6 December 2018

A U.S. federal jury convicted a Hong Kong businessman W, Dr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho  (pictured) of bribing the presidents of two African nations to secure oil rights for a Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy.

From 2002 to 2007, he was the Secretary for Home Affairs in Hong Kong. After this, he joined a lobbying firm established and funded by CEFC China Energy (CEFC), a Shanghai-based energy company. He has been an advocate for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Ho and former Senegalese foreign minister Cheikh Gadio were arrested in New York in late November 2017, charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering. The pair offered a US$2 million bribe to the president of Chad for oil rights, and deposited a US$500,000 bribe to an account designated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda on behalf of CEFC. These bribes were dressed as donations but were meant to secure oil rights for CFFC.

 State-owned energy company China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) was fined $1.2 billion by the Chad government for environmental violations, and its oil license there had been revoked. Ho approached Gadio, a close friend of the president of Chad, to resolve the issue. CEFC Energy Company, had hoped to embark on a joint venture with CNPC to enter the oil market in Chad. CEFC funded the energy think tank Ho represented at the UN, the China Energy Fund Committee. With Gadio’s intervention Chad commuted the CNPC’s fine to $400 million.  The possibility of a joint venture with CNPC, was off the table, so Ho decided to meet Deby himself to strike an independent oil deal for CEFC. For this he paid $2 million. But CEFC never got the oil block but invested it paid $110 million to a Taiwan oil company for a 35% share of its oil rights in Chad.