الأربعاء 28 أكتوبر 2020 م, الموافق لـ 11 ربيع الأول 1442 هـ آخر تحديث 01:16
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A Spanish newspaper said that the largest gas company in Spain, “Nature”, was involved in bribes and money laundering with the former Energy Minister, Chakib Khalil and the former CEO of the Sonatrach hydrocarbons group, Mohamed Meziane.

The news site “Spain in Arabic” quoted the “Confidential” newspaper, as saying that the gas giant was investigated by “Deutsche Bank” in front of the United States authorities, after the corruption scandals that took place with some senior officials in the previous administration.

The Deutsche Bank Trust of America, the US branch of the German giant bank, has submitted reports to the Financial Crime Enforcement Networks (FinCEN) and the US Treasury Department responsible for investigating financial crimes, with various reports refering to dozens of payments to Sonatrach of at least $ 3.5 billion between 2011 and 2015, as part of bribes and money laundering paid in projects to produce natural gas.

A few days ago, investigative advisors to the various chambers of the Supreme Court opened 6 corruption files in which the former Minister of Energy and Mines, Chakib Khalil, a fugitive from justice is facing 14 heavy charges, while the financial value of the commissions and benefits obtained through consensual deals exceeded the value of $ 200 million.

In the details that were exclusively published by Echorouk”, the first case that Chakib Khalil is being pursued is related to “SNC-Lavalin”, where several charges were brought related to corruption and illegal profiteering.

In addition, the former minister is investigated in cases related to the “Brown and Root Condor” company, “BRC”, as well as in the “Sonatrach” case, which is related to a $ 250 million bribe incurred by the company and the public treasury as a whole with the complicity of certain parties.

The latter was manipulating the law on public procurement to which Sonatrach is subject, under the supervision of the Accounting Council and the General Inspectorate of Finance, as the case was exploded in early 2010 and later developed and those involved expanded through stages known as Sonatrach Cases 1, 2, 3 and 4.

In a related context, the former Minister, who has fled justice, has been charged with “forming a gang of wicked people”, accompanied by his wife and two sons, along with his relative, Farid Bedjaoui, in the case related to the deals with the Italian company Eni and its branch “Saipem”, a case that the current Minister of Justice, Belkacem Zeghmati, unveiled when he was serving as deputy attorney general  at the Algerian Judicial Council in August 2013.

In July of last year, the investigative advisor at the Supreme Court ordered that the former president and general manager of Sonatrach, Meziane Mohamed, be placed under judicial supervision after hearing him in corruption cases, as he is facing charges of “giving unjustified privileges to others, squandering public funds and misusing the position in office.”

Chakib Khalil

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