the humble bungalow in Endeavour Hills where the family lived while allegedly claiming a total of $460,000 in benefits.

This is the housing commission home lived in by a Sudanese general's family before they suspiciously bought a $1.5million mansion

This is the housing commission home lived in by a Sudanese general’s family before they suspiciously bought a $1.5million mansion

Lavish: Police launched proceedings to seize a $1.5million mansion (pictured) owned by the family of a former South Sudanese general in February

Lavish: Police launched proceedings to seize a $1.5million mansion (pictured) owned by the family of a former South Sudanese general in February

Luxury: General James Hoth Mai Nguoth served as the Sudan People's Liberation Army's chief of staff from May 2009 until April 2014. Pictured: The swimming pool

Luxury: General James Hoth Mai Nguoth served as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s chief of staff from May 2009 until April 2014. Pictured: The swimming pool

Nguoth Oth Mai's sister drives a a BMW 316i around the coast of Australia. The car was found outside the sprawling mansion by private investigators

Nguoth Oth Mai’s sister drives a a BMW 316i around the coast of Australia. The car was found outside the sprawling mansion by private investigators

The 23-year-old allegedly paid for the house by cheque after receiving the money in several transactions to a fake business he set up called Sportscars Pty Ltd. 

The funds came from accounts in Uganda and Kenya via banks in Dubai, police say. Ngouth allegedly transferred the money into another account before paying for the house.

An affidavit filed by the AFP as part of civil action in the County Court of Victoria and seen by news.com claims the family lived in commission housing and declared no income to the taxman.

The AFP’s Graham White said in the court documents: ‘At the time of the purchase [Ngouth] was not employed and had been receiving youth allowance from the Australian Government since 2008.’

‘Ngouth used the funds in Sportscars’ NAB bank account to purchase the Narre Warren property in his sole name. I suspect that Sportscar was set up for the sole purpose of moving money from overseas into Australia to purchase the property without alerting Centrelink.’ 

Palatial: In 2016 General Hoth was accused of stealing money from his war-torn country's coffers in a report by an investigations team called The Sentry which was founded by Clooney. Pictured: The snooker room in his house

Palatial: In 2016 General Hoth was accused of stealing money from his war-torn country’s coffers in a report by an investigations team called The Sentry which was founded by Clooney. Pictured: The snooker room in his house

Comfortable: Now police are targeting the general's luxury mansion in Narre Warren, Melbourne under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Pictured: The living room

Comfortable: Now police are targeting the general’s luxury mansion in Narre Warren, Melbourne under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Pictured: The living room

Former general: The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) Chief of Staff General James Hoth Mai (left) speaks to the media in Juba on January 2, 2014

Ngouth Hoth Mai who bought the $1.5million mansion

Former general: The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Chief of Staff General James Hoth Mai (left) speaks to the media in Juba on January 2, 2014. Right: His son Ngouth

Money in the NAB accounts was also used to purchase an Audi for Nguoth Oth Mai’s younger sister, police allege. 

The AFP began their investigation into the Hoth Mai family in 2016 as part of a wider crackdown on corruption.

They opened proceedings to seize the luxury mansion, which boasts an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage, under the Proceeds of Crime Act in February. The case goes to court in July. 

The AFP suspect the general, whose salary was no more than around AUD$58,000, bought the mansion with the proceeds of corruption.

They were tipped off by a report written by a private team of investigators assembled by George Clooney called The Sentry. 

The Sentry report titled War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping The Looting And Destruction In South Sudan contains a page on General Hoth among other figures it accuses of corruption.

It says: ‘Even as a senior official in the SPLA, his salary was never more than about AUD$58,000 per year. 

The Sentry report called War Crimes Shouldn't Pay: Stopping The Looting And Destruction In South Sudan contains a page on General Hoth among other figures it accuses of corruption. Pictured: The view from his house

The Sentry report called War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping The Looting And Destruction In South Sudan contains a page on General Hoth among other figures it accuses of corruption. Pictured: The view from his house

The estate, officially bought by the general's son in 2014, boasts an an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage. Pictured: The kitchen

The estate, officially bought by the general’s son in 2014, boasts an an infinity pool, sauna and five-car garage. Pictured: The kitchen

the Australian Federal police suspect the general, whose salary was around AUD$57,000, bought the mansion with the proceeds of corruption. Pictured: The kitchen

the Australian Federal police suspect the general, whose salary was around AUD$57,000, bought the mansion with the proceeds of corruption. Pictured: The kitchen

The Criminal Assets Confiscation Task force started a probe in 2016 and on Tuesday began proceedings at the High Court, which have now been suspended for three weeks. Pictured: The kitchen

The Criminal Assets Confiscation Task force started a probe in 2016 and on Tuesday began proceedings at the High Court, which have now been suspended for three weeks. Pictured: The kitchen

Actor and corruption fighter: George Clooney arrives at the world premiere of Hail, Caesar! in Los Angeles with is wife Amal

Actor and corruption fighter: George Clooney arrives at the world premiere of Hail, Caesar! in Los Angeles with is wife Amal

‘However, Gen. Hoth Mai’s retirement home appears to indicate that his tenure in the SPLA was far more lucrative than his salary would suggest.

‘In June 2014, the Hoth Mai family purchased a home in a beautiful suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in the name of Gen. Hoth Mai’s son for AUD$1,500,000.

‘Notably, Nguoth Oth Mai – Gen. Hoth Mai’s 23-year-old son who purchased the house – was studying in China until mid-December 2013, just six months prior to the transaction.

‘The residence is situated on a one-acre lot backing up to a forested area bordering nearby Lysterfield Lake, a popular destination for sailing, canoeing, and mountain biking.

‘The home is described by the realty company that sold it as ‘perfecting the balance between serenity and glamour.’

‘The home boasts four bedrooms, a top-of-the-line kitchen, a two-tiered home theater, a sauna, and an infinity pool.’

It adds: ‘When The Sentry visited the home in August 2016, a BMW 316i used by one of Hoth Mai’s daughters was parked in front of the house.’ 

In court in February, JR Mailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, explained why the group was suspicious of the purchase.

The Sentry report says: 'Even as a senior official in the SPLA, his salary was never more than about AUD$58,000 per year.' Pictured: The cinema room in his house

The Sentry report says: ‘Even as a senior official in the SPLA, his salary was never more than about AUD$58,000 per year.’ Pictured: The cinema room in his house

The report adds: 'Gen. Hoth Mai's retirement home appears to indicate that his tenure in the SPLA was far more lucrative than his salary would suggest'. Pictured: The living room

The report adds: ‘Gen. Hoth Mai’s retirement home appears to indicate that his tenure in the SPLA was far more lucrative than his salary would suggest’. Pictured: The living room

The residence is situated on a one-acre lot backing up to a forested area bordering nearby Lysterfield Lake, a popular destination for sailing, canoeing, and mountain biking. Pictured: A walk-in wardrobe

The residence is situated on a one-acre lot backing up to a forested area bordering nearby Lysterfield Lake, a popular destination for sailing, canoeing, and mountain biking. Pictured: A walk-in wardrobe

The home boasts four bedrooms, a top-of-the-line kitchen, a two-tiered home theater, a sauna, and an infinity pool. Pictured: An outdoor eating area

The home boasts four bedrooms, a top-of-the-line kitchen, a two-tiered home theater, a sauna, and an infinity pool. Pictured: An outdoor eating area

When The Sentry visited the home in August 2016, a BMW 316i used by one of Hoth Mai's daughters was parked in front of the house. Pictured: The sauna

When The Sentry visited the home in August 2016, a BMW 316i used by one of Hoth Mai’s daughters was parked in front of the house. Pictured: The sauna

He said: ‘First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonable afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank.

‘Second, the Hoth Mai family had purchased the home shortly after having resided in subsidised housing, a major sudden change in the family’s lifestyle.

‘Finally, the home was purchased in the name of Hoth Mai’s son, who had only recently graduated from college.

‘We considered this a possible attempt to obfuscate the General’s connection to the purchase. Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.’ 

An AFP spokeswoman said: ‘The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.’ 

The legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The alleged offences are breach of directors’ duties, causing a loss to the Commonwealth and obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. No criminal charges have be laid. The general’s lawyer declined to comment.

In court yesterday, JR Mailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, explained why the group was suspicious of the purchase. Pictured: The hallway

In court yesterday, JR Mailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, explained why the group was suspicious of the purchase. Pictured: The hallway

He said: 'First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonable afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai's rank.' Pictured: The bathroom

He said: ‘First, the cost of the home far surpassed what one could reasonable afford on the salary of a general of Hoth Mai’s rank.’ Pictured: The bathroom

The Sentry said: 'Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.'

The Sentry said: ‘Taken as a whole, the circumstances of the transaction, we found, merit more scrutiny from relevant law enforcement and regulatory authorities.’

An AFP spokeswoman said: 'The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People's Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.' Pictured: The bedroom

An AFP spokeswoman said: ‘The investigation, which included assistance from the ACIC, focused on the acquisition of assets in Australia by the family members of an individual who is believed to have held senior positions including chief of staff in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army between May 2009 and April 2014.’ Pictured: The bedroom

The legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Pictured: A room upstairs in the house with a sofa

The legal proceedings are a civil matter under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Pictured: A room upstairs in the house with a sofa

No criminal charges have be laid. The general did not attend court and his lawyer declined to comment. Pictured: A bathroom

No criminal charges have be laid. The general did not attend court and his lawyer declined to comment. Pictured: A bathroom



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