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8 convicted of money laundering, forgery in RO6m bank fraud

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Eight individuals, including a woman, were handed prison terms ranging from 1 to 10 years, as well as steep fines, in a case of embezzlement, forgery and money laundering linked to the theft of funds reported by Oman Arab Bank in December 2020.

In a filing to the Capital Market Authority on December 22, 2020, Oman Arab Bank said it had filed a criminal complaint with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) following the unearthing of a suspected case of forgery and embezzlement involving funds totalling around RO 6 million.

On Friday, the Public Prosecution announced that it had secured the convictions of eight defendants charged with the crime. It follows a verdict issued by the Muscat Court of Appeal (Criminal Chamber).

Shabib bin Mohammed bin Saleh received a sentence of 10 years in prison for money laundering, and a fine of RO 50,000 in addition to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of RO 300,000 for theft, and a further two-year term for forgery.

Ammar bin Abdullah bin Shaaban also received a 10-year prison term and fine of RO 50,000 for money laundering. Salim bin Mohammed bin Hamoud and Omar bin Humaid bin Musabah were handed five year terms apiece and a fine of RO 50,000 for money laundering, in addition to prison term of one year for forgery.

Said bin Sultan bin Mohammed, also charged with money laundering, received a one year prison term and a fine of RO 50,000. Ahmed bin Darwish bin Mubarak and Rashida bint Hashel bin Salem were found guilty of money laundering and received a three-year prison term and a fine of RO 50,000. An additional term of one year was awarded for forgery.

Dr Essam bin Mohammed bin Khalfan was handed a 3-year prison term and a fine of RO 50,000 for money laundering, in addition to one year for forgery.

The court also ordered the recovery of the stolen funds, as well as valuables procured with the aid of the embezzled money. The latter includes jewellery, vehicles, property and real estate.

A lawsuit filed by OAB accused defendants of siphoning off bank funds into their personal accounts, as well as those of their companies and other accomplices. With the illicit funds, they bought real estate and vehicles, repaid personal loans and hid part of the loot.

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