Ex Senegal Minister; Hong Kong Businessman Charged with Bribery

Randall Padilla
November 24, 2017

The Justice Department said in a statement Monday that former Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Gadio was arrested on Friday, and former Hong Kong Secretary of Home Affairs Patrick Ho on Saturday.

Two former government officials from Hong Kong and Senegal were arrested in NY last week, the U.S. Justice Department said, for alleged bribing senior African government officials on behalf of a Chinese energy company, as well as money laundering.

The company was not identified in the announcement or the complaint filed in NY federal district court, but details in the complaint pointed to CEFC China Energy, the Shanghai-based rising star of China's energy industry. CEFC is widely seen as a kind of mysterious company that has close ties to the Chinese government and plays a key part in President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road global expansion plan, according to observers.

"In an worldwide corruption scheme that spanned the globe, Chi-Ping Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio allegedly conspired to bribe African government officials on behalf of a Chinese energy conglomerate", Joon Kim, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement, according to Reuters.

US authorities have arrested two foreign officials on charges of participating in a large-scale corruption system seeking to secure favorable investment terms for Chinese energy company CEFC in Africa.

FBI Assistant Director In Charge William Sweeney of the New York Field Office said Ho and Gadio "were allegedly willing to throw money at the leaders of two countries to bypass the normal course of business, but didn't realize that using the US banking system would be their undoing".

"Their bribes and corrupt acts hurt our economy and undermine confidence in the free marketplace", Blanco said in a statement.

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

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".

On its official website, CEFC China Energy said it was "highly concerned" about the case, but stressed it had no "commercial relations of authorisation" with the China Energy Fund Committee think tank, where Ho was secretary general of its Hong Kong Non-Governmental Fund Committee.

Gadio was Senegal's foreign minister from 2000 to 2009. But details in the complaint pointed to CEFC China Energy, the Shanghai-based rising star of China's energy industry.

In addition, the criminal complaint alleges, Ho paid a $500,000 bribe to Kutesa, the Ugandan foreign minister, in exchange for obtaining "business advantages" for the energy company, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank.

"Mr Ye was labelled China's "newest oil baron" by Forbes Magazine in 2016 after his company made a number of large investments in the Czech Republic".

Calls placed to the company went unanswered.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER