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2 men accused of offering bribes to Uganda, Chad officials

2 men accused of offering bribes to Uganda, Chad officials

Federal prosecutors in the United States have charged two men accused of offering bribes to Uganda and Chad officials to secure business deals.

The U.S. Department of Justice has arrested a former Hong Kong government official and Senegal's ex-foreign minister over a corruption plot hatched by a mainland Chinese company.

Dr Chi Ping Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio are accused of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, among other charges.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed by US prosecutors on Monday, Ho and Gadio engaged in a multi-year scheme to bribe Deby and Kutesa in exchange for "business advantages" for the energy company, a multibillion-dollar Chinese company that operates in the oil-and-gas and financial sectors.

The money-laundering dealings, allegedly arranged in the halls of the United Nations, were aimed to "generate business" by paying bungs to the Chad president and the Ugandan foreign minister, according to Joon H. Kim, the acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney, who found that nearly a million dollars was wired through New York's banking system.

There has been no official comment from authorities in Chad and Uganda so far.

This energy company funded a non-government organization (NGO) based in Hong Kong and Virginia that Ho heads, the statement said, without naming the Shanghai company or the NGO.

On its website, CEFC describes itself as an NGO and "high end strategic think tank" and lists Dr. Patrick Chi Ping Ho as its deputy chairman and secretary general.

Chadian President Idriss Deby attends a meeting with EU and African leaders to discuss how to ease the European Union's migrant crisis at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Aug. 28 2017
2 men accused of offering bribes to Uganda, Chad officials

CEFC has been a key player in Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative, which aims to bolster China's global leadership ambitions by building infrastructure and trade links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond.

"I want to emphasize that the Chinese government consistently requires Chinese companies overseas to operate lawfully and abide by local laws and regulations".

The allegations also indicate that Chadian president was also bribed.

In another case, Ho helped facilitate a $500,000 bribe paid to Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa who had completed his term as the president of the U.N. General Assembly lately. Bob Baum of Federal Defenders, who represented Gadio for the bail argument, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the justice department, the defendants started plotting in 2014 after meeting at the United Nations in NY.

While Ho appeared in court on Monday and was ordered detained, Gadio was in court on Saturday, but there is no information on whether he remains detained or not. It said Gadio appeared before a judge on Saturday, but it did not say if he was detained.

The justice department alleged that Mr Ho set up both bribery schemes and enlisted the assistance of Mr Gadio, who it said "had a personal relationship with the President of Chad".

Chad's president and Uganda's foreign minister were also offered gifts and promises of future benefits, including a share of profits generated by joint ventures between the energy company and businesses owned by the families of the foreign minister of Uganda and president of Chad, according to the criminal complaint.

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