Bahran shaking hands with Jeffrey in Sana’a (source: AP)
Yemeni Papers are publishing reports that the nuclear deal that Yemen signed with US-based Powered Corp last month is really shady. The report first came out in the Mareb Press which ran an article a few days ago summarizing what Yemeni-American Munir al Mawri uncovered. Now the the Yemen Observer is running a complete translation of al Mawri’s allegations.
Armies of Liberation has a lot on this which you should check out. You can also see what al Ghani says about his fraud directly on the powered website. There SEC filing can be found here, and includes the same response as well as much of what al Mawri has said.
The recent announcement by the Minister of Electricity and Energy that the Yemeni Government had signed a $15 billion contract with the U.S.-based Powered Corporation to build five nuclear power plants in Yemen, has been met with suspicions of fraud and dishonesty.
I believe it is my duty as a Yemeni-American to make this information public and to reveal the mystery and controversy surrounding this deal. This comes out of my concern for Yemen and because I am convinced that reputable American companies do not get involved in activities that harm poor nations.
The information that I give here is verifiable and can be supported by documents in my possession. I am obliged to mention the names of those involved in the deal as they have direct relevance to this article.
I first learned about the Powered Corporation from its website and found that the main owner of the company and its executive director is a Yemeni immigrant named Jalal al-Ghani who works alongside his American partner named James Jeffrey. The legal cases of the company are taken care of by a Saudi lawyer named Khalid al-Sunaid.
The headquarter of the company is in Houston, Texas and it has two main branches; one in Dubai and one in Yemen in the Besbas Building in front of the Sana’a Trade Center.
After investigating the company I found that the main owner had changed his name when he first arrived in the US, from Jalal Abdul-Ghani to his current name, Jalal al-Ghani. Sources from within the Yemeni community in Houston say that al-Ghani had lived in Oklahoma before moving to Houston.
Looking at the résumé of the Electricity Minister Mustfa Yahya Bahran, which was published in some Yemeni newspapers during the last Cabinet reshuffle, I noticed a coincidence: Bahran had spent time in Oklahoma, studying Nuclear Physics in a university during the same time when al-Ghani was also living there. This suggests that a possible connection between al-Ghani and Bahran.
The papers and certificates proving that Bahran obtained his university degree in Oklahoma could not be accessed, as it is not allowed to check university certificates. Fortunately, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act allows anyone to access information about al-Ghani’s company; everything including his résumé for those who may want to buy assets in the company and to check the record of the owner and the register of the company.
According to the records, al-Ghani previously held a senior position with a public corporation called Adair for Gas and Fuel. Due to it being a public corporation and again thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, it was possible for me to locate dozens of documents about al-Ghani.
The documents indicate that al-Ghani was fired from the Adair Company because he had lied about his qualifications and was subsequently charged with fraud against shareholders of the company.
A Kuwaiti investor named Abdullah al-Mulla who has had business dealings with al- Ghani said that al-Ghani had stolen money from his company and announced bankruptcy in order to avoid paying back what he owed people. Some legal documents stated that he had also stolen $165,000 for a trip to Yemen for personal reasons. “There are many secrets and mysteries surrounding this man [al-Ghani], and there have been many lies told about his certificates, experience and his membership of some organizations and companies,” said al-Mulla.
I also have in my possession documents from an independent investigative committee that found that al-Ghani had misled shareholders of Adair and had misled the board about his experience and about certificates from universities. On the Powered Corporation website, al-Ghani denies all accusations against him and says that the disputes with his opponents from Adair have been settled and that in return they will drop the lawsuits filed against him.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has warned people against buying assets from the Powered Corporation because of its unbalanced budget and the fact that the company has never actually carried out a project in its field and was only registered two months ago. The Powered Corporations’s risk analysis mandatory advisory states that when investors buy their stock shares at $10, they instantly lose $9.95 of that money.
Minister of Electricity and Energy, Mustfa Yahya Bahran has assured Yemenis that al-Ghani’s company will provide all the necessities and requirements of the projects. In return, the company will sell the power units later after the reactor is built. The question is how can a small company provide $15 billion in services and equipment? The only possibilities are that it will contract the work to other companies or get the expenses of the project study from the Yemeni Government-expenses that should not be given to a company that has so many suspicious black marks in its reputation.
Bahran has yet to announce the details of the agreement to the public and let the people know about it. The Parliament also has the right to discuss all the details of the agreement before approving it. The president of Yemen, who undoubtedly has not looked at the negative information about the Powered Corporation and its financial position, should not be entrapped and fall victim for trying to solve the power problems that Yemen suffers from. There are other safer ways than giving the deal to a company that is owned by people who have been dishonest in their dealings with others.
It is worth noting here that the owner of the Powered Corporation, Jalal al-Ghani or Jalal Abdul-Ghani as he was previously known, has no connection or any kinship with Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani, the Chairman of the Shoura Council.
The author tried phoning the Powered Corporation headquarters in Houston for more information. American partner James Jeffrey answered the call, but refused to give any comments. The author has never spoken to, met or even heard of al-Ghani before the beginning of the deal with the Yemeni Government.