GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss public broadcaster Radio Suisse Romande (RSR) reports that three Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment Corp employees have been charged by the Geneva public prosecutor in a bribery and money-laundering case.
Two British nationals and one Pakistani working for the drilling division of Al Rushaid may have accepted millions of dollars in exchange for awarding valuable contracts; the funds may have then been illegally deposited in a Geneva bank.
Swissinfo reports that Al Rushaid claims it lost “hundreds of millions of dollars” because the equipment, “bought at inflated prices was often substandard or was not delivered at all, delaying or preventing the completion of contracts.”
The money, which has been blocked by Geneva judicial authorities was allegedly placed in a private Geneva bank.
Although Swiss radio declined to identify the bank, Bloomberg Businessweek says Geneva-based Pictet & Cie was sued in New York City by Rasheed Al Rushaid for “concealing their receipt of the bribe money.”
Lawyers for the accused maintain that the source of the money is not illegal. The bank, which according to Swissinfo has been questioned but not charged, also denies that the money was obtained illicitly.