Norwegian-Palestinian Loai Mohammed Deeb was charged with misappropriating and laundering 10 million NOK (U$1.2 million) from his own human rights organization, according to a report by the government-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK Wednesday.
Deeb established the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), a human rights organization concentrating on promoting social justice, in 2008 in Norway. The organization, which declared bankruptcy in 2016, has been involved in numerous scandals throughout the years.
In 2012, documents leaked to Palestinian news websites declared that the Palestinian Authority had plans to use the organization as a front for intelligence gathering.
The Norwegian broadcaster reported on Wednesday that they had gained access to previously unpublished documents stating that Deeb possessed a Palestinian diplomatic passport and that a Palestinian intelligence officer was registered as a board member of the GNRD. The organization also received money from the Palestinian Authority, the report said. Deeb denied the claims.
From 2013 to 2015, the organization also received donations from Persian Gulf countries, which aroused the suspicion of Norway's Economic Crime Unit. The donations were found to be illegal and Deeb was charged with money laundering.
Loai Deeb was born in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, and migrated to Norway in 2001 as a Palestinian refugee. According to the newspaper, Deeb had a fairy tale career path — from delivering newspapers in Norway, he built up GNRD and went on to earn millions.
In September, Deeb is set to appear at the Stavanger District Court in Norway to respond to charges of embezzlement, money laundering, violating the Immigration Act and Norwegian Customs Act, perjury and forgery, NRK reported.
Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, contributed to this report.