United States arrests ex-Hong Kong and Senegal officials in bribery case

Sam Kutesa allegedly received the $500,000 bribe while he serving as president of the U.N. General Assembly

"Wiring nearly a million dollars through New York's banking system in furtherance of their corrupt schemes, the defendants allegedly sought to generate business through bribes paid to the president of Chad and the Ugandan foreign minister", Joon Kim, acting US attorney for the Southern District of NY, was quoted as saying in the statement.

The bribery scheme was hatched in the halls of the United Nations in NY and spanned several continents.

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.

Sweeney Jr., head of New York's Federal Bureau of Investigation office, said Ho and Gadio wanted to "get their hands on the rights to lucrative opportunities in Africa".

According to the complaint, Ho and Gadio began plotting in 2014 when they met at the United Nations in NY.

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.

The two men were officially charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and global money laundering.

Ho was arrested Saturday afternoon and appeared before a federal magistrate Monday, the Justice Department announced Monday.

"Their bribes and corrupt acts hurt our economy and undermine confidence in the free marketplace", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco. Senegal's Gadio, who ran an worldwide consultancy, connected Ho with Deby for $400,000 in kickbacks.

CEFC China Energy has spread its business through Eastern Europe, Africa and the Gulf states, rising in just a few years to be a major player in world oil markets and raising questions about its backing inside China. The Shanghai- based company had revenue of $34 million (263 billion Chinese yuan) in 2015.

China Energy Fund Committee, CEFC's subsidiary NGO of which Ho was secretary general, said in a statement published in Ming Pao newspaper that America's "exaggerated" acts over "something hypothetical" had shown that "the deepening of Sino-Russian cooperation has touched its sensitive area".

CEFC China Energy Company Limited is "a private collective enterprise with energy and financial serves as its core business", according to its website.

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".

CEFC does not have any investment in Uganda, the company said in the statement, and its investment in Chad had been acquired via a stake bought from Taiwan's state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp and it had not dealt directly with the Chad government.

In exchange, Deby is alleged to have provided the energy company with "an exclusive" opportunity to obtain particular oil rights in Chad without facing worldwide competition, according to the criminal complaint. He has been a broker for peace in Africa and overseen the expenditure of millions of dollars.

Ho also provided the Ugandan Foreign Minister, as well as the President of Uganda, with gifts and promises of future benefits - including offering to share the profits of a potential joint venture, authorities said.

Angel M. Melendez, head of New York's Department of Homeland Security office, said the men offered millions of dollars in bribes disguised as charitable donations to gain business advantages.

No one could be reached at the embassies of Chad and Uganda in Washington late on Monday.



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