Colombo spent 6.5 million USD to influence Washington in 2014

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 August 2015, 14:25 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Government, over a 5-month period in 2014, paid USD 6.5 million directly and indirectly to US-based WR Group and a private equity fund manager, Imaad Zuberi, who is one of Hillary Clinton's "Hillblazers" for her 2016 presidential campaign and a top tier of bundlers for Obama's 2012 relection campaign, the Foreign Policy Magazine has revealed on Friday. 45-year-old Imaad Zuberi, born to Pakistani father and Indian mother is also a venture capitalist and an elite political fundraiser, reported Bill Allison of the FP Magazine. "The Sri Lanka experience hasn’t deterred Zuberi from seeking nw business abroad. He continues to post to Facebook pictures of himself side by side with the powerful, most recently with Hillary Clinton," the report further said.

Imaad Zuberi


“Zuberi’s Sri Lankan payments and the investigation they’ve spawned could raise troubling questions for Clinton’s candidacy,” according to Foreign Policy Magazine.

“Over a five-month period in 2014, it paid Zuberi $4.5 million directly — plus another $2 million to a company he co-owns — for consulting services which included influencing the U.S. government,” according to documents obtained by Foreign Policy.

“Rajapaksa and his ministers were in need of someone with access to the highest levels of the U.S. government to improve their standing,” the report said.

A month after Zuberi's trip to Sri Lanka, Avenue Ventures issued a May 5, 2014, invoice on company letterhead, requesting a $3.5 million payment for a single line item: the “Sri Lanka project May 2014 invoice per contract,” the report added.

When FP sought clarification, Zuberi responded by stating: “There were many pieces to the [Sri Lanka] project and various entities were involved. How to allocate what to whom may have been complex at the outset but if there were any errors they were corrected.”

By the middle of June, Beltway Government Strategies, a company which has been registered by an associate of Mr Zuberi, had managed to hire PR and lobbying firms Burson-Marsteller, Madison Group, and Vigilant Worldwide Communications as subcontractors, the report further revealed.


External Links:
Foreign Policy: Elite Fundraiser for Obama and Clinton Linked to Justice Department Probe

 

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