Oman Convicts 16 in Landmark Fraud, Embezzlement Case
In a major judgment involving senior Omani government officials and well-placed expatriates, the Criminal Court, the country's highest, has convicted 16 people of forgery, fraud and embezzlement, sentencing them to various jail terms, reported the Gulf News on Friday.
The case started about a year ago but not a word was said about it until Wednesday's judgement was made public by the Royal Oman Police.
The heaviest punishment, five years in jail and a fine three times the amount embezzled, was handed down to Mahmood bin Mohammed bin Shahdan, director general of the Institute of Banking and Financial Studies, an offshoot of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), and its accountant, Mahendra Kumar Sanjeev, an Indian, for forgery and embezzlement, said the paper.
The two have been given another two years' jail for abuse of authority.
The two sentences will run concurrently.
Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz bin Kalmoor, chairman of the institute, who was once the senior vice president of CBO, was given a one-year suspended sentence, and his Omani colleague, Hamad bin Hamoud bin Hamdoon, director of administration and financial Affairs, half of that sentence, the paper added.
The court also found Moosa bin Abdul Rehman bin Khamis, CBO's senior director of auditing, guilty of forging official records and jailed him for three years. He was sentenced to six months in prison for abuse of authority.
His fellow Omani colleague, Abdullah bin Shaaban, Audi manager, was acquitted.
The following have been given one-year suspended jail sentences on the same charges, and the expatriates will be deported:
Manoj Kumar, an Indian working with the Suleiman Al Hadhrami Trading Co., Shafi Amin Parker (Indian, in charge of maintenance at the institute), Santosh Villan (Indian, computer engineer at the Muscat College for Administration Sciences and Technology), Sundeep Bhandarei (Indian, chief accountant at Golden Auditing Office), Joseph Kurian (Indian, production technician at the Oman Daily Observer), Shabeer Ali Muneer (Indian executive at the Haider Othman Trading Co.), C.A. Abdul Kareem (Indian, managing director of the Three-Star Corp), Azad Ahmed Kabeer (Indian, sales manager of Three-Star Corp.), Younis bin Abdulrehman bin Abdul Rasool (Omani), Abdul Rasheed Ghulam Ali (Indian, maintenance manager at the Suleiman Khadrami Establishment) and Fakhir Ahmed Zaeem (Pakistani commercial manager at Rahet Trading Co.).
Only two weeks ago, Mohammed bin Moosa Al Yousef, a former Omani minister and a business leader, was sentenced to six years in jail by the same court for breach of trust, manipulation of share prices and violation of the Muscat Securities Market, in what was essentially the highest-profile case in Oman's judicial history.
Three of his close associates were given lesser punishments, while his son and an adviser were acquitted. The sentences will be halved if the convicts pay a fine to be determined by the Commercial Court, the paper added.
Months ago, an ex-chairman of the Oman Housing Bank, its ex-general manager and other senior officials were jailed for embezzlement and misappropriation and heavily fined, in what was the first criminal case of its kind made public – Albawaba.com
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