Panama Papers ‘middleman’ receives honorary degree

Panama Papers ‘middleman’ receives honorary degree

Panama Papers ‘middleman’ receives honorary degree York University has just given an honorary degree to the middleman in what U.S. officials say is a massive “corruption scheme” involving the Panama Papers scandal, the Toronto Star reported.

On Monday, York University gave Victor Phillip Dahdaleh an honorary degree – and that’s not the first honour the university has conferred on him. Last year, a new global health institute was named after Dahdaleh following a $20 million donation he made to the university.

However, a recent Toronto Star/CBC investigation of the Panama Papers found evidence that Dahdaleh was involved in what the Star called a “decades-long kickback scheme involving global aluminum giant Alcoa and government officials in Bahrain.” U.S. officials say that Dahdaleh enriched himself with at least U.S. $400 million in markups and made “at least $110 million in corrupt payments” as part of the scheme, the Star reported.

At Monday’s commencement ceremony, Dahdaleh was given an honorary doctor of laws degree. Harvey Skinner, York’s dean of the faculty of health, said Dahdaleh was “exceptionally deserving of this honorary degree.” According to the Star, Skinner would not answer questions about whether the university’s selection committee considered the bribery scandal when selecting Dahdaleh for the honour.

Last month, the Star/CBC investigation reported that Dahdaleh acted as the middleman between U.S. and Bahraini aluminum companies, “pocketing huge profits and paying bribes through a British Virgin Island-based shell company called Alumet Limited.”

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