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Managing Director of Galfar resigns board over graft conviction

January 16th 2014

The fouder and managing director of Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG, P.Mohammad Ali, an Indian national and the richest Indian in Oman has quit after being found guilty in a high profile corruption case by an Omani court, according to the companys posting on Muscat Securities Market (MSM).

Dr. Ali who owns one of the biggest construction companies in Oman, was convicted by Muscat Court of First Instance in a graft case.  The company’s board of directors met in a meeting to discuss this crises and issued a statement that managing director and a senior employee of the company who was also found guilty, have stepped down from their positions in the publicly listed company in the interest of the stakeholders.

The company has now chosen an independent international firm, KPMG, to establish the accountability of the recent court case on the bribery issue, and also evaluate the existing policies and procedures of the company’s code of conduct including “whistle blowing”.

Mohammad Ali and Abdul Majeed Naushad, the two Galfar officials and Juma Al Hinai, an official in the finance ministry who also serves as the head of the tenders committee at state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) were found guilty by the court in the graft case earlier this week.  The judge at the Court of First Instance in Muscat sentenced Al Hinai, to three years in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of 6000,000 rials in addition to being banned from holding public office for 20 years, after the authorities confiscated 873,000 rials from his house.

Dr. Ali who owns about 20 percent stakes in Galfar Engineering was sentenced by court to three years in jail and a fine of 600,000 rialsinspite of maintaining his innocence throughout the trial which began in November.  Naushad was ordered to pay 200,000 rials as fine and was also charged with involvement in providing the bribes.  He had initially denied the charges but changed his stand during the hearings.  Mohammad Ali and Naushad, both from India will be deported after they serve their sentences.

More than 20 private executives and government officials from Oman’s oil industry and related sectors are on trial on charges of accepting and offering bribes in exchange for contracts, mostly in infrastructure.

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