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Tycoon behind Zim ethanol firm named in Panama Papers

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Harare - A wealthy Zimbabwean businessman has been named in the Panama Papers that detail how businesses, politicians and prominent individuals circumvented sanctions and avoided tax through the formation of shell companies.

Billy Rautenbach is viewed as a top ally of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. He is the driving force behind the Green Fuels project, Zimbabwe’s sole ethanol producing plant in Chisumbanje in eastern Zimbabwe, and also owns various properties in the country. It is mandatory for all petrol sold in Zimbabwe to be blended with ethanol from Chisumbanje.

In leaked documents, Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca is accused of helping companies, celebrities, businessmen and politicians launder money through illicit financial flows, shell companies, offshore accounts and sanctions busting. Rautenbach is named in the documents through Ridgepoint Overseas Developments Ltd.

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