Ghaith Pharaon

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Ghaith Pharaon
Born Ghaith Rashad Pharaon
(1940-09-09) September 9, 1940 (age 75)

Ghaith Rashad Pharaon (born September 8, 1940), is a prominent Saudi businessman, financier.[1]

Pharaon is an international fugitive who has been wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 25 years for his role in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.[2]


Ghaith Pharaon is the son of the former Saudi Ambassador to all Europe from 1948 until 1954. He attended schools in Lebanon, Syria and Switzerland. His university education was in the United States at the Colorado School of Mines from 1958 to 1961 (in which he received a doctorate) followed by the Stanford University from 1962 to 1963; and Harvard Business School from 1963 to 1965 (until his graduation).

He was appointed as a member of the board of associates of Harvard Business School and as a member of the International Development Council of the Colorado School of Mines.

After graduating from Harvard, Pharaon formed the Saudi Research And Development Corporation, Ltd. (REDEC), the largest private enterprise in the Middle East.

Pharaon was a key player in the global oil and banking industries in the 1970s and 1980s and at one time, the No. 2 Saudi investor in the United States. His investments include Interdec inc., the CRS Group, the Moran Company and he had several banks previously owned by James R. Bath in Georgia, including the First National Bank of Georgia. Pharaon currently has business interests in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Algeria, Jordan, and Argentina.[3][4]

Pharaon was a major investor in Arbusto Energy, former President George W. Bush's first business venture. After several attempts, Arbusto Energy emerged in 1986 as Harken Energy Corporation, with George W. Bush prominently on the board of directors.[5] In 1987, the Harken Energy was desperate for money, and a bank that was half-owned by Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) gave Harken a $25 million loan. Another Saudi investor and Pharaon partner is Abdullah Bakhsh, who joined the board of directors as a part of the deal. Bakhsh's banker was Khalid bin Mahfouz, who had his own shares in Arbusto/Harken, via the inheritance of Salem Bin Laden.[6][7]

Current activities[edit]

Pharaon currently works with the Attock and Pharaon Groups and maintains his interest in the Janna Spa & Resort. He is engaged in oil exploration, production, refining, manufacturing of petroleum products, chemicals, manufacturing and trading of cement, real estate, tourism and other sectors.[8]

Chairman positions[edit]

Pharaon serves as Chair of Attock Petroleum.[9] He also serves as the Chairman of National Refinery and Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd. He served as the Chairman of Attock Refinery Ltd. until February 18, 2011. He serves as a Director of Pakistan Oilfields, the Attock Refinery Ltd., Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd and the National Refinery Ltd.[10]

Military contracts[edit]

Although Pharaon had been a wanted fugitive by the F.B.I since 1991 for Massive Fraud in the financial collapse of BCCI Bank; Pharaon was awarded a total of $120 million in contracts by the United States military in 2008. The contracts were to supply thousands of tons of jet fuel to American bases stationed in Afghanistan and were awarded to Attock Refinery, a Pakistan-based refinery owned by him and directed by Kamal Adham, the former head of Saudi Intelligence.[9]


Pharaon has been wanted by the FBI since 1991 for his role in a massive fraud "involving millions of dollars" in the financial collapse of BCCI.[2]

Personal life[edit]

The extremely wealthy Pharaon is known to be quite fond of cigars, He lives in his super yacht, which he named Le Pharaon after himself and this repeatedly been seen moored alongside luxury yachts of the rich and famous. In June 2005, it was seen moored next to the personal yacht of Saudi King Abdullah in a Greek port. Two years earlier, it was seen parked next to another Saudi royal family super yacht near Beirut.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brisard, Jean-Charles (2005-08-15). "Naming Names: The Bin Laden Galaxy". Indymedia UK. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  2. ^ a b Leigh, David (2007-06-08). "BAE Files: Gaith Pharaon". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  3. ^ Nash, Nathaniel C. (August 1, 1991). "B.C.C.I.'s Flashy Man in Argentina". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Long, William R. (August 17, 1991). "BCCI Is One Financial Scandal Menem Hopes to Avoid". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Unger, Craig (2004-04-28). "Mystery man". Salon. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  6. ^ Beaty, Jonathan (2001-06-24). "A Mysterious Mover of Money and Planes". Time. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  7. ^ Beaty, Jonathan; Gwynne, S.C. (2001-06-24). "Scandal: Too Many Questions". Time. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  8. ^ "Profile: Ghaith Pharaon". History Commons. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  9. ^ a b Peters, Gretchen (June 4, 2008). "Indicted Saudi Gets $80 Million US Contract". ABC News. 
  10. ^ "Executive Profile: Ghaith R. Pharaon". Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  11. ^ "Wanted BCCI middle-man remains a fugitive". Khaleej Times. June 13, 2006. 
  12. ^ Omar, Kaleem. "POETIC LICENCE: Bush family’s awkward secret — II". Daily Times. 
  13. ^ Coll, Steve. The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. New York City: The Penguin Press, 2008. 297.