Alba vows to recover fraud losses
Manama, October 25, 2011
Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has vowed to recover the large amount of money unlawfully taken from the company by corrupt means.
The company was responding to yesterday’s report on the Serious Fraud Office of the United Kingdom bringing charges of bribery, conspiracy and acquiring and transferring criminal property in violation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 against Victor Dahdaleh, a Canadian businessman.
An Alba statement said: “These charges relate to the activities of Mr Dahdaleh and his company, AA Alumina & Chemicals Ltd., in connection with a series of corrupt transactions that targeted Alba, over many years.
“The investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, as well as companion investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Attorney General of Switzerland, followed the filing of a civil suit, in the United States District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, against Mr Dahdaleh, the US-based company Alcoa, and a group of other related individual and corporate defendants. The suit against Mr Dahdaleh and Alcoa was filed by Alba under the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and seeks recovery of damages suffered by Alba due to this corrupt scheme. That action was stayed by the US District Court, at the request of the US Department of Justice, in order to permit the federal criminal investigation to proceed.”
Speaking from Manama today following Dahdaleh’s arrest, Alba chairman Mahmood Al-Kooheji stated: “Today marks a critical turning point in the investigation that began nearly five years ago. The conduct of Victor Dahdaleh, Alcoa and others resulted in substantial losses to Alba and its shareholders.”
Al-Kooheji added: “Our aim, from the start, has been to recover the very large amounts of money that were unlawfully taken from Alba and from Bahrain by these corrupt activities. We intend to accomplish this goal.”
To date, Alba has recovered more than $30 million from European companies that participated in this scheme. In December 2009, Alba filed suit against the Japanese trading company Sojitz in the US District Court in Houston, Texas, in connection with a large-scale bribery scheme involving the sale price for finished aluminum sold by Alba, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service