Tuesday 27 September 2016

Panda hit by €350k fraud in deal linked to Saudi prince

Simon Rowe

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

Irish recycling giant Panda Waste was the victim of a €350,000 fraud in a failed bid to export scrap copper from Saudi Arabia.

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The scam involved a ­Saudi-based lawyer with links to a high-ranking Saudi prince based at the Saudi Embassy in Dublin. The fraud forced Panda to withdraw from doing business in Saudi Arabia, and the incident sparked a major legal and diplomatic row.

The waste giant engaged Irish agent Clinton Chaney to source scrap metal in Saudi Arabia.

Chaney subsequently signed a contract purporting to be between Prince Turki bin Nawaf bin Abdullah Saud Abdulaziz Al Saud, with an address at the Saudi Embassy in Dublin, and a man who he believed to be the prince's lawyer, a Yemeni national Mr Tariq Bin Marzouq. The contract permitted Panda to export 793,000 metric tonnes of scrap metal.

Panda paid Stg£278,000 to Mr Tariq - the first of three planned payments - to secure scrap metal from his firm in 2011.

But within months of ­signing the contract, Mr Tariq had "taken payment, delivered no product whatsoever and disappeared", documents sent to the Saudi ambassador in Ireland reveal. "This amounts to theft and deception," wrote Mr Chaney.

Panda bosses appealed to the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Dublin and the Saudi foreign minister in Riyadh before instigating legal action, leaked documents reveal.

Panda Waste secured a judgment against Mr Tariq Bin Marzouq last year in Riyadh.

However, Mr Tariq failed to appear in court and Panda has not yet recovered any of the monies sent to Saudi Arabia.

Sunday Indo Business

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