Oman Oil CEO gets 23 years jail term! Reply

OOC boss gets 23 years jail term in graft case

Thursday 27th, February 2014 / 22:47

Written by Oman Observer  in Head stories

Ordered to pay RO 8 million fine; 2 others sentenced – 

By Zakaria Fikry –

MUSCAT — The Court of First Instance in Muscat yesterday sentenced the CEO of Oman Oil Company (OOC) to 23 years in jail, a fine of RO 8 million and ordered him to be sacked from his post permanently in connection with the Sohar Aromatics case. The second accused in the case — who is a former adviser to the ministry of national economy — was awarded 10 years in jail, a fine of RO 4 million and deportation for a life-long after severing his term.

The third accused — CEO of South Korea’s LGI Corporation — was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of RO 4 million as well as deportation for a life-long after serving his jail term. The court also ordered the restoration of $8 million to the public treasury and that the defendants settle the litigation.

Last December the Public Prosecution accused the CEO of Oman Oil Company with abuse of office, accepting bribes from LGI to facilitate a $1.6 billion pact for construction of the a petrochemical aromatics plant at Sohar industrial port for the Korean firm. In return the defendant took $8.4 million in bribe which he deposited in a Swiss bank. The defendant was convicted of exploiting his position for personal interests, bribery and money laundering

The second defendant was convicted of taking bribes and the third — Korean national CEO of LGI Corporation — was found guilty of offering bribe to procure the contract.

*****

Omani CEO jailed for 23 years in graft case: Court

(Reuters) –

A court sentenced the CEO of state-owned Oman Oil Company to a total of 23 years in jail on Thursday for accepting bribes, abuse of office and money laundering, the most severe punishment meted out in a series of corruption trials that began last year.

The judge at the Court of First Instance in Muscat also convicted Adel al-Raisi, a former aide to the minister of the now-dissolved economy ministry, of organizing a bribe made by a senior official at a South Korea-based firm to Oman Oil Company CEO, Ahmad al-Wahaibi, and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

The court found the vice CEO of the Korean-based LGI, named in court as Myung Jao Yoo, guilty of paying $8 million to a Caribbean-registered company owned by Wahaibi after winning a billion rial petrochemical project in Sohar Port in Oman.

Myung was also jailed for 10 years. LGI was not immediately available for comment on the court’s verdict.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has waged an anti-graft campaign to defuse mass protests in several Omani cities in 2011 that were mainly directed against graft and to demand jobs, issues that fuelled uprisings around the Arab world in the same year.

More than 20 civil servants and businessmen have gone on trial in Oman since last year.

Court documents said the latest case dated back to 2011, when Omani authorities were informed by their Swiss counterparts about suspicious transactions involving Wahaibi’s Swiss bank account. The trial began in December last year.

Oman Oil Company is an investment arm of the government of Oman with over 40 investments inside and outside Oman.

Wahaibi admitted in court to receiving money from Myung but pleaded not guilty to the charge of taking bribes, saying he “didn’t know why LGI transferred $8 million” into his company.

Raisi also pleaded not guilty. He said his confessions during questioning were not genuine

and that he only admitted brokering the deal and receiving the money under pressure.

Myung admitted in court that he had received money from Wahaibi but said he did not remember why. “Maybe it was a birthday gift. I don’t remember,” he told the court.

Apart from the prison sentences, Raisi and Myung were each fined 4 million rials. Myung would be deported after serving his sentence, the court ruled.

Oman Oil Company said in a statement it was committed to “enforcing a stringent code of ethics and corporate governance practices across all levels of the organization”.

Its Deputy CEO, Mulham Al Jarf, said he was given the “rights, responsibilities and authorities of the CEO in August 2013 to ensure that the business operations of the company remain uninterrupted,” the statement added.

At the hearings, Wahaibi admitted that after the cash was deposited into the accounts of his company, he had given the two other defendants their shares of the cash.

The court sentenced Wahaibi to 10 years in jail and fined him 4 million rials ($10.39 million) for accepting bribes, 10 years for money laundering and one million rials and three years in prison for abuse of office.

The court also confiscated all the bribe money in his frozen Swiss bank account. Lawyers confirmed Wahaibi’s sentences would run successively.

($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)

bribe 2 bribery-in-business[1]Corruption AMoney 2Money 1

Images For Demonstration Purposes Only!

How Rich Can One Get? By Majid Al Suleimany Reply

Final Destination – The Grave – If You Are Lucky!

Between Us Only!

How Rich Can One Get?

Breaking News!

Former Chinese Police Chief Wang Lijun sentenced to 15 years for abdication of duties…even in China!

The Funeral Pyre – Below!

One time decades back I got this call from my late Father to go and pick him up to take him for a funeral that was happening that evening. He got into my car and was not speaking. I thought perhaps because I came in late – or he just wanted to be silent – normally – when he gets extremely angry and annoyed. I had come to realise the hard way that it was better for me ‘not to prod’ – until he decided to speak himself. This time it was acute strange because he was not saying anything – longer than normal!

My Late Father PBUH

I was wondering if the old man wanted to cry – but he was holding his tears back – not to embarrass himself in front of his son. He comes from the fabric that frowns on showing emotions openly – and that is certainly in crying! Big men – and even young boys – simply do not cry! You can all cry and break into pieces all held dear all inside. Only ‘sissies’ cry out openly!

 After the funeral, I could see that he now wanted to talk. So I broke the ice by asking what the poor man had died of? He stared at me as if he was going to take out on me – but decided at the last minute not to! Then he said – Poor man! We were everyday going to the Public place – to chase up on the applications of land for our children.

Poor man! Now he got his final plot – and it was for free! He did not have to pay any money for the plot – it was given for him for free! Just the size of his body – a bit more – but 6 feet down – to rest on his right side facing Mecca – until the Day of Reckoning! I tell you son – all these things we are chasing in life are all temporary and artificial – and there is nothing permanent and for surety except God – and Death only!

Then my poor father told me about one business man he also knows whose business had gone bust. Many reasons for it – he was telling me. But that is not important for now. In short the man almost lost his house to the Banks – but luckily for him it was the only house he had – and there was the law to protect such cases in the past. He had two cars – one his and the other family. He sold off his family big car to settle debts – but kept the smaller car.

One day he wanted to go by road and to visit his relatives in a neighbouring country. He was not allowed to do so – because though he had cleared his case – and his name in the public files was not. He did not have even the right to renew the Mulkiya of his car – and he was driving the car ‘unlicensed and un re-registered’ – and he was afraid of in case of an accident of what was going to happen to him! It took more than 8 months to have ‘his name cleared’ – all because he was just a poor man – and had no Wastah. God takes shorter time to clear us – he sadly lamented!

Images – Traffic Police! For demonstration purposes only!

He added – Such things do not happen to the rich, powerful and the famous – only poor people like him – and us! In the end the man was so fed up – and decided to return for good to East Africa – safety or no safety – security or no security – but he just had enough! My poor father added – This man was stronger than this man who died today – God forgive us for such stray thoughts in comparisons!

I do not know if this is true or not – but one of the jokes on the public sector bribes and corruption in one third world country is about lands being allocated to the families of ‘those of influence’ – or as we say here ‘With W – Wastah! They say to a pregnant inner family or friends circle – If it is going to be a girl call her Badriya – and if boy Badr – names just coincidental for examples and demonstration purposes only! I do not know if they knew these things of scanning – because like yours truly had twin girls – so one of the girls would have lost – till a bit later on!

In one of my articles long time back – I talked about when I started working in Oman in Junior positions – though I had a more Senior position from where I came in that distant land – from having a Company car to riding a Company bus to work. But it did not put me off – or want to return – because I put my future and my family ahead of me!

In one of my deep frustrating times far later in life – I even went looking for jobs outside that oil company. In one of the interviews with one owners’ son he asked me a direct personal question of what really made M tick? He asked me – What are your dreams and what are you looking for in life?

Perhaps he thought I would reply him that I wanted to be in his shoes – to be on his side of the desk – asking the same question to another job aspirant! Then he started lamenting to me all kind of things that were not interesting to me as a job applicant – and the success story of their family business! He then asked me if I knew another so-called rich rising family – and why I did not apply there?

In another place the ‘great personality’ was saying to me – Either we offer you a good package or nothing at all. It seemed to me he was thinking he was making a great speech impression to me – because those things are best not said – and left out – because it was just a plain common message – and everybody knows about these things!

Remember all the above incidents were over 15 to 20 years ago! Far later in life when I started writing I had a strong fan – a sort of high elite rich person who really liked my works as a writer. He said to me – I like the way you fight for the underdog! When I applied some years ago after early retirement – for a Human Resources job in his place – he replied to me – Just keep to writing! That best suits you than a HR job! The Brits have this famous expression – Diplomacy is telling someone to go to hell – and he looks forward for the trip!

If even Mitt Romney of USA can discount 47% of the electoral vote – because ‘they are with him (Obama) – who are dependant upon government, who believe that they are victims , who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe to housing, you name it. They are people who pay no income tax ….. my job is not to worry about those people!

Bottom line – wherever you are in this world of ours – if you are poor and with no Wastah – you always get hit hard the most! Nothing has changed much during all these years! And then people dare to ask me why I like to quote many times – from George Orwell’s Animal Farm!

May The Good Lord Direct us all to The Right Path and Ways Always – Amin Amen

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

The problems all facing us now is all due to this hunger to control, dominate and manipulate in the Society….!!!