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Qatar’s Fight Against Corruption: Healthcare Workers Convicted in Big Case

Fannar Qatar

A Qatari official employed by Hamad Medical Corporation has been handed a 15-year prison sentence and fined 729 million riyals ($200 million) after being convicted of bribery, abuse of authority, embezzlement of public funds, and money laundering.

Additionally, three other HMC staff members were found guilty of similar charges, including another Qatari official who received an 11-year prison term and a fine of 171 million riyals, according to Qatar’s prosecutor’s office.

These four individuals were part of a group of 16 individuals charged last July with engaging in corrupt activities at HMC, Qatar’s largest healthcare provider.

Furthermore, ten others, including two Qataris and owners of firms contracted by HMC, were sentenced to between five and eight years in prison and collectively fined 250 million riyals.

Two of the accused were acquitted, as per prosecutors.

The charges stemmed from an investigation exposing “employees exploiting their positions at HMC, showing favoritism towards certain companies owned by other defendants, and aiding them in securing contracts to provide medical goods and services to HMC in exchange for monetary gains,” prosecutors stated when announcing the charges last year.

Following ample evidence gathering, the attorney general ordered the transfer of the accused to the appropriate criminal court.

HMC, which oversees 12 hospitals, the National Ambulance Service, and provides home and residential care in Qatar, boasts a staff of over 25,000.

Qatar has intensified its anti-corruption efforts in recent years. These convictions in the HMC case occurred just two months after a Doha criminal court sentenced former finance minister Ali Sherif Al Emadi to 20 years in prison for laundering over $5.6 billion. The court also mandated him to pay fines exceeding 61 billion riyals, which included a 40.9 billion riyals fine—twice the laundered amount—and additional fines surpassing 21 billion riyals, as reported by Reuters.

Al Emadi, who was arrested in May 2021 and subsequently removed from his role as finance minister, held significant influence within Qatar, serving as chairman of the central bank, on the board of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, and as president of the executive board of Qatar Airways.

The day before Al Emadi’s arrest, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim abolished provisions granting cabinet ministers immunity from prosecution.

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Written by Saleh wasim

Blogger who writes topics such as Employment, News, travel, sports, events and life in Gulf.

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