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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Ooredoo ordered to pay QR700,000 to Qatari woman accused of embezzling

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An Ooredoo employee who sued after being cleared of stealing more than QR24 million from the company has been awarded several hundred thousand riyals in compensation for her plight.

The award was issued by a Doha court late last month, but the lawsuit only came to light in an Al Watan report this week. According to the publication, the woman involved was a Qatari citizen.

Court documents obtained by Doha News state that the woman was working as a treasurer for Ooredoo (then Qtel) in 2010 when she was suspended over embezzlement suspicions.

She was jailed for 35 days while an investigation was conducted, but an auditing committee delegated by the court found no evidence of a deficit in the company’s coffers.

The employee was acquitted in November 2013, a judgment that Ooredoo did not appeal.

Sued for damages

Three months later, in February of this year, the employee filed a lawsuit claiming emotional and financial damages to the tune of QR20 million.

According to Qatar law, reporting criminal offenses is not considered a wrongdoing that merits compensation – unless the person/entity who reported the offense made the accusation recklessly or for political reasons.

Because the audit committee found that Ooredoo did not follow proper procedure in investigating its suspicions of embezzlement, the court ruled that the accusation made against the defendant was recklessly made.

The court documents state that compensation in this case was left to the discretion of the judge, who ordered the company to pay QR700,000 to the defendant.

It is not clear if Ooredoo is disputing the finding. A spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the employee filed for QR20 million in damages, not QR2 million.

41 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Obviously not a well connected Qatari as she spent time in jail! She needs to up her wasta quotient.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I hope the wasta is dying

Shaiju
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

LOOOOL no, neverrrrr..

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Shaiju

hmm

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Your denial makes me laugh.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Perhaps my dodgy google translation of the Al Watan article is misleading, but didn’t a court find her guilty, originally? How did the court manage to accidentally convict her of stealing such a huge sum of money, if that money was apparently never missing?

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

She didn’t do the daily reporting of the financial transactions properly, so one of her colleagues had doubts she was up to no good. He checked and he discovered that 24 millions were missing. He informed his managers who took the matter to the court directly without doing a full audit.

It turns out after auditing that the 24 million were not missing and that it was only a problem of mis-reporting from the lady. The court said that her colleague was not in a position to check after her, and that OOredoo should have audited the treasury before putting the lady through that ordeal.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

So what you are saying is that someone can end up in jail for over 1 month without any trial, and without ever being found guilty?

Meanwhile… Villagio??

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Yes they say she was kept in jail until the audit was done and cleared her from any wrongdoing

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

That is shockingly wrong. Up there with the Nepalese teacher falsely accussed of blasphemy. (Which isn’t even a real crime)

venice_plus
venice_plus
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

daily report is done properly. there is a mistake in the daily request money. one of her colleague change the request name. not her name and some money was received the following day when she live the job.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

@Dohanews: in the AlWatan article it says she asked for a 20 million damage not 2 millions. 🙂

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yes, apologies. Have fixed it.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

“She was jailed for 35 days while an investigation was conducted”….to me this means preventive jail….like preventive war….scary

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

They do copy lots of things from the US here 🙂

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

agree!!! 😉

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

That’s pretty common all over the world, admittedly not so much for financial fraud

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

not really: you’re innocent unless proven guilty….then you’re put in jail. There can be some preventive steps like a ban from travelling, but not preventive jail!!

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

not really: you’re innocent unless proven guilty….then you’re put in jail. There can be some preventive steps like a ban from travelling, but not preventive jail!!

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Perhaps, I can only speak of Australia and NZ, bail is refused all the time for suspects while they await their trial and they are held in custody. It of course depends on the crime and if the judge thinks they may commit further crimes or escape the country. There are suspects who can’t post the bail either and stay in custody.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Yes, that’s right. But in that case the process would be:
Arrest
Charge
Bail Hearing, and if bail is denied, prolonged detention while awaiting the court date.

I am unclear whether the woman was every actually charged with a crime. There aren’t many details being reported. Odd that you can be detained for such a long period for a financial irregularity, but found guilty of manslaughter and you’re still free to travel overseas during the appeal process.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that someone did actually embezzle all this money and Ooredoo has been told to make it go away and pretend that nothing happened.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Yes how the system works here is quite a mystery and seems to differ case to case. I think an investigator came here last year and reported much concern about how things work, ie no separation of powers, judgements in isolation with precedents not clear etc etc. fingers crossed, tap wood none of us experience it first hand.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

I have first hand experience of this in Australia as my brother’s attacker was held in custody (jail) for 4 months until he went to court, he was then found guilty and stayed in jail. In Australia that’s pretty common.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

well, when it is the case to say “better like this”

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Not really, only if you are considered a danger to society or a flight risk and even then the prosecution has to make a strong case

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yep I’ve said that below, hence also my comment about it rare for financial crimes. But being held in jail/custody before being found guilty is not uncommon in many countries around the western world. This is in response to a comment which suggests you must be found guilty before doing any jail time, this is simply not true. In my country, right now because of an unfortunate violent seige, there is actually much pressure in keeping more people behind bars before court, as the community thinks bail is being given to easily. Maybe they charged this woman and thought she was a flight risk? Who knows?

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

I read a few articles on this and it seems to say the same, her colleagues testified that she was a very detail oriented with minimal errors and that whomever reported her knows nothing about accounting to begin with. Why there was never an internal audit before it was passed on to the courts makes me skeptical of the whole situation. For this negligence, being jailed and having her career halted as such, she deserves much more than 700,000QR. #JustSaying

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

So, wait, it wasn’t immediately obvious that 24m QAR/ 6.6m USD / 5.4 EUR wasn’t missing? How much cash to they have floating around – check the back of the sofa!

Would have been a pretty epic embezzlement if it had been true.

venice_plus
venice_plus
6 years ago
Reply to  dubious

daily cash float only QR. 200.000 thousand.
and is not 24M. only 2 hundred thousand and more, but no money is missing.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

Indeed – what is the recruitment requirement for an accounting post at Ooredoo? – please count to ten, in any language – OK you screwed up at 7, but don’t worry, the job is yours.

HTF does an accounting department not know whether or not QR24M is missing?

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

This is what happens when wastas are involved in the hiring process… #JustSaying

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Interesting. Now its going to open a whole new situation where expatriates might want to stay back and fight their cases for unfair dismissals, dues not settled in full and the like. Earlier it was dismissed and removed on Wednesday and put on a plane back and deported to their place on Saturday with the chapter closed never to be brought up again but now this abuses might not be easy to hide.

kdineshl
kdineshl
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

lol have to live another century (in qatar of course) to witness that…

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Suspended in 2010

Acquitted in November 2013!!!!

How long does it take for a forensic audit ??? Something not right in this story.

What if this was an Expat! Hmmm

Peter Pickle
Peter Pickle
6 years ago
Reply to  Blue

If this was an expat….. jail term + hefty fine + deportation

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Given that the audit committee found that there wasn’t even a deficit in the coffers one has to wonder about the accounting system that brought up the QAR24m missing in the first place, or maybe it was just yet another malicious accusation by an employer in order to get rid of an employee they didn’t like.

Altaf
Altaf
6 years ago

Very weird incident. She is jailed for that long period with such a serious crime, and then found completely innocent without any strong argument from Ooredoo ! Why Ooredoo dared to put such allegations without any strong evidence ?!

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Meanwhile the Villagio victims have not even received their “blood money” ordered to be paid by the courts, much less justice. Glad Qatar has it’s priorities in order as usual.

venice_plus
venice_plus
6 years ago

Not QR24 million it is only 200 hundred thousand plus. the cash float is only 200 thousand a day. no money is missing

Frenzy
Frenzy
6 years ago

Do you even realize the gravity of the offence it is like to publicly Jeopardize or tarnish one’s image? This is defamation of character. Therefore, the individual/firm/industry/company must indemnify for falsely accusing someone of embezzlement without traces, proofs or evidences.

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