tayyar.org – Sarkis Hillis in hiding

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Radwan Murtada-

Not all chapters of the adulterated fuel scandal have not yet been exposed. Corrupt oil caused breakdowns in the electricity company for years, according to a contract signed in 2005 on the day Fouad Siniora was prime minister and Muhammad Fneish was minister of energy and water, before he found out that behind him employees, general managers, company owners, and possibly ministers, colluded to plunder public money and deny the Lebanese Electricity. Judge Appeal Public Prosecutor in Mount Lebanon Judge Ghada Aoun has a report stating that one of the shipments that arrived last summer is nothing but oil waste, and another report stating that the shipment contains oil that includes chemical waste. As for the story, it starts from the contracts, as the contract was concluded with “Sonatrach – Algeria”, but the money was subsequently paid to another company called “Sonatrach British Virgin Island”, an offshore company based in Britain. But this is another story.

Investigations have not yet ended in the adulterated fuel scandal, but the mastermind and involved heads managed to escape and hide, while members of the information branch were arresting officials and junior officials in the oil facilities of the Ministry of Energy and Water participating in the scandal. Will the senior officials who have concluded the deals and demanded to rig the analyzes and falsify the reports will remain outside the bars? Although investigations have shown that the story of fraud is old, it has recently been exposed due to increased fraud. For example, judicial sources indicate that the head of the oil facilities, Sarkis Hallis, one of the most prominent suspects in this file, turned off his phones and left his home to an unknown destination, to hide from view.

Judge Aoun, who oversees the ongoing investigations, claimed 21 people in the file, and published four search and investigation reports against four main suspects in the scandal: Halees, the owner of the authorized Zr company, Teddy Rahma, and its general manager, Ibrahim Al-Zouk and tender manager George Al-Sane. It also claimed that the Director-General of Oil, Auror Feghali, issued 14 face-to-face arrest warrants against 14 employees for crimes of forgery, the use of counterfeit, bribery, money laundering, fraud and dispensing influence. The prosecution came after Aoun requested a prosecution permit from Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar against both al-Feghali and Hillis after they were absent from a hearing in the case, the subject of the news submitted by lawyer Wadih Akl, although they were informed of their due date.

Al-Akhbar learned from sources familiar with the detainees ’testimony that a large role for taste was being exposed, which was requesting a change in the results of sample analyzes in laboratories. While the taste disappeared from view as well, Al-Feghali returned to the investigation, and Aoun left her under investigation. It has denied any links with laboratories, falsification of reports, and tampering with them. Al-Akhbar learned that it informed the investigators that it was taking an annual “gift” from the company over Christmas that is gold or a women’s bag, noting that this type of gift was reaching most of the employees.

As for the other 17 detainees, most of them are employees of the oil facilities. Some of them have admitted taking bribes from “Sonatrach”.

Investigation sources revealed that the manipulation involved a number of fuel imports, noting that a number of employees were receiving bribes periodically with at least $ 10,000 for the employee. A source familiar with the investigation retrieves, as a matter of fact, the testimony of one of the detainees from the Zahrani facilities, who informed the investigator that he had collected only $ 60,000, while others had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Judicial sources told Al-Akhbar that the investigation is divided into two parts. The first relates to identifying those responsible for concluding the contract with a company for which nothing is known, bearing in mind that the contract was signed in 2005 on the understanding that it will be for 3 years before it can be extended periodically, and the second focuses Manipulating the reports, speaking about the existence of reports from the Zahrani facilities and reports from one of the countries confirms that the sample matches the specified specifications, but in reality it was not identical, which means that there is collusion and manipulation at large levels.

The information also indicates that there is a manipulation in the origin of the contract, which was signed on the basis that it is from state to state, before it became clear that the company does not directly supply fuel, but rather assigns other companies to hire it without observing the specifications. Investigations reveal the existence of tampering with bills and fraud in reports of detection of fuel, allegedly to meet specifications. This cannot happen without paying bribes. Here are two bribes. The first is paid in establishments to manipulate the specifications, and the second is for the sincere who enter fuel to Lebanon.

It is worth noting that the first clues to the adulterated fuel scandal came to the fore about a year ago, when the machines broke down, to begin talking about bad or bad oil. In the last shipment, which the official examination concluded was in conformity with the specifications, the examination conducted by Carriednes, the ship operator, and MEP operating in Al Zouk and Al Jiyeh, in Dubai, indicated that the sample did not meet the quality standards. This was later confirmed by the company, the model for withdrawing the shipment. However, Ghada Aoun considered the expansion of the investigation, especially after the Financial Attorney General Ali Ibrahim concluded that there is no public money wastage because the existing fuel has not been paid by the state, in addition to this the commitment of the responsible company to bring fuel in accordance with the specifications. Therefore, he referred the file to the Public Appeal Prosecution.

The information indicates a tampering with the contract, which was signed on the basis that it was from state to state

“There is a scandal over how to transfer responsibility from the seller to the buyer,” lawyer Attorney Wadih Akel told Al-Akhbar. He talks about five international companies that were appointed to inspect the shipment during its emptying, and it alone (that is, the five companies) has the exclusive right to issue a statement of quantity and quality before stamping it.

However, Akl discloses a ship called Paltic that has a statement from a company in Malta, which is outside the five companies stipulated in the contract. Not only that, as the Maltese company replied that it did not know “Sonatrach”, but that it had received costs from ZR Energy. This would open a parallel track in the investigations.

It should be noted that the arrested are: Director of Beirut Labs in the oil facilities Dima H. In charge of signing the results of the analysis Raymond AR. And the Director of Tenders George P., who is described as the right hand of Sarkis Hallis and Mirna Kh. From the laboratories of Tripoli, Mohsen G. was arrested. And Roger AR. And for. H. While Al-Zahrani Labs were arrested by: Refaat A. What. C. Tariq F. was also arrested. Who presents himself as a representative of «Sonatrach», but he is not authorized to sign it.

Yesterday, the file was transferred to the first investigative judge in Mount Lebanon, Nicolas Mansour, whose investigations are expected to start before the file is returned to the Public Prosecution for review.

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