But an investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Gecko Project reveals how First Resources’ majority shareholders, the billionaire Fangiono family, have breached their company’s pledge of “sustainable” production by secretly controlling companies that environmental analysts found had cleared large areas of rainforest in Indonesia.
The investigation in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists also spotlights a loophole in the Singapore Exchange’s reporting rules that allows listed companies to publish so-called sustainability reports, without requiring that an independent firm audits the company’s green claims.
The report by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, published on Oct. 26, said that “critical gaps” in the U.S. anti-money laundering system are vulnerable to exploitation by criminal groups, including those behind the destruction of the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
FACT’s analysis focuses on forestry crimes and illegal mining in Peru and Colombia. The report also summarizes how U.S. importers sidestep the law by not trading directly with the blacklisted Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) but instead with non-sanctioned Myanmar exporters and middlemen based in Singapore, Thailand and other third countries.
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