American Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has partnered with two firms that have been accused of bribery in a bid for a casino license in Cyprus, Global Sources Magazine reported, citing its own investigation.
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The online magazine quotes Cypriot officials close to the bidding as saying that the Trump Organization LLC, a privately owned multinational conglomerate based in the Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan has also hired a former Cypriot finance minister as part of his efforts to win the tender.
The Cypriot parliament passed legislation in August to pave the way for the first ever casino resort to be opened. Last week the parliament gave the go ahead for the first casino license to be issued, the World Casino News web site says.
As many as eight companies have been reported to be bidding for the license.
Globes Sources says, quoting unnamed Cypriot officials, that one of Trump's partners in the bid is Aktor, a Greek company it says is under investigation for involvement in a bribe and money laundering scheme in Macedonia.
A subsidiary of Aktor called Helector was also said to be involved in a waste management bribery scandal in the Cypriot city of Paphos, according to documents from an ongoing court case there.
The site identifies Trump's other partner as gaming company Navegante Group, based in Paradise, Nevada. Navegante, accused some years ago of trying to influence New York officials to win gaming rights at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens.
The Trump-Navegante-Aktor consortium has proposed multiple hotels, a convention center an outdoor amphitheater and a luxury shopping mall for the Cypriot capital of Nikosia, Global Sources says.
A source close to the biddings has told the site that Trump's group has not been short-listed as a candidate for the license but was still plugging behind the scenes to try and win. The winning bidders may be named as soon as March 15, Global Sources reported.