Human rights advocacy NGO the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) and its Palestinian-born president have been accused of handling stolen goods and money laundering.
The organisation, which boasts over 100 staff, its own flag, and even “high commissions” in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and is based out of offices in Norway, has been charged along with director ‘Dr’. Loai Mohammed Deeb of laundering kr100 million – or about £8.5 million. The news comes only days after the organisation announced the opening of new offices in London.
The purported source of the money, which appears to be chiefly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), may lead some to draw conclusions about some of the unusual projects GNRD has engaged with in the past.
TheLocal.no reports the charity, which lists among its “collaborators” all the usual suspects including the European Parliament, the United Nations, and the African Union, created its own system for indexing human rights around the world – and surprised many by scoring the UAE very highly.
Placing 13th globally, the UAE left the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Germany trailing in its wake. Emirate officials have reportedly cited the study to bolster the UAE’s standing and reputation globally, but the revelations that large amounts of criminal money flowed from the nation to the NGO may prove troublesome.
This is not Loai Mohammed Deeb’s first run-in with the law, as he was accused in 2010 of establishing and running a fake university, which claimed to have a large staff and premises, teaching a wide variety of Islamic degrees. Al Bab reports the fraud, which Deeb denied, was uncovered in 2010 and the ‘University’ was closed after threats by the Norwegian government that the institution, which was actually based in Deeb’s single story house, did not constitute a university at all.
Al Bab also reveals Deeb’s involvement with anti-Israel action groups, and other organisations he has founded, such as the Arabic-language Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights, and Emirates-registered Deeb Consulting, a company with only one employee, Loai Mohammed Deeb. In a curiously circular arrangement, Deeb Consulting was originally listed as one of the main funding partners of the GNRD.
Reports suggest that Deeb was questioned by police on matters relating to the corruption charge, and was later released pending a coming court case.