Main Defendant in Alba’s Corruption Case Owns 50% of Largest Canadian Real Estates Worth $850 Million

2018-03-16 - 10:33 م

Bahrain Mirror: A Canadian news website revealed that Victor Dahdaleh, a British-Canadian businessman has paid $850-million for part of an office complex in the heart of downtown Toronto. The news topped the economic headlines in Canada and was pointed out by Reuters.

Dahdaleh is the main defendant in Alba/ Alcoa corruption case that cost Bahrain Aluminum company losses worth one billion dollar, after its signed contracts with the US Alcoa of over 3 billion dollar to buy products at a higher price than the real one. These contracts were signed after Dahdaleh paid 67 million dollar bribery to former oil Minister Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, former chief executive of Alba Bruce Hall with the knowledge and permission of Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman.

Despite Dahdaleh's case was closed after the interference of Bahraini government and changing of witnesses' testimonies, another British court sentenced Alba's former executive chief Bruce Hall to 16 months in prison. News agencies considered this case one of the extremely serious corruption cases.

Mr. Dahdaleh's privately-held investment firm, Dadco Group, now owns 50 per cent of Brookfield Property Partners LP's Bay Adelaide Centre in the city's financial district, according to land-registry documents. The property includes two office towers that are home to tenants such as accounting firms Deloitte and KPMG and law firms Borden Ladner Gervais and Fasken Martineau.

The deal marks one of the largest office deals in the Toronto market and the biggest property transaction so far this year.

The British-based businessman and philanthropist was accused of participating in a 20-year bribery scheme that involved U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. and a state-controlled aluminum firm in Bahrain. He was alleged to have helped Alcoa get contracts by bribing Bahraini officials, causing the country's metals firm to overpay for Alcoa's products. At the time, Mr. Dahdaleh denied any wrongdoing. A criminal case against him in Britain collapsed in 2013.

A unit of Alcoa eventually plead guilty in 2014 to violating U.S. anti-bribery laws and paid U.S. authorities a fine to resolve charges that it paid millions of dollars in bribes through a London-based middleman to Bahraini officials.

Mr. Dahdaleh was never identified as the middleman in the U.S. case. But when a trove of offshore accounts called the Panama Papers were leaked to news organizations, the Toronto Star and the CBC identified Mr. Dahdaleh as the middleman in question.

He served as the president of the Canada-U.K Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the International Aluminium Institute.

There are only a few deals that come close in value to the Bay Adelaide Centre sale, such as Cadillac Fairview Corp.'s 30-per-cent stake of the Toronto-Dominion Centre for $880-million in 2015.

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