Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Tripoli hotel under investigation for bribery
The U.S. lifted most of its sanctions against Libya after Moammar Kadafi agreed to dismantling the country’s nuclear-weapons program in 2004. Americans raced to investment money in the North African nation, which was benefiting from oil sales and recently had opened up to foreign investment.
Authorities are examining investment deals made around the time of the financial crisis and afterward. Ozm was an investor in a joint venture to construct a luxury hotel in Tripoli which has come under scrutiny in a probe on the use of placement agents to conduct deals in Libya.
The White House said that financial service providers would be able to support transactions to buy and invest in Libyan oil and products because it served U.S. interests. Then when companies do business, and encounter business conditions that the U.S. government no doubt knew it was going to encounter, the company then becomes the subject of a law enforcement inquiry.
Investigators began in 2011 trying to determine whether firms violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which outlaws the payment of bribes by US companies anywhere in the world. Regulators have been investigating how the Libyan Investment Authority made investment decisions before the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in 2011.
Och-Ziff felt the investigations were not serious enough to mention until the recent Och-Ziff 10K. Investigators are examining an investment by the $65 billion Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund based in Tripoli, in some of Och-Ziff funds in 2007 and investments by some Och-Ziff funds, both directly and indirectly, in a number of companies in Africa.