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Monday
May192014

Oman ex-minister jailed for paying bribes

A former Oman commerce minister was jailed three years Sunday for bribing another official to win a contract.

Mohammed bin Nasir Al-Khusaibi was convicted in a court in Muscat of paying $1 million to the ex-undersecretary for civil aviation in the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

The bribe was in exchange for a contract to develop the first phase of the Muscat International Airport.

Khusaibi was also fined $2 million.

Mohammed Al-Amri, the former undersecretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communication, was jailed for three years, fined $3.1 million, and barred from public office for 30 years, Reuters said.

Amri had denied taking the bribe and pleaded not guilty.

Also convicted in the case was Fathi Alaaiddin, the managing director of Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC Oman). He was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $1 million.

Khusaibi and Alaaiddin pleaded guilty and confessed, Reuters said.

Khusaibi served as commerce minister after anti-graft protests in 2011 but was replaced after just three days, Reuters said.

Oman’s leader, Sultan Qaboos, has waged an anti-graft campaign since the 2011 protests.

In March, a  court in Oman sentenced the CEO of state-owned Oman Oil Company, Ahmad al-Wahaibi, to 23 years in jail for taking bribes, abusing his office, and money laundering.

A former aide to the minister of the now-dissolved economy ministry, Adel al-Raisi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for organizing a bribe that was offered to al-Wahaibi by a senior official from South Korea-based LGI.

The LGI official, Myung Jao Yoo, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for paying an $8 million bribe to a Caribbean-registered company owned by al-Wahaibi to secure a large-scale petrochemical project in Oman.

Oman’s National Gas Company’s chief executive, Goutam Sen, was detained in February by the public prosecutor over suspected bribery.

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Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.