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China arrests top suspect in Kutesa bribery affair

 

The founder and owner of a company which allegedly offered bribes to African leaders, including Uganda’s foreign minister Sam Kutesa, in return for business favours, has been arrested in China, reports show.

According to the South China Morning Post, Ye Jianming, the Shanghai-based China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) firm owner, was arrested for questioning at the start of this month.

Ye Jianming (R) with Sam Kutesa. Ye was arrested on the orders of China's president 

His detention follows the November 21, 2017 arrest in New York of Hong Kong’s former Home Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping on charges of routing bribes for African government officials through US financial institutions. Ye, a little-known but wealthy entrepreneur, employed Ho. 

The paper reported that Ho, 68, was leading a life of what he called “civil diplomacy” since his retirement from Hong Kong’s public service. He headed a think tank called the China Energy Fund Committee.

Among those Ho allegedly bribed was Kutesa, who was at the time president of the UN General Assembly. Kutesa has denied receiving any such bribe. The arrest of Ye turns the spotlight on the way the company did its businesses.

Ye’s detention in China was ordered directly by Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to South China Morning Post.

Ye established CEFC in 2002 when he was in his mid-20s, and the company had spent at least $1.7 billion since 2015 buying energy-related businesses in Romania, the UAE, Russia and Chad, said the South China Morning Post report.

The CEFC allegedly offered a $2 million bribe to Chad’s president Idriss Deby in exchange for valuable oil rights and $500,000 to Kutesa for an energy deal in Uganda’s nascent oil sector.

“Ho also provided the Ugandan foreign minister…with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits of a potential joint venture in Uganda involving the energy company and businesses owned by the families of the Ugandan foreign minister and the president of Uganda,” said a US Department of Justice statement on November 20, 2017.

amwesigwa@observer.ug

Comments

+1 #1 WADADA rogers 2018-03-11 16:30
I hope their arrests will implicate our own Kuteesa, i think he has been so slippery, his 40 days have come
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-1 #2 Jama 2018-03-11 19:42
The US department has a file in which the 1986 liberator is involved in this bribery issue.

So kutesa could simply be a go between.
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0 #3 Ronald Lumu 2018-03-12 10:23
As usual our leaders will always come out and deny anything they're implicated in. It's a culture here.

That's what their conscience dictates to them. The international community already has the details. So let Kuteesa enjoy his safety only in Uganda where such things are acceptable/condoned - more details on this link

http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2135238/china-detain-cefc-founder-ye-jianming-stocks

Ho and Senegal’s former foreign minister Cheikh Gadio operated “an international corruption scheme that spanned the globe” since 2014, according to a November 20, 2017 statement by the US Department of Justice.

The two men allegedly offered a US$2 million bribe to Chad’s president Idriss Deby in exchange for “valuable oil rights,” and another US$500,000 to Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa
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0 #4 rubangakene 2018-03-12 22:33
A cat as only nine lives. It seems to me that our "very own fat cat" has used eight of his. So what next?

There is no hiding place; you can't go and hide in Europe because these people act together.

Rwanda is not an option either because Kagame is an 'eagle' when it comes to corruption. He could 'refer' himself to Luzira Executive Wing if that is any solace.
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