UAE-based Ameri Group LLC has rejected claims that its former CEO, Umar Farooq Zahoor is a criminal and is on the wanted list of Interpol for organised crimes and fraud.
A statement signed by His Royal Highness, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirati Company and a member of the ruling family of UAE, said Umar Farooq Zahoor, stated that the wanted Farooq is not the same person who signed as witness in the Ghana and Ameri power deal.
A Norwegian Newspaper VG reported that the Pakistani-born Norwegian, Umar Farooq Zahoor is being pursued by authorities in Norway together with Interpol for organised crime, including money laundering.The paper alleged that incidentally, Umar Farooq Zahoor is the same person who signed as witness in the Ameri power deal.
The Norwegian newspaper reported that Umar Farooq Zahoor is a well-known name among investigators at the Financial Crime Section of the Oslo Police District.
The deal brought ten turbines to Ghana to generate electricity for Ghana in order to mitigate the power challenges in the country.
However, the Newspaper suggested a possible inflation of the cost of the turbines by more than 200 million dollars adding that Ghana is paying $510 million for ten power turbines when the market value of the turbines is $220 million.
But the statement from the Ameri Group said Mr. Umar Farooq served as CEO of the company until l August 2015 but was never a shareholder or a partner in the company adding that “Mr. Farooq resigned as CEO in order to pursue other bigger business opportunities. Mr. Ziad Barakat was appointed as CEO of the company and is working in this position to date.”
“The tabloid article targets Mr. Umar Farooq, only wrongly portraying him as the owner of the company, but also tries to malign his character. Moreover, it states that Mr. Farooq attempted to swindle the Government of Ghana through this transaction by inflating the price of the contract. A ridiculous claim since the contract was agreed upon by the Ministry of Power and thereafter, ratified by the Ghana Parliament with full pricing transparency.”
“Another falsehood is that Mr. Farooq, on his own caused the transaction to occur. It is a matter of record that the sole owner of the above mentioned company is His Royal Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum, member of the ruling family of Dubai UAE.”
The company has further threatened to take legal action against VG for defamation.