Luxury watches, cars and gold bars in bribery scandal

Luxury watches, cars and gold bars in bribery scandal

Recently, a growing number of news reports have thrown light on attempts at foreign influence from abroad. The corruption scandal that erupted in the United States bears a striking resemblance to the one that shook the European Parliament.

POLITICS JANUARY 7. 2024 17:13

In September 2023, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Democratic Senator Bob Menendez with three counts of bribery offences involving interests linked to Egypt.

The indictment alleges that the politician provided aid and non-public information to the government of Egypt in exchange for materiel goods.

The scandal-scarred New Jersey senator was hit with a second superseding federal indictment recently, with prosecutors alleging that

Menendez accepted gifts, wristwatches valued at over ten thousand dollars, cars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, a luxury convertible and payments toward home mortgage to lobby congress on behalf of Qatar and Egypt, to help the two countries with investments and image building.

According to the prosecutors, the senator was the link between US businessman Fred Daibes and an investment company with ties to the Qatari government. Menendez was expected to help Qatar, and in return, the Qatari government helped broker a multimillion-dollar investment between the businessman and the Qatari investment fund. As a first step, the corrupt politician introduced Daibes to a member of the Qatari royal family, who was the principal of the Qatari Investment Company.

Meanwhile, the indictment reveals, the Democratic senator made multiple public statements supporting the government of Qatar. In September 2021, Daibes allegedly used an encrypted messaging application to send Menendez a message regarding a senate resolution supportive of Qatar.

Menendez promised the Qataris to closely follow the Biden administration’s efforts to dispatch more military personnel to Qatar and to intervene in order to expand and accelerate military protection. The politician also pledged to scale up and expedite Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) applications as requested by Qatar.

Following this, Menendez issued a public statement praising the Qatari government for its humanitarian operations.

On 9 December 2020, Menendez took to the senate floor to push for resolutions aimed at thwarting Trump administration efforts to provide Qatar’s main rival, the United Arab Emirates, with arms, aircraft and weapons systems. The senator argued that there were too many questions about the proposed sale and about long-term US national security interests, citing the United Arab Emirates’ relationships with Russia and China.

The Qatari investment company ultimately put tens of millions of dollars into a venture of Fred Daibes, Menendez’s associate.

As also reported by V4NA, in December 2022, the biggest-ever corruption scandal erupted in the European Union, with some elements eerily similar to Menendez’s dealings. On 9 December, the Belgian Federal Police arrested Greek MEP Eva Kaili after she was investigated for corruption, money laundering and organised crime, among other charges. Not only Kaili, then EP vice-president, was arrested, but also her partner Francesco Giorgi and former socialist MEP Antonio Panzeri. In addition, several current and former MEPs have been put behind bars on charges of corruption, money laundering and involvement in criminal networks.

The politicians acted in the interest of Morocco and Qatar in order to present the countries in a better light and steer European policies in their favour. In return, they received trips, gifts, money and other benefits. During house searches, authorities seized 1.5 million euros in cash and valuable gifts from Kaili and her associates.



Bob Menendez, corruption, usa