Fu Hong Construction, Roads and Bridges Enterprises is a recent addition to
the long list of Chinese companies involved in corruption in foreign countries. The
company, owned by Chinese couple viz., Fu Hong and Ji Hong (wife), is based out of
Sobha area of capital city of Khartoum, Sudan. In the past, the company has closely
worked with security establishment and political leadership of now deposed President
Omar Al Bashir. It was involved in a number of projects, particularly in sensitive
departments/locations. Some of the major projects that the company was involved in
included construction of Higher Academy of Strategic and Security Studies (HASSS)
building which serves as the main Training Academy for the cadres of General
Intelligence Service (GIS), renovation of the Cabinet Hall, farm house for Omar Ali
Bashir, new house for the now deposed Vice President Osman Ali Taha for 6 million
The absence of foreign competitors due to international ban emboldened the
Chinese company to enjoy free run. It earned millions of dollars mainly by inflating cost
of projects and paying kickbacks as quid pro quo. The kickbacks were channelled to
some prominent leaders of the previous regime including deposed President Omar Al
Bashir and Vice President Osman Ali Taha.
However, the company’s fortune overturned following the December 2019
revolution and after the commencement of proceedings against the company by the
Committee constituted by the Transitional Government to recover public funds and ill-gotten wealth from the elements of previous regime.
In December 2020, the personnel from the Committee (which has executive
staff drawn from police and army) raided the premises of the Fu Hong Company and
recovered 800 grams of gold, 35,000 USD and SDG 116 million in cash. The same
group raided the company again around March 2021 and seized 1,38,000 USD in
cash. They reportedly demanded 4,00,000 USD to drop the case. All these attempts
were kept secret both by the company and also by the raiding party.
However, the incident came to the notice of General Intelligence Service and it
launched an investigation into the matter. The agency found out that the raid and
recovery was unauthorized and the amounts recovered were never accounted for.
Some personnel under the committee used the ongoing investigation as an avenue to
extract money from the Chinese company. A search of the bank accounts of the middle
level officers of the Committee revealed that they were holding more than 2 million
USD in their accounts.
The involvement of Chinese companies in various projects not only created a
climate of corruption and gullibility but also eroded public funds. While the Chinese
Embassy has so far remained silent, the inaction on part of the company to seek legal
recourse and not to approach the Embassy seeking consular access etc. throughout
the crisis is shocking. Many have attributed this as clear indication of the level of
culpability on the part of the Chinese company since the company did not want a full
scale investigation to be launched against them causing further embarrassment and
exposure. Presently, investigations are underway. In light of the above revelations, it
now becomes imperative to review the actual motive and functioning of the Chinese
entities in foreign shores.