Police recommend indicting Shari Arison for bribery

Shari Arison Photo: Einat Levron

Former Shikun u'Binui controlling shareholder Shari Arison and other senior executives are suspected of bribing public officials in Kenya.

Israel Police Lahav 433 National Economic Crime Unit and the Israel Securities Authority have announced the completion of their investigation into Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) in 'Case 1445' involving alleged bribery of public sector employees in Africa.

Israel Police and the Israel Securities Authority believe that there is sufficient evidence to put former senior Shikun u'Binui executives on trial for bribing a public official in Africa, falsifying corporate documents, perverting the course of justice, money laundering and reporting violations in order to mislead. Sources inform "Globes" that those to be indicted include former Shikun u'Binui controlling shareholder Shari Arison, Shikun u'Binui chairman Moshe Lahmani, former Shikun u'Binui CEO Ravit Barnir, and other senior executives.

The allegations involve bribes to civil servants in Africa and in particular in Kenya by Shikun u'Binui and its units including Swiss-based SBI International AG, a fully-owned subsidiary. The suspected offenses relate to the period between 2008 and 2016 when Shikun u'Binui allegedly systematically made illegal payments to African officials in order to increase the company's profits.

The investigation became public in February 2018 when senior Shikun u'Binui executives were detained for questioning and documents and computers were seized from the company's offices.

The investigation has been long and complicated with 50 company employees questioned and suspected of offenses and statements taken from 34 witnesses. The investigation was undertaken in cooperation with Kenya's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which questioned 19 Kenyan public officials.

The investigation found that in Kenya alone bribes worth tens of millions of shekels were made on infrastructure work worth hundreds of millions of shekels.

The case will be handed to Israel's State Attorney for tax and economic matters for perusal and a final decision on the indictment.

The suspects in the case have not been convicted of any offence and are innocent of any crime until proven guilty.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 26, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Shari Arison Photo: Einat Levron
Shari Arison Photo: Einat Levron
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