Abdulaziz Saud

Saudi ordered to pay back $1.16 billion in BCCI case ..

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a retired Saudi government official to pay $1.16 billion in damages to the court-appointed liquidators of BCCI, a now-defunct foreign bank that was at the center of an international scandal. U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green ruled that Abdul Raouf Hasan Khalil, a Saudi businessman who was believed to be the biggest depositor in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, conspired with bank officials in a fraudulent scheme that resulted in big losses to the Third World bank.

Green found that Khalil allowed BCCI to use his name and reputation as a shareholder in exchange for a payment of millions of dollars. The scheme allegedly included siphoning off more than $250 million from BCCI to Capcom Financial Services Ltd., a brokerage company partly owned by Khalil.

Khalil's attorneys, James Linn and Stephen Johnson, didn't return telephone calls Thursday seeking comment. Khalil is retired and living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to the liquidators.

"We are pleased that the court has recognized the significant loss to BCCI caused by the activities of Mr. Khalil," said Stephen Akers, a partner in the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, who is one of the liquidators. "We intend to enforce this judgment aggressively so that additional funds can be repaid to the innocent victims of BCCI as soon as possible." The liquidators have said the victims include depositors and other creditors of the bank who were owed some $10.5 billion.

The ruling family of the Persian Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi owned 77 percent of BCCI before it collapsed amid allegations of arms smuggling, drug money laundering and financing of terrorists. At its peak, the bank had 1.3 million depositors and operations in 70 countries.

BCCI pleaded guilty in December 1991 to federal fraud charges a