Cma-cgm Case : the Series of Lawsuits Continues in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, France, England and the United States

by Businessurgent - Date: 2006-11-26 - Word Count: 919 Share This!

Damietta company case : The series of lawsuits continues in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, France, England and the United States

Free translation of the article of the syrian weekly « Al Boursat wal Aswak » of 1 8 October regarding the CMA-CGM case

The series of lawsuits continues in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, France, England and the United States .
Jacques Saadé besieged by the judiciary.
Every day reveals a new case on the arab and International level in the long story of Syrian national Jacques Saade, chairman of the board of directors of the French company CMA-CGM.

The lawsuit of his brother Johnny R.Saade is still under deliberation near the tribunal of cassation regarding the production near a notary public by Jacques Saade and Lebanese lawyer Choucri El Khoury of a false power of attorney related to the partition of his sole benefit and to the detriment of his brother, of a building situated in Lattakia.
This partition was forbidden by the magistrates.
This case became penal near the Investigating Judge in Lattakia and the General Prosecutor issued an accusation against Jacques Saade and Choucri El Khoury for forgery offence and the use of official documents. The case is under course near the Higher Council of the court of cassation.

A far as Egypt is concerned, the Egyptian and Lebanese press as well as some television networks have reported that a major contract forgery case has broken out between the French company CMA-CGM signed by Farid Salem, a close colleague of Jacques Saade, and the Damiette Container Company, a public-sector corporation, to the benefit of Jacques Saade and Farid Salem who profited from important amounts to the detriment of the Egyptian treasury; in addition ot their committing briberies.
Whereas CMA-CGM was forced to return to the Egyptian state the sum of 3 million Egyptian pounds in exchange for allowing Jacques Saade and Farid Salem from leaving the Egyptian territory and lifting of a seizure decision against their assets wherever they may be.

The payment of this amount falls within a compromise aimed at removing the legal proceedings initiated by the General Prosecutor against them and focus the responsibility solely on VMA-CGM employees, who are not the personal beneficiaries of this corruption case.

However the company Mistral (Holding) s.a.l., CMA-CGM shareholder, has recourse to the Egyptian judiciary as a civil party with the aim of denouncing the people involved in this corruption case and benefiting from Egyptian public funds. It is to be noted that such crimes are subject to the imprisonment and penal servitude for life.

This case had consequences outside Egypt. The ministries of Justice and foreign affairs of the United States and Great Britain undertook investigations suspecting that this case went beyond corruption and the diversion of public funds. The arab and foreign press reported those facts, among which: The Sunday Express, Lloyds, the Wafd (Egyptian), AL Akhbar (Egyptian), Al Joumhouryah (Egyptian), Al Ihtidal (Syrian), Al Kifah al Arabi (Lebanes), Al Balad (Lebanese) as well as others...

Jacques Saade was deeply surprised of Mistral holding's intervention at the court session of the penal tribunal on September 3rd 2006 which was adjourned to November 11th 2006 while at the same time keeping in custody the director of the Damiette company, engineer Ali Massaad and maintaining the warrant for the arrest against the regional manager of CMA-CGM, Nabil Bassil, fugitive, who is suspected of hiding in Jacques Saade's offices in Beirut. Despite Jacques Saade's attempts at denying any involvement following the clear confessions of the accused.

It is to be noted that the Egyptian judiciary, the General Prosecutor for financial matters is waiting for the return of Jacques Saade in order to arrest him.

It is expected that further developments will occur in the coming days especially that other similar corruption cases have been dealt with near the public funds general prosecutor in Egypt, establishing a new corruption case involving the Syrian national Jacques Saade acting on behalf of the French company CMA-CGM in Egyptian ports.
A number of lawyers of Jacques Saade are repeatedly coming to Egypt in order to find an unofficial compromise and put pressure on the Egyptian press in order for it to quiet down, and lead to a discreet closing of the file.

The Alam al Mashaeer newspaper (Egyptian), close to the investigation, reported that it was unlikely that Jacques Saade could be innocent of the crime of corruption given that the amount of the bribes is substantial and could not be undertaken by simple employees, especially that Jacques Saade personally benefited from this deal. It is his close relative Farid Salem who signed,on behalf of CMA-VGM, the false contract with the Damiette company.

As far as France is concerned, it is interesting to note that lawsuits are starting to encircle Jacques Saade as is reported by the French press. A new investigation has been initiated by the General Prosecutor in France and two investigative judges have been designed I the matter following a penal petition filed by Mistral against Jacques Saade for producing false accounts and under-estimated account projections in collusion with the company's auditors.

The above fits with the illegal transfers to the benefit of the personal accounts of Jacques Saade through his range of personal companies such as CMA International and Container Management advisors, which have been under liquidation with the aim of concealing those offences; however legal proceedings have put a halt to the liquidation process of those companies.

Le Journal du Dimanche and La Lettre du Sud have written in this respect and added that legal proceedings against Jacques Saade are intensifying every day and the noose is tightening around him.

Related Tags: business, cma-cgm, cma, cgm, french elections, ports scandal, france

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