Adviser to Arafat wanted for embezzlement, fraud

PA Anti-Corruption Commission head announced Muhammad Rashid wanted for involvement in corruption cases, embezzlement of public funds.

Yasser Arafat 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Yasser Arafat 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Muhammad Rashid, who was one of Yasser Arafat’s closest advisers, is wanted by the Palestinian Authority for embezzlement and fraud.
Rashid, who is better known by his nickname Khaled Salam, served for many years as Arafat’s top economic adviser.
Rakif Natsheh, head of the PA’s Anti- Corruption Commission, announced on Tuesday that Rashid was wanted for involvement in corruption cases and embezzlement of public funds, especially those belonging to the Palestinian Investment Fund.
Natsheh said that Rashid was also suspected of having established fictitious companies to lay his hands on public money.
Despite repeated requests by the PA authorities in the West Bank to report for questioning, Rashid has refused to comply, prompting the anti-corruption commission to seek Interpol’s help in arresting him, Natsheh added.
He said that the PA has already asked a number of countries to freeze the former adviser’s bank accounts and other assets.
The decision to issue an arrest warrant against Rashid came two days after he appeared on the Saudi-owned TV station Al-Arabiya and talked about his work with Arafat and the PLO.
Rashid said in the TV interview that Arafat appointed him as his economic adviser in 1994, when the PA was established following the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Rashid, who was born to a Kurdish family in Iraq, was the man behind the Oasis Casino project in Jericho. He persuaded Arafat to agree to the project by arguing that only Israelis would be allowed to gamble there, since Islam forbids gambling.