Africa Intelligence: Budget for Training Libyan Pilots Ends Up in Turkish Real Estate – Al Marsad
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Africa Intelligence, a leading news platform on energy, economy, politics and topics relevant to North African countries, has just published a report that details how budgets allocated by a state-owned company for the training of Libyan pilots ended up being transferred to Turkish real estate investment.

(LIBYA, 23 February 2021) – Africa Intelligence revealed details this week of how a British-based company in York, Prime Education, owned by Tevfik Sekerci, received a €18m contract from the Libyan state-owned Executive Authority for Air Cargo and Special Flights (EACS) to train Libyan pilots and civil aviation executives, but instead used most of the money for “Istanbul-based land and property funds”.

Tevfik Sekerci

The EACS manages the Libyan government’s aircrafts and it obtained on 5 February a ruling from the British High Court “for the seizure of more than €15m from Prime Education”. After months of effort the EACS’s legal team managed to obtain a “summons issued against the training company’s Turkish subsidiary, Prime Education Havacilik Limited Sirketi (PE Turkey).”

The British High Court has set the trial date window between 1 October and 21 December 2021 “to hear the case against the subsidiary’s bosses, Tevfik Sekerci and his wife Sera Jane Sekerci.

The EACS had in December 2015, through its chief executive at the time, Jamil Shubana, contracted Prime Education to train “up to 250 pilots, technicians, and civil aviation specialists.” The contract was for a total of €18m and which “was remitted between February and May 2016 to cover training expenses and pay students during their apprenticeship in Europe.”

However, as EACS claims, “Prime Education never carried out its side of the contract, except for €445,000 of services actually provided by the French aviation school ESMA, and the payment of €1.3m in per diems paid to the apprentice pilots who took these classes.”

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

The money, however, was used by Tevfik Sekerci instead to pay “£448,000 in the form of interest-free loans to York Property Suites, a British real estate structure he controls with his wife, and some €14m to PE Turkey, a structure he jointly owns with a Turkish partner, Burhan Conoglu.” According to the article PE Turkey “used the money to acquire two plots of land in Istanbul’s Bagcilar district, on which it had buildings constructed at a cost of around €11m.”

Tevfik Sekerci, however, told the British High Court “that the real estate investments were carried out with Shubana’s verbal approval, to fill the time taken to sort out administrative problems with the training curriculum.”

It added that, in “July 2016, Sekerci and Shubana signed an amendment to the original contract in Istanbul that stipulated that Prime Education would keep all sums already paid as damages in the event that EACS breached the contract.”

JAMIL SHUBANA

Shubana’s relations to Prime Education and “the circumstances of his arrival at the head of EACS” are also being looked into. The article explained that Shubana was a trained pilot and appointed by Khalifa al-Ghwell of the rebel government in Tripoli, to replace Shaker Own as chief executive of EACS on October 2015 by Khalifa al-Ghwell’s rebel government that set up in Tripoli after Ali Zeidan’s elected administration fled to Tobruk. Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the GNA, finally sacked Shubana and installed Khalil el-Gammudi on October 2016.

© AL MARSAD ENGLISH (2021)

Source: Africa Intelligence

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