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Monday, September 20, 2021

Qatar Foundation staff arrested on bribery charges after police sting

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For illustrative purposes only.
For illustrative purposes only.

Two high-ranking Qatar Foundation (QF) employees accused of soliciting a bribe in exchange for renewing an insurance company’s contract began court proceedings this month, with police officers describing a sting operation used to catch the two men.

The director of payments and revenue at QF’s financial affairs department is alleged to have requested a “gift” from the regional manager of a French firm, AXA, in the spring of 2014. The company had previously provided health and life insurance to QF since 2012.

QF and AXA are not accused of any wrongdoing, and neither organization has not been charged.

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

According to court sources, the insurance company manager testified that the QF employee, an Indian expat, first raised the subject following a meeting at a local coffee shop.

That was followed by another meeting in April 2014 at an Indian restaurant in Dafna, during which the QF employee asked for QR2 million (US$549,587) to facilitate the contract’s renewal.

The insurance company manager, a Lebanese expat, said that in both instances, he told the other man that his firm does not pay bribes.

“We’re an international company. Our expenses are audited. Nothing gets by,” he said in court.

The man testified that the QF employee encouraged him to think about the offer. Instead, he told his CEO, who called a QF executive who in turn contacted the police.

Sting operation

Members of Qatar’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) interviewed the insurance company manager and instructed him to continue meeting with his QF contact under their clandestine supervision.

The insurance manager was also told to insist that the QF employee’s boss, a Qatari who served as director of the financial affairs department, be present for the transaction.

The three men met at a coffee shop in the Pearl-Qatar in 2014 to finalize the arrangement in a conversation that was recorded by police. By this point, the QF employees had increased their requested amount to QR3 million ($824,335).

They then met in the lobby of a high-end hotel around 10pm on July 14, 2014 while being watched by undercover police officers. When they proceeded to the parking lot where the insurance company employee took a bag containing the money and handed it to the Qatari director, the police intervened and arrested the two men.

Previous cases

This is at least the second bribery attempt in Qatar in recent years that has been disrupted by a CID sting operation.

Last year, a Syrian woman was convicted of trying to bribe a Civil Defense officer in Qatar in return for a commercial building safety certificate.

Lower criminal court in Doha
Lower criminal court in Doha

Her lawyer appealed the verdict and argued that the authorities entrapped the woman and encouraged her to offer the payment.

Despite the two cases, Qatar has relatively low levels of overall corruption, according to an international survey.

The latest Corruption Perceptions Index shows the country coming in at 26th in 2014, compared to 28th the previous year.

That means Qatar’s government continues to be among the most trustworthy in the Middle East, according to the report, which measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 175 countries/territories around the world.

Thoughts?

63 COMMENTS

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NSK
NSK
6 years ago

Good Job

Qatari
Qatari
6 years ago

The lesson from this case is not to say no to a “gift” request. Call the police and arrange a sting. Well done to the insurance company and the police.

Nad
Nad
6 years ago

“We’re an international company. Our expenses are audited. Nothing gets by,” he said in court.

Meaning

“If I could, I would. But I can’t.”

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Nad

Nope. That’s your distorted understanding of things.
That’s a diplomatic way of saying “this is not going to happen by any means”. If he says it directly the way you want him to, the other guy will tell him bluntly “forget about the contract” and will probably sever all ties with him, thus jeopardizing the whole operation.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Nad

Not everybody have the same ethical standards, if yours is in the gutter, don’t assume everyone else’s is.

Rane
Rane
6 years ago
Reply to  Nad

Agree with Yacine and Ibrahim. Wish all companies would have similar principles, especially when operating in developing countries (like mine) where corruption makes the poor even more poor.

KS
KS
6 years ago

Giving “gifts” to get contracts is a well known practice in India. Guess the Indian just couldn’t get rid of the work pratices he learnt in India. Anyways hope he and the other accused spend some time in jail. And slap a fine of 3 million on them.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  KS

You like Indians, don’t you? The other accused was a Qatari and he was also the Indian guy’s boss, yet you make no mention of well know practices in Qatar.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  KS

Deleting for stereotyping, and subsequent thread.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Agreed he should have stated facts, such as India ranks highly in the world corruption index and maybe those expats from India believed that to be normal business practise

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

This is good news, maybe a drop in the ocean but at least heading in the right direction. Too often such corruption is talked about as if its a normal part of business. Let’s hope others think twice before asking for bribes, you never know whom is actually watchintg now….

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

Good news, keep it up … now if you could just enforce the law on the roads Qatar would be a much nice place …

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

You mean actually stop dangerous drivers or those flouting traffic laws? What planet did you fall from that’s impossible

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I fell form the plant ‘pleasedontletmedieinacarindoha’ … and no it’s not impossible … it will never be perfect but it can certainly be 50% better … at least at the level in the UAE which is not as murderous

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Yeah good job. I am sure there are a lot more who have made this corrupt practices a part of their business routine and till now have got away with it. What about managers and other such guys at senior positions who play around with the staff below them and remove them on false charges because they stand in their way at personal enrichment and similar corrupt practices. What about Managers and others who fill the organizations with relatives and friends to hide such bad and corrupt practices at their workplace.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

Report them to the police and join the sting. Enron was only unraveled as corrupt after thousands lost their jobs and life savings, and this is in a country with one of the most sophisticated and developed regulations and laws.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Or did have before Ronnie Reagan got in..

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

You mean the same Reagan responsible for the great prosperity in America during his period of serving?

onthefence
onthefence
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Best role he ever played …. should have got an Oscar for that one 😉

anonymous
anonymous
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

Dear Johnny i agree with you. i have seen alot of favorism in hiring and promotion of unqualified people, when there were alot of qualified people available, it has happened in my own office and my career suffered because of such illegal activities which are considered legal by managements

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

It’s a relief to reside in a country that absolutely will not stand for bribery! I mean, unless it’s for obtaining a sporting event.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

And if it was NOT an “indian expat” but…. it would never see the papers or this site.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I stand corrected. when I first read it I thought he was part of the sting. My bad

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Yes, you’re BAD. Of course, given how things are back home with cops murdering non-whites all the time and getting away with it, I guess you think that’s how it is everywhere!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Not everywhere. Syria’s a bit different.

V.Hard
V.Hard
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

F both of them.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  V.Hard

??

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Hey I admitted I was wrong. And what does bribery here have to do with cop kills in the US?

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Wtf are you on about? Wtf are you on dude?

Tim
Tim
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

He’s on blind hatred, lots of it.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Same thing the LC drivers are on I guess.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Nah, seems more like what crackheads are on.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Deleting for devolving the conversation, and subsequent thread.

zareena
zareena
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Hahahha…good one

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

The same sporting event that is organized and supported by multiple other countries who are also officially opposed to corrupt payments but turn a blind eye or participate when the results my favor their interests.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Countries or football federations? You seem to think there’s no difference.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

You seem to not understand how those federations work very closely with political representatives of their countries in many cases.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Thanks a lot Saleem,
For being one of the few that actually responds to these clueless comments with factual content

fuad
fuad
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Seems to forget most of sport events are in Europe. And they are the best money laundry people in the world!

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Wait… Do you have evidence? Or do you come from a country where assumptions are fact and you’re guilty until proven innocent? Qatar has clearly said that its against corruption of all sorts.

Simon
Simon
6 years ago

Qatar has said a lot of things. But so often it fails to deliver.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Simon

And Qatar has also often delivered.

Simon
Simon
6 years ago

Sorry, Mate – I have GOT to laugh!

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Simon

We are laughing too, nothing more amusing than observing the harpings of bitter clowns on here. Keep performing!

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

This sort of thing occurs in every country in the world. This story should be front page in every paper in town.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Of a french insurance firm operating in Qatar? Do we mean AXA or are we not allowed to say that?

Turkish
Turkish
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Yeah i work there.we have only axa

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

It was AXA and there was quite a panic on when they converted over from previous one to get everyone insured up before they left Doha for summer holidays.The panic was in getting cards delivered.I always wondered about the timing of that switchover and why the need.

Fac
Fac
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

It has been AXA for quite a few years at QF though and every year it seems is a rush to get the cards out as they expire in June. It’s not that they changed recently to AXA.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  Fac

Yes but the first year for the changeover was more haphazard.When you think contracts(many) are on different schedule, the end June expiry seems to add to confusion.

Turkish
Turkish
6 years ago

We must going good muslim money never change for us…

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Now lets get it more interesting. Which part of India was this guy from. Was he from down south of the border

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

Deleting for irrelevance.

Lex
Lex
6 years ago

Living and working in Qatar since 1998 and assigned to work in a senior position I can tell you personally that corruption is always close at hand here in Qatar and in all other developing and non developing countries, the temptation of greed to make extra money will never go away.

I applaud the insurance company for standing their ground and for involving the police, it’s clear to see that when all parties fight against such crimes the perpetrators end up paying the heavy price when caught.

This needs to be rolled out as part of knowledge sharing to all operating companies and individuals should be encouraged to report and suspect individual who is attempting to break the laws of Qatar or any other country in which they operate.

Crime must never be brushed aside or under the carpet so once again great job by those involved. All for the record criminals do come from all religions cultures and countries ~ sadly it has no boundaries. There are many innocent hard working Indians who have given much of their life’s to help build this great country I to what it is today ~ so let’s keep this in mind going forward.

Lcbm

Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
6 years ago

“…..When they proceeded to the parking lot where the insurance company employee took a bag containing the money and handed it to the Qatari director, the police intervened and arrested the two men”.
Which bag can contain 3 million Qatari riyals?. Was it a bag or truck?

Izhar
Izhar
6 years ago

the fact of the matter is for new costumers company executives identify the key decision maker(s) and once they sort out the technical issues of the contract try to influence the said decision maker(s) in every possible way. its called building a ‘PR’ personal relationship.

the money that is spent for these ‘PR’ transaction is easily covered up as ‘tendering costs’ or other phony invoices.

this practice is common with all companies that offer financial and IT services.

been there done that.

Query
Query
6 years ago
Reply to  Izhar

But those “PR” events wont reach upto 3 million. Will they??

Izhar
Izhar
6 years ago
Reply to  Query

with the international services companies and the thumb rule is between 1 to 2 % of the contract value. Not uncommon to see figures in those region.

they later squeeze out the OEM and local services providers to recover their ‘tender costs’

they are only cautious when dealing directly with government officials.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Bribery in Qatar? Surely not. Everyone read the news of what’s happened at FIFA this morning in Switzerland? Arrests made and accusations of bribery in connection with the award of world cups? One assumes it will be a DN headline sometime during the day. At last maybe some action.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  The Reporter

Funny how you read it and thought “oh it’s Qatar who’s done something”. I read the same article and it seems to be there were nationalities ALL over the world involved in the corruption scandal and until today there’s no evidence that Qatar was involved in any corruption. I hope you also go on other websites and demand headlines like these about your own country too.

بوتركي
بوتركي
6 years ago

زين ابي اقدم على وظيفة مدير الشؤون الماليه بما انها شاغره حالياً .. ممكن؟

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  بوتركي

Deleting for being in Arabic. Please leave comments in English.

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