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Bahrain banker sentenced in 4th case

Manama, March 5, 2013

A fugitive bank executive already sentenced to 10 years in jail in three separate criminal cases was handed another five-year sentence and a BD100,000 ($26,180) fine by Bahrain’s High Criminal Court, a report said.

Former Unicorn Bank chief executive Majid Al Refai was convicted of embezzlement, forgery and fraud in a fourth case, according to the report published in our sister newspaper the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

The Kuwaiti, who is at large abroad, was yesterday found guilty of hiding profits he made from criminal activities.

Court files stated that he destroyed bank documents.

Al Refai has already been convicted in three other cases and was handed jail sentences totalling 10 years in absentia, the report said.

He was sentenced to a year in jail for hiding two documents that gave him power to veto board decisions, which he allegedly tricked board members into signing.

He is then said to have demanded $12.5 million to surrender that power.

Embezzling

He was also convicted of money laundering and fraud last September by the High Criminal Court, which sentenced him to five years in jail and fined him BD50,000.

Al Refai has also been sentenced to four years in a separate case in which he was found guilty of embezzling BD10m, destroying bank documents and denying partners access to documents by the Lower Criminal Court, which also fined him BD5,000.

The banker has been accused of paying over the odds for shares in an investment firm, using $11.25 million of the bank's money to buy a stake that was actually worth just 60 per cent of that amount.

In addition, Al Refai forged bank documents to make it appear that he acted as a consultant to companies that didn't actually exist, earning $490,000.

Bank documents also show that he took $500,000 from the bank as a loan, but later wrote it off as a bonus.

Al Refai left the Islamic bank in August 2010 and a subsequent investigation conducted by consultancy Deloitte outlined several allegations against him.

Criminal action was launched after the bank, which is now called Bank Alkhair, filed an official complaint to authorities. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Fraud | banker | embezzlement | Unicorn Bank | Criminal Court |

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