Tuesday, October 20, 2020

British ambassador denies claims she adopted an African child by bribing a controversial minister with a ‘substantial sum’

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A BRITISH ambassador has denied claims she adopted an African child by bribing a controversial minister.

A Zimbabwe MP alleges Catriona Laing, 55, paid a “substantial sum” to the country’s ex-social welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira to flout adoption rules.

Ms Laing adopted daughter Anya, three, from a children’s home in 2017 when she was ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Anya went with her when she took over as ambassador to Nigeria last year.

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The adoption is part of a corruption inquiry into allegations Mupfumira was involved in a series of scams totalling £78million.

Social services will investigate amid claims Anya’s Zimbabwean family wants her back.

RelatedZimbabwe: Minister Prisca Mupfumira Held Over U.S.$95m Corruption Scandal

Ms Laing’s spokesman said: “These allegations are categorically untrue. All the proper legal processes were followed and no money was paid.”

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A source said: “It’s ridiculous to suggest a British ambassador would pay a bribe to adopt a child.

“No money changed hands and these claims are absolute nonsense.

“Rules were followed so carefully that the adoption actually took much longer to complete – two years in fact.

“Anya is now living happily with the ambassador and her husband in the Nigerian capital, Abuja and knew nothing of these allegations until recently.

“There’s no question of Anya being returned to Zimbabwe — this is political mischief-making.”

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