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Land grabbers: where are they now?

A look at a few of the biggest land grabbers who have disappeared from the scene

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Land grabbers: where are they now?

  1. 1. Land grabbers: where are they now? A look at a few of the biggest land grabbers who have disappeared from the scene Photo: Rainforest Action Network
  2. 2. Philippe Heilberg Philippe Heilberg gained notoriety for a controversial deal he signed in 2009 during Sudan’s civil war with the South Sudanese warlord General Matip, giving Heilberg’s Wall Street firm Jarch Management a long- term lease to 400,000 ha of farmland under Matip’s control. Recent reports indicate that the South Sudan government now considers the deal to be invalid. (Photo: Jenn Warren)
  3. 3. Mouammar Gaddafi In 2008, Mali and Libya signed an agreement giving Malibya—a subsidiary of Libyan sovereign wealth fund's Libyan African Investment Portfolio—a 50-year renewable lease covering 100,000 ha in the Office du Niger. By 2009, Malibya had completed a 40-km irrigation canal and announced plans to produce hybrid rice. The project halted in 2011 when the Gaddafi regime collapsed and Gaddafi was killed.
  4. 4. Miguel Maria de Sá Pais do Amaral Portuguese aristocrat, businessman and amateur race car driver Miguel Maria de Sá Pais do Amaral began an African farmland buying spree in 2007. Through his company Quifel Natural Resources, he acquired land concessions in Mozambique, Angola and Sierra Leone totalling nearly 170,000 ha. His Mozambican operations have now been sold off, and, in Angola and Sierra Leone, Quifel’s vanished without a trace.
  5. 5. C. Sivasankaran C. Sivasankaran, one of India's richest men, started investing in oil palm companies in 2010 and soon after developed an offshore structure of subsidiaries controlling over 750,000 ha across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Sivasankaran was also amassing debts and in 2014 he was declared bankrupt by the Supreme Court of Seychelles—leaving a big question mark over the state of his agribusiness investments and land concessions.

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