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Oman releases Indian tycoon convicted for graft

Mohammad Ali, the richest Indian in Oman, released on royal pardon

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P. Mohammad Ali
Gulf News

Muscat: P. Mohammad Ali, the founder and former managing director of Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG, was released in the first day of Ramadan, Gulf News has learnt. 
A government official, who declined to be identified, told Gulf News that Ali was released as part of the royal pardon, without giving further details.

In January 2014, the Muscat Criminal Court had sentenced Ali to a three year-jail term and slapped a fine of 1.7 million Omani riyal (Dh16.9 million) after convicting him in five graft cases. Ali resigned after being convicted by an Omani court in a high-profile corruption case, according to the company’s posting on Muscat Securities Market (MSM) in 2014.

Ali was accused of bribing officials in state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), to obtain contracts in the oil and gas sector.

In 1972, Ali along with an Omani Shaikh, founded Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG, which started small, to become later as the largest construction company in the country.

Ali received the Omani government’s ‘Civil Order Grade Three’ for his efforts to push the wheels of the economy of the country. Galfar is reportedly Oman’s single largest private sector employer, and Ali has been known to be the richest Indian in Oman.

More than 20 government officials and private executives from Oman’s oil industry and related sectors have been jailed and fined for offering or accepting bribes in exchange for contracts, mostly in infrastructure projects in the past four years.

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