Bahrain banker held over fraud
January 30, 2010 - www.saudigazette.com.sa
MANAMA - The chief executive of The International Banking Corp (TIBC) has been detained by Bahrain authorities on allegations of embezzling more than $2 billion, a news report said Wednesday.
The public prosecutor ordered the detention of the executive, who may not be named according to Bahraini law, after he was charged with breach of trust and theft following two days of interrogation, the Arabic-language daily Al-Bilad said.
In July, the Central Bank of Bahrain assumed control of Manama-based TIBC, which is owned by the Saudi-based Algosaibi Group. TIBC, which was engaged in Islamic banking and provided commercial loans, reportedly owes $2.07 billion.
The Algosaibi Group announced in mid-2009 that it had discovered substantial irregularities at its financial services arm as well as widespread fraud in documents submitted to banks by TIBC.
Investigations revealed that some signatures attributed to Suliman Hamad Algosaibi, chairman of TIBC’s parent company, were forged and had been computer-generated, Al-Bilad’s report said.
TIBC has been placed in administration by the Central Bank of Bahrain for defaulting on some of its obligations.
The wholesale bank is majority-owned by Ahmed Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers.
A US court ruled two weeks ago that TIBC was protected from claims against it while it remains in administration under Bahraini law.