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24 November 2017, 01:29 | Frank Carlson
2 men accused of offering bribes to Uganda, Chad officials
Former Senegalese foreign minister Cheikh Gadio and Hong Kong's former home affairs secretary Chi Ping Patrick Ho sent huge bribes to high-level officials in Chad and Uganda to secure favourable oil business for a Chinese state energy company, according to a statement.
Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, was arrested Friday in NY and brought to court the next day, while Chi Ping Patrick Ho was arrested Saturday and brought to court Monday.
The two men were officially charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and worldwide money laundering.
The FCPA bars companies from bribing foreign officials to gain a business advantage.
The criminal complaint does not name the non-profit or the Chinese company behind it.
According to the complaint, Ho and Gadio began plotting in 2014 when they met at the United Nations in NY.
CEFC China Energy's role was apparent in the formal complaint. The Shanghai- based company had revenue of $34 million (263 billion Chinese yuan) in 2015.
According to a criminal complaint, Gadio - the former foreign minister of Senegal and the operator of an worldwide consulting firm - connected Ho with the president of Chad in return for a $400,000 payment from Ho.
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Two months later, Ho pledged a $2 million bribe to Deby on behalf of the energy company in exchange for obtaining lucrative oil rights from the Chadian government.
It accused Ho of offering US$2 million to Deby, who allegedly pledged an exclusive opportunity for the company Ho represented to obtain oil rights in Chad without facing worldwide competition.
In exchange, Deby is alleged to have provided the energy company with "an exclusive" opportunity to obtain particular oil rights in Chad without facing global competition, according to the criminal complaint.
The denial of President Idriss Deby came as it emerged that Ho required medical aid when he appeared in a NY courtroom on Monday, calling into question the health of the 68-year-old, who faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
The charges are based on their alleged use of the USA banking system to process US$2.5 million in pay-offs, sent under the guise of donations originating from Hong Kong.
According to a statement from the U.S ministry of justice released Monday, the two individuals are accused of having bribed for many years high officials of these countries to get advantages for a Chinese oil firm.
Ho also offered gifts to the Ugandan Foreign Minister and President and promised them future benefits, such as getting their family involved in a joint venture in Uganda with the energy company.
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