March 10, 2010
Ernst & Young’s investigation into the TIBC bank reveals an establishment that was out of control.
It is the report that investigators working on behalf of the creditors of the Saudi conglomerates Saad and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB) had been trying to get their hands on for months. (IOL 608) Submitted February 25 to the New York State Supreme Court, where the two conglomerates are locked in battle, the Ernst & Young report on AHAB subsidiary The International Banking Corp (TIBC), brings to light numerous irregularities
The inquiry, commissioned by the Central Bank of Bahrain, shows that TIBC’s chairman Sulaiman Algosaibi supposedly signed the group’s annual report on February 12, 2009, while in fact he was in a Zurich hospital in intensive care on that date. Other documents, including directors’ signatures on minutes of board meetings, were clearly forged, and numerous companies the TIBC had supposedly lent money to could not be located and are thought to have been fictitious. The bankruptcy of the TIBC brought down Saad and AHAB with it. The conglomerates collectively owe around $20 billion to around one hundred international and regional banks (IOL 599). To date, only Saudi creditors have got some of their money back.
Negotiating collectively, as the law requires them to, the creditors of Saad and AHAB have since realized that the group’s assets will not be enough to cover the totality of their debts, and now are scrambling to preserve their own individual interests. The principal creditors have hired the services of a large number of corporate intelligence agencies, mostly British, to find assets that might be seized and to find documentary evidence against the conglomerates.
AHAB, which has blamed the debacle on Man al-Sanea, the chairman and CEO of Saad, is also using British investigators to bolster its case against its former partner. The conglomerate is being advised by U.S. lawyers Baach Robinson & Lewis and the British corporate intelligence cabinet Withers. Man al-Sanea is being defended by Simmons & Simmons.
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