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Arab businessman takes steps to clear his name.

Byline: Arab News

LONDON: An Arab businessman accused by the United States of links to the Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's regime has firmly denied wrongdoing and has taken immediate steps to clear his name, according to a press release. The current furor centers on the US government's incorrect contention made on July 25, 2008, that Thamer Al-Shanfari, former chairman of the defunct Cayman-based mining company Oryx Natural Resources Ltd. (ONR), was involved in supporting the Mugabe regime through his company. Al-Shanfari denied that he is linked to the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe and has made an application to the US Treasury to remove his name from their sanctions list and clear his name. He expressed deep shock at the error in placing him on the sanctions list as a result of his alleged links with ONR.

Al-Shanfari's solicitors, the London-based firm The Khan Partnership, are filing an application to the US Treasury this week.

Lawyer Hassan Khan pointed to the simple fact that his client's involvement in Oryx ended on Dec. 12, 2002 when he resigned as chairman. "It is unacceptable that our client has been falsely accused in this way, based on a wholly inaccurate factual source presented to the US authorities and when the facts show that he has had no involvement in the company since 2002. Since that time control of the mine and the company has moved on several times: First African Diamonds Ltd. took over operation of the mine in November 2005, at which time production of diamonds actually ceased; Oryx then went into liquidation and into the control of liquidators Grant Thornton LLP (April 2007)," he said.

"We are taking formal steps to clear his name, beginning with a formal application to the US Treasury to have his name removed from the sanctions list. We will also be inquiring of the US authorities, through court action if necessary, as to the source of their inaccurate information and taking appropriate steps against the inaccurate source to ensure that these fabrications immediately cease," he added.

Copyright: Arab News A[umlaut] 2003 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 3, 2008
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