Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams spend five years following the trail of an group of activists whose aim is to investigate how profits from the illegal logging that has annihilated more than 90% of the Borneo’s jungles.
In The Borneo Case, documentary filmmakers Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams spend five years intimately following the trail of an unlikely group of activists whose aim is to investigate how profits from the illegal logging that has annihilated more than 90% of the Borneo’s jungles have been laundered into property portfolios all around the world.
The group, made up of an exiled tribesman, a historian, an investigative journalist and a flamboyant DJ, overcome death threats and intimidation in their efforts to unravel what former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dubbed "the greatest environmental crime in history.” One of the group’s weapons an illegal pirate radio station called Radio Free Sarawak. In a country where the government has complete control of the media, the station allows them to inform the people about what is really going on for the first time.
The film starts in Montreal, where former activist Mutang Urud lives in exile. As a result of his role in attempting to stop the illegal logging of his people’s lands, Mutang was tortured and imprisoned whilst his best friend Swiss activist Bruno Manser disappeared in the forest. Many suspect that he was murdered for opposing the logging. Now, more than 20 years, later Mutang hears news from Radio Free Sarawak that forces him to face his fears and return to the country. Mutang learns of government plans to build 12 huge hydropower dams — one of which will completely drown the valley of his birth.
Simultaneously, from their secret location in London, Clare Rewcastle and DJ Peter Jaban are trying to find out what has happened to the billions of dollars in profits from the illegal logging and dam building that has taken place during the 33 years that Taib Mahmud has been Chief Minister of Sarawak. When Mutang witnesses the destruction on the ground, he is drawn back into the fold and we follow him together with Clare and Peter on an international hunt for the missing money that sets them against Malaysia’s political elite of. As they seek to unravel the network of global money laundering, senior political figures come into their crosshairs, and the fallout from their findings begin to escalate.
A whistle-blower in LA gives the team concrete proof of how a major international bank has actively helped Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to purchase properties in the US. Taib’s family even owns the FBI building in Seattle. The whistle-blower is later found dead in a hotel room with a plastic bag tied around his head. Then, as the investigation launched by the characters gathers momentum, Taib Mahmud unexpectedly announces his resignation as Chief Minister after 33 years in power.
TUE 09.10.2018 – 19:15 UTC
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