Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ericsson accused of bribing ex-Omani Minister

Omantel really in the news this week!

That Ericsson was accused by a Swedish Journalist of paying about 2mln into the Swiss bank account of an agent for the ex-minister of Telecommunications in the late 90s hit the wire last week, but the ex-Minister was never named. That changed today.

It seems Swedish Radio has published documents listing the account's beneficiary as Ahmed Suwaidan Al Balushi, ex Minister rsponsible for telecom at the time and until 2000. Presumeably the same person who was also chairman of Oman's Alliance Housing Bank, until he was replaced at EGM July 2007.

While the investigator on whose work the story is based has said he has no evidence that the claim is true, readers should note that because he wouldn't have such evidence as he was looking at the system, not specific payments, and he hasn't said its not true.

A google search will get all the messy details.

STOCKHOLM, Nov 21, 2007 (AFP) - Ericsson AB, the world's leading mobile networks maker, allegedly paid more than a million dollars (euros) to a former Oman government minister in what appears to have been a bribe for a large contract, Swedish public radio reported Wednesday.

Ericsson paid 12 million kronor (1.3 million euros, 1.9 million dollars) into the Swiss bank account of Oman's former telecommunications minister, Ahmed Suwaidan Al Balushi, in the late 1990s, apparently as compensation for winning a 300-million-kronor contract in the country, Swedish Radio said.

"This seems very strange ... That the company paid some government minister through an agent probably means in this case that it was a bribe," Oerjan Berner at anti-corruption group Transparency International told the radio station.

Swedish Radio posted bank documents and memos detailing the transaction, made public during a tax probe of the company, on its website.

Ericsson in one memo listed go-between agent Peter Sullivan and his company Middle East Services as the beneficiaries of the commission payment for the contract it had received from Oman's telecommunications authorities to expand the mobile network in the capital Muscat, according to the radio.

The bank documents however reveal that Al Balushi, who was Oman's telecommunications minister until 2000, was the owner of the account into which the money was paid, the radio alleged. - 27k -


  1. Let's assume this is true.. how will the Omani government react towards this ? or they will remain silent ?

    Also if this was proven not true, how will the ex Minister, Al-Balushi, react ?

  2. Dragon,

    Interesting Blog. You must have balls the size of watermelons to publish this. Good on ya.

    I wish I could say that I am suprised that these accusations are coming out. But I'm not. I would expect that they are indeed true. Hopefully this will lead to greater government oversight regarding the game keeper and poacher set up within the ministries and companies, and perhaps greater fiscal controls and open audits of the finances of high tanking government employees and thier famalies. As if...


    I would hope that either way the government would investigate, and take the former minister to court if the evidence indicates.

    If Al Balushi has been falsely accused he would have the right to sue the news paper concerned for libel / slander. He could consent to an audit by an outside company and publish the results.

  3. Amjad,
    Exactly. The real story behind this item is going to be the response, just like in recent USA cases where its the cover-up and not the act that raises the interest of the media and the judges.

    However, it cannot be an accident that HE Al Balushi was replaced as Minister in 2000 and not given another Gov job.

    I'll take that as a complement. And let's all see if HE Al Balushi sues for defamation! Certainly at present it is all 'alledgedly'...

    Strange how while even the Gulf News has published (on-line), but no Omani newspapers I've seen yet... Did anyone actually read this yet in a Gulf News or other newspaper bought in Oman???

  4. Nop.. didn't read about this in local dailies and I'm not expecting to read anything regarding this in our papers.

  5. lol none of this is true :) the government never found anything this former minister its 2010 now :) this minister served the country for 34 years and has been loyal to the countries leader sultan qaboos..

  6. i wish one day i Awake from sleep and there is no any single indian in Oman

    let them go to hill

  7. one day we will fuck you indian from this country


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