Hostage in Qatar : Drama, Art or Reality?

By scorpio79

Is this drama, art or reality?

from http://hostageinqatar.com

My name is .., I am a hostage in Qatar, the richest country in the world. I’m living at the residence of the .. Ambassador since last year, because I can’t get out of the country.

Having kept quiet for too long, I decided to tell you my story through this blog and on Twitter. I’m happy to introduce myself briefly on the page about me.

This is my message in a bottle. I hope that someone reads it. If you do, please spread the word and start shaking the tree.

..

Note : this is not about scorpio79 - he just posted about it.

Note 2 : as many people have pointed out in the comments, there is always the other side of the story. That's why we have comments.

Ratings calculated automatically using technology developed at QCRI and MIT.

Click here to learn more.

By rj0178503• 4 years 6 months ago.
rj0178503

In nations where the concept of law is almost non available or used precisely and individual privileges have no say, there are identical threats to all those who project their way here all best serials

By philbogaert@gmail.com• 6 years 1 month ago.
philbogaert@gmail.com

I've been back home in Belgium now for almost two years now. If you want to know the whole story, from travel ban to escape, i've just published a book about it called EXIT PERMIT, only in French for now.Also, I've created a blog commenting the book as well as its publications and press articles. You'll find it on www.exitpermit.info.I want to thank you all for the interest in my cause and hope to read you on the blog.CheersPhilippe Bogaert - Hostage in Qatar   

By britexpat• 6 years 12 months ago.
britexpat

Thanks.. This is exactly what I have been trying to preach....

By the way, you haven't been working too near the magnetic field of the digital doobries , have you ?

By qatarocean• 7 years 9 months ago.
qatarocean

In 1999 he worked in Ras Laffan with a Turkish Co for Only 1800 QR.

He got citizenship due to his father got it and he inherited. That is how some people get richer.

So sad.

By ste• 7 years 10 months ago.
ste

Can anyone clear up a rather salient point?

Is the qatari/pakistani guy taking legal action because of profits he did not get or because of losses he has actually had to cover?

"only mad dogs and englishmen go out in the midday sun"

By fubar• 7 years 10 months ago.
fubar

:)

That's the most uplifting story I've read all day.

By ajinpt• 7 years 10 months ago.
ajinpt

Thanks arkiegirl for that info.. After going through the post and comments, I really wanted him to escape somehow!!

---If you can't CONVINCE them, CONFUSE them!!!

By arkiegirl• 7 years 10 months ago.
arkiegirl

Wow! Philippe made it home!

http://www.flanderstoday.eu/content/businessman-escapes-qatar

By d4v3• 7 years 10 months ago.
d4v3

@laurana: you nailed it

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

who's going to pay off all those debtors?

By bleu• 8 years 1 week ago.
bleu

versi, why?

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

if that be the case...

he is in to get _____ed...

this is the flip side of being a 'Qatari sleeping partner'

By QatariLady• 8 years 1 week ago.
QatariLady

Side agreements are widely used in Qatar besides the main contract and they're perfectly legal.

By bleu• 8 years 1 week ago.
bleu

es/PM,

I'm sure the 51% ownership is on paper for the legal requirements in Qatar, they must have a "hidden" contract that states:

1- He does not own anything and that everything is the sole ownership of Dialogic SA

2- He is not responsible for anything.

3- He is entitled a fixed amount of QR XXXXX or X% of the income whichever greater (or maybe just one of them)

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

He is not just a sponsor he owns 51% and it is practical! If they violated the contract then under EU and beligium law they can be held accountable.

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

exiledsaint said ...As for the other matter the Qatati should sue the company in Qatar and Belgium for the money owed and if he wins an injuction can be taken out against the company for the debts."

- Very difficult, not practical. And the Qatari sponsor in this case is an individual, even if he has deep pockets, it would not likely be sufficient to follow through in the Belgium Courts.

If there is a Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act or something, there may be more accessible legal redress but don't think so here.

*****************************************

The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

 

 

 

I didn't drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By bleu• 8 years 1 week ago.
bleu

I would urge "Farukh" to sue using his "hidden" contract.

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

According to the newspaper report it seems simple. He bounced cheques and that is what he is convicted for, not for the debts of his company. To me that seems the right judgement.

As for the other matter the Qatati should sue the company in Qatar and Belgium for the money owed and if he wins an injuction can be taken out against the company for the debts.

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

"no comments"

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

 

 

 

I didn't drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

how does it matter?

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

 

 

 

I didn't drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090625/FOREIGN/706249820/1002/FOREIGN

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

I never saw this resolution in the newspaper.

 

 

 

I didn't drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

garnet06ph is right in the sense that he's not a hostage and the company should take responsibility.

He is the only officer of the company at the material time (even though he's resigned now) who is still within jurisdiction of Qatar.

Companies who do not honour their commitments or run away when trouble comes should be held accountable.

So the criticism is that no one wants to do business in Qatar and Qatar will suffer for it, so there? But at the end of the day, what is the source of the problem? It's not Qatar, which has opened its doors to foreigners to develop the country and what does it find? Some unscrupulous quarters out to take advantage of it.

So then it goes into a downward spiral - Qatar had to find ways to (further) protect itself (and its people - its primary focus), hence the restrictive rules. The execution of which has been relaxed, depending on individual circumstances, but then again, some people take advantage of that, and then land into trouble (eg. harm people by their thoughtless actions) and then the rules get enforced more strictly, etc,etc.,etc. Can people see that their actions actually harm themselves and others? It's like, if they're smart or lucky, they get away with it.

Can say that life is like that, smart people get away with it, and therein lies the justification for doing it because then people will hold them in high regard for being "smart".

Crux of the matter - objective - personal benefit or community benefit. Default mission, if you will. If it's for personal benefit, sooner or later, things will not go your way. What goes around comes around one day. Community benefit - looking out for others, will also come around one day. People you never met or known, could end up helping you, so why sweat the small stuff?

Ok. Off tangent. The Cookie Monster put me up to it. I swear... by the moon and the stars and the ... ummm.. whatever...

*****************************************

The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

bleu said - MikaylasMom, No! There are contracts between them that the Qatari owner gets 1 to 10% of the profit/income, or a fixed amount per year.

The 51% is only to satisfy the laws."

Correct. So do people see how some of the ones who entered into business with foreign partners have been unfairly treated? Laws have been abused by people who look for loopholes and use it to their own advantage.

The key to change and the positive way forward is ethical business leaders.

*****************************************

The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

he's been found guilty = he must have committed some crime... why should it be interpreted any other way?...

Besides, if a Belgian businessmen were to be wrongfully arrested, I would imagine international news agencies would jump on it like hyenas... so I am sorry... I am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I feel sorry for him and his family

But I trust the local judicial system even in the absence of sufficient information

I do not think public reporting of judicial proceedings is a prerequisite to ensure justice is served

In any case, now that legal proceedings have taken its course... I am sure talks are in progress to have him extradited... give it six months to one year max and he'll be with his family...

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

be humble

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

Why would he be held as a hostage when he was just an employee of the company? the Belgian company has the juridical personality, the company must settle this and not by the person. for he is just working for the company that time. hhmmm IMHO

"lain man k batasan oi!"

By anonymous• 8 years 1 week ago.
anonymous

Since nothing has been reported on all we can do is guess :-)

 

 

 

I didn't drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By verisimilitude• 8 years 1 week ago.
verisimilitude

Business is ruthless

Do the crime...

serve the time...

By MikaylasMom• 8 years 1 week ago.
MikaylasMom

Ah, ok, thanks for clearing that up for me bleu.

Motherhood...The hardest job you'll ever love! : )

By bleu• 8 years 1 week ago.
bleu

MikaylasMom,

No! There are contracts between them that the Qatari owner gets 1 to 10% of the profit/income, or a fixed amount per year.

The 51% is only to satisfy the laws.

By MikaylasMom• 8 years 1 week ago.
MikaylasMom

The one thing I can't get out of my head is that any company here has to be 51% Qatari owned. Maybe I am naive but isn't that partly so they gain a majority of the profits? If so, then why can't this guy accept the majority of the loss?? He is the "owner" of the company trying to put his losses on someone lower in the company. He has no problems making a profit, but has a problem taking a loss.

Motherhood...The hardest job you'll ever love! : )

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

PM said "If both sides were put out there, people could form a more balanced opinion."

- Sorry, but disagree. Trial by the press / internet is unfair. Not because people think lawyers are trying to protect their "rice bowl", but because the press and internet, and blogs or whatever does not have the people qualified to judge, to argue the case, to assess the facts, etc,.etc.

"As it is, it looks like most ex-pats will think he is being abused; and most Qataris will think their courts are right."

- You are intelligent and experienced and are able to assess whatever you read with greater understanding and will be able to pick out when people are bs-ing or trying to pull a fast one or talking out of their a***. Or trying to mislead. BUT not everyone is like you. Many people are at different stages of knowledge and experience., How can you monitor that to ensure that people will be guided to decide a matter fairly?

To have a system - a set of rules and guidelines to follow. And every legal system is not as advanced as yours. Everyone has to start somewhere, learn from mistakes and move forward. But must have a system in place.

"(there is such a thing as court reporting) and clear up any misconceptions there may be."

- True - like the law journals. A system of binding precedents, etc. Agreed.

But note, that not everyone will understand the court reporting. And from there, things will get messy again because of misinterpretations, and people will head in whichever direction their own agendas take them.

"That is why these things are reported on in the news."

- It creates an extra-legal system of checks and balances, agreed. Pressure on the judiciary to act fairly, etc. or the members of parliament will be removed the next elections, etc,etc. But free press is taken a bit too far most times.

*****************************************

The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

Edit: NO doubt he has resigned - but looking at it from the local's perspective, if he has no security in place to set off his losses, the foreigner can simply run away and leave the local to face the music all on his own. Ask yourselves whether that is fair."

And put aside the oft repeated assumption that all Qataris are millionaires. It's irrelevant. So if they are cash rich, they owe us a living? They should keep paying for our mistakes? Note: I didn't say they don't make mistakes, everybody does. It's just a matter of which party is responsible - the breach from which all losses flowed, the one whose actions caused the problem and no break in the chain of causation. If break, then apportion blame. Also if situation of out party's control, etc,etc, so many issues, every single detail changes the course of things.

People who make mistakes should own up to it and not try to sweep things under the carpet. Be man enough to admit it and rectify it, not run away like gutless cowards.

/But of course, the details are important. Hence, like Britex said - leave it up to the Courts. Ignore the criticisms that the judicial system is less than fair. I don't think so actually. It's always mainly a matter of substantiation and presentation. ie every party has to do their part.

//Lunch break over. Goodbye.

*****************************************

The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By Eagley• 8 years 1 week ago.
Eagley

Someone just told me about this story. Haven't read the whole thread yet but unfortunately, emotions aside, Blue is correct. Should get proper facts straight.

Note:

1) The Qatari is in an extremely difficult position -

"Azad, who under Qatari law would be responsible for the debts of the company he sponsored, launched a court case against Bogaert holding him responsible for the failure of the project and demanding €3.2 million in compensation."

- He trusted the foreign company and entered into a partnership which was supposed to be win-win. It was not and who suffers the consequences? What's the whole story? Does the company have insurance cover or some security to cover the losses? If so, then it is totally unfair - because he can have the debt repaid. If not, then the Qatari is justified in standing his ground.

2) “I am being held hostage in Qatar..."

- Overly dramatic. It is actually not about him personally but about the foreign company. The reason why he is unfortunately stuck here is to put pressure on his company to do something about it. If it's a diplomatic issue, then hold the foreign company responsible. It's a mess they created, they have to be responsible. The people cleaning up the mess are usually under a lot of stress and strain.

Having said that, because of these negative experiences with irresponsible companies, other companies are affected and similarly painted with the same brush of mistrust. The details / facts are important.

Edit: NO doubt he has resigned - but looking at it from the local's perspective, if he has no security in place to set off his losses, the foreigner can simply run away and leave the local to face the music all on his own. Ask yourselves whether that is fair.

3) "myself captive to a medieval system in which a corrupt young man could hold me prisoner on a whim. This is a cautionary tale for westerners who come to work in the Gulf. You have no rights.”

- Wrong. You do have rights, if you can see further than your own emotions and situation. Unfair statement as it is not a medieval system. It is a legal system - the same all over the world where there is a system. Just because you don't know the system, doesn't mean it's wrong.

4) The Belgian company, Dialogic SA, which ceased supporting Bogaert financially after he resigned, cut off all communication with him in March 2009 and no longer answers his calls."

The Belgian government, despite multiple efforts, has not been able to resolve the situation."

- And people are blaming the Govt of Qatar??? You know what they said about finger pointing - 1 pointing outwards but 3 point inwards.

*****************************************

I didn't say it. The Cookie Monster said it.

I also don't plagiarize...

By anonymous• 8 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

the way this is coming across. The fact that there is no reporting on such an issue that could impact diplomatic relations and perceptions of the country is what is causing the biggest problem. If both sides were put out there, people could form a more balanced opinion. As it is, it looks like most ex-pats will think he is being abused; and most Qataris will think their courts are right. Why not put out the story (there is such a thing as court reporting) and clear up any misconceptions there may be. I'm glad you assume your courts are ruling correctly but from where I come from we do not make such an assumption. That is why these things are reported on in the news.

I still stand by what I stated: It seems to me that this "new Qatari citizen" appears to be flexing his muscles and taking advantage of this employee.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By bleu• 8 years 1 month ago.
bleu

PM, it's a court case, and we're only hearing from ONE of the two parties. I won't assume that this guy is right just because he's a westerner (like so many do - I'm not saying you do that). But I do assume that the judges here would rule by the law, if he got a sentence, he was wrong, unless he can prove it in the appeals, and he SHOULD GO TO JAIL!

By anonymous• 8 years 1 month ago.
anonymous

they would report on such things and help to clear the record. As it is, I can't help but feel that this is a case of some young "new citizen" -- who has probably reached heights he never dreamed of as a Pakistani -- feeling his power and using it in a corrupt way. No one has presented any evidence that clears up the issue that this Belgian guy is financially responsible for the loss of a company that he was employed in.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By bleu• 8 years 1 month ago.
bleu

It was on his blog. We don't know why he got the sentence, I'm sure the ruling was based on evidence.

By lusitano• 8 years 1 month ago.
lusitano

Oryx,

Who got the 3 years, the Qatari major owner or the belgian employee?

Was it in the local media?

By Oryx• 8 years 1 month ago.
Oryx

the guy got given 3 years ....mmmm

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

AbuAmerican,

That's the true facts. The Qatari owns 51% of the business and is "employed" by his own client.

So he is not only the owner of the service provider but he also works for the client of the service provider. He shares responsibility at both sides of the fishy business and he still has the right to detain people!!!!! What kind of country is this?????

By Ingesu• 8 years 2 months ago.
Ingesu

Before coming to Qatar my family warned us of something like this, after watching a film based on a real-life case in Saudi... who could believe it also happens here?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0143236/

By philbogaert@gmail.com• 8 years 2 months ago.
philbogaert@gmail.com

Thank you to everybody for sharing your honest point of view.

The story is spreading all over the world.

Today The Independent published its first article in the UK.

Check it out and feel free to comment. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/trapped-in-limbo-in-a-land-of-opportunity-1704235.html

By AbuAmerican• 8 years 2 months ago.
AbuAmerican

Simple fact is if you let companies own 100% and not 49% stuff like this would be crystal clear and not all muddled and foggy. All good and all bad would be upon the company.

Of course the Qatari guy is whining, there are losses involved and he cant get his new Porsche, Land Cruiser and cell phone. Had all gone well and he got his check he wouldn't give two squirrel farts about what happened at the company.

You want the predominate share take the predominate share of responsibility. Signing and getting paid isn't enough buddy.

Let companies operate on their own and the rest of this mess will sort itself out. Cant? Well sucks to be you, YOU OWN the company and its YOUR responsibility no one else. AAAAAhhhhh personal accountability here.... lol wont happen.

______________________________________________

Brazilian Jujitsu in Qatar

http://iloveqatar.net/bjj/

By skyshy• 8 years 2 months ago.
skyshy

I feel sorry for the hostage. This is not the first time this has happened here.. I've heard this happen to a lot of people in Qatar.

By ramikh81• 8 years 2 months ago.
ramikh81

you didn't complete one year yet and you start to complain, I am trapped here for 8 years until now and didn't visit my country once all this time,and for a much lower amount of money,what you expect from a system that give a God power to people,Qatari just get a profits my friend they will not lose when the business lose you only will, try to enjoy the summers :) keep smiling this is the life

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

just heard that the ex-managing director paid himself a success fee of 100,000 euros!! paying ONLY 60,000 qr to Mr. Hostage for letting him leave the country was cheap peanuts. Mr. Hostage should have negotiated for more!

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

I wish they'd stop using the word 'hostage'. It's sensationalising and inaccurate, and discredits what they're trying to do.

By GodFather.• 8 years 2 months ago.
GodFather.

May be he can Take a boat to Bahrain and escape via Manama.. Just a thought. They say that when the tide is low you can walk to Bahrain. Never tried it

-----------------

HE WHO DARES WINS

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

Season 2 of this melodrama starts here -

http://hostageqatar.wordpress.com/

Will Gulf times publish a review of this episode? It remains to be seen tomorrow.

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

It's good that he can still use an internet.

Internet can help him alot specially in this world of cyber network.

He reminds me of the story of one person who was jailed but was able to make money inside the jail using the internet.

I wish you luck and your freedom philippe.

By Mandilulur• 8 years 2 months ago.
Mandilulur

I can't wait for the next episode!

Mandi

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

Incredible Qatar ;)

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

http://hostageqatar.wordpress.com/timeline-of-events/

Aha!!!! There's a third side. Previous management that was replaced by this guy, and that he allegedly put hostages in Qatar until they paid him QR60k.

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

only executive responsibilities but also financial, administrative and legal. In fact the CEO/general manager is the ultimate power in company. The owner can only verify if he is following the path to obtain the contracted goals. When a manager is starting his activity he must be aware about the status quo of this company. So that mean he know from the beginning if everything is OK or not and if he continue to manage the company, mean he considered everything OK and he is taking responsibility of everything. No company by itself is creating losses, only the manager does!!. And when he accepted the job, he took the responsibility from the shoulder of previous manager. It is a common practice to check all the documents, accounts, history prior to accept such job.

If he is a honest and qualified manager he should file a case against the former one immediately after starting the work: did he????

Result: he was naive(commercially for stupid) or too greedy to have the job no matter the effects.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

Why is the manager responsible for the losses? I don't think it's normal for a manager to have to pay back the losses made by a company (unless he did something illegal to cause the losses). He doesn't have a stake or investment in the company, he just works for them.

The court case filed against him, which is what prevents him from leaving Qatar, is based on an accusation that he had criminal intentions. That's where the two sides of the story come in - did he or didn't he do something illegal, which resulted in the company losses?

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

laurana - agree with you.. u seem to have nailed it right where it belongs..

u can fool some or all people some of the time, but u can't fool all people all of the time..

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

belgian company or the qatari sponsor or the manager are right or wrong. I am just saying that the manager is responsible for losses. The court will decide if he has to be punished or not. In all countries in the world, such events block the repatriation of the persons in charge. A prove for his naivety is that he is still here, but all the laws are considering him as potential guilty for the failure. If I would be the Qatari partner, I would do the same, considering that the manager will be able to press the Belgian Company to take part of the responsibilities. I hope that it will go in such way for the manager. But as I said previously, I feel no pity for a manager who should be responsible of a contract and does not take care about his dependants (either employees or employers). And in such cases, even the state will not allow him to go back home until the court decide. He should contact a lawyer not the media. He should fight against the one who put him in this situation and not against someone who have been kicked too. Again, if I would be in his situation, I would try to have an agreement with the Qatari partner in forcing the Belgian company to pay for their mistakes (i.e. for having a previous non-qualified manager that created the losses). He is just crying about missing his family. What about the families of his employees, is he crying for them too? I have been involved in similar situation in EU and the effect is identical. If you like the status of managing staff be sure you can handle it to succes or be ready to pay for failure.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

scorpio is right - unless this guy did something illegal that caused the business to fail, which seems unlikely, I don't see how he can be guilty of anything.

You're right to say there are two sides to the story, in so much as this guy may be exaggerating things for effect (by using the word hostage, for example), but I don't see how there can really be a side to this story that justifies a court case against him which results in him not being allowed to leave Qatar.

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

@speed..

this is not a case where u have an innocent or guilty person.. this is a business turned sour and the employees have been made business partners against their will by the management and not paid their salaries. unfortunately, the management is sitting in belgium and u have a managing director that has "resigned" since he was naive to have picked up this new assignment by its horns..

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

qatar06, lusitano - As it says on his website the state (through the MoI) do have the power to let him leave, but because he has a court case filed against him they are not allowing him to.

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

@laurana..

ur comments could be right for a general case.

however, what if the belgian company had put up the whole capital.. and the sponsor was only there in the picture to get publicity due to the high profile project, and who was paid a pocket money every month for doing nothing or not to meddle in the project..

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

qatar06,

You spotted the fundamentals of what is wrong in this story!

Congrats for your objective observation!

By SPEED• 8 years 2 months ago.
SPEED

stories unless I see both sides of the coin ....

If he is innocent and not guilty for sure God will help him and he will get justice soon.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

The pending court case is what prevents the authorities from allowing him to leave.

By qatar06• 8 years 2 months ago.
qatar06

If you haven't been charged with a crime, then what right does the State have to take away your liberty?

That's what is wrong with the sponsorship law. It gives individual Qataris the power to take away the civil liberties of other residents. That is a right that should be reserved for the State.

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

It is an internationa commercial and administrative rule/law that the owner/shareholder is away of anything done without his written request or consent. Even with his consent or instruction, the manager is the first and main responsible. If he consider that owner's requirements are not legal or suitable for the management of the bussines he have the possibility to resign before bad things happens.

It is not the owner (in legal terms) who is conducting the activity. Is the CEO and executive manager!! If you will not receive your salary you will not blame the owner but your director....What tpo do in case of corporations? Will you blame 2000000 shareholders for the fraude of the general manager? They will have their part of losses and that's all. This is bussines jungle: if you dare you participate, if you are lucky you are a rich man, if not you go to jail (extreme). But you are the one to accept or not this risk.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

laurana - an employee, whether they be a manager or whatever, who has no stake in the company, is not responsible for the companies losses, unless something he did caused those losses, which isn't the case here.

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

as manager and administrator he is fully responsible for the status of the bussines. The qatari partner have no reason to ask for penalties from his belgium partner. The belgian company, legaly, can send the manager to court for miss-administration. So in the end this guy is responsible for everything has been done, even if he was not here at that time. He took not only the position and salary but also the status quo of the company. If he was carefull he should have in his contract a clause to absolve him from any previous fraud or missmanagement. But he was blinded by the unexpected raise of his life level, he considered everyone a stupid moron and the things gone bad. Now he has to pay for this. Consider that the qatari partner has involve in bussines, maybe not money but at least relationship, guarrantees and image. And probably because of the failure he will not be able to start another similar bussines. The belgium company, as many other, more than possible, have invested only a small amount of money, waiting for a boom. It does not work so they consider an acceptable loss and they gone back home. Again, this guy should be aware and to avoid problems he should go in a long holiday before the explosion. And, sorry to say that, but I am not crying after such kind of individuals. They are creating the bad side of the existing world....

By genesis• 8 years 2 months ago.
genesis

Something seems fishy…

From what I recall the Qatar Marine festival is sponsored by QF. And the guy claims the pak-qatari partner works at QF. Isn’t this conflict of interest???

By Hadiibm• 8 years 2 months ago.
Hadiibm

what do u expect people ??

sooner or later we will be stuck with

a similar condition .

because again there is two standards approch to this,

rest assure that these things will go on in the arab world and will never be fixed.

what does a manager has to do with company losses ,where is the owners in all of this?

and why is the qatari partner blaming the managerm well in fact his partners has gone without getting a peace of his anger....

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

he is such a sweet, innocent guy with an overdose of naivety.. who was used by the belgian company management as a front to prevent the 50+ employees from turning against the company. While Mr. hostage was being paid a salary till the time that he resigned, the rest of the staff were left out in the open along with their familes with unpaid salaries of 3 months and counting, some barely having a roof over their heads, some sleeping in their cars, others left the country after using up their credit card limits and the facts go on and on..

if you consider the number of court cases on this subject, all parties (management in belgium, qatar, employees, ex-employees) have filed cases against each other for monopoly dollars while very few efforts seem to have been made to ask for the money that is actually owed by the client.. but then the belgian shareholders are sitting cosy in their living room, eating frittes and watching season 1 of this belgian melodrama..

remembered something - u can fool some or all people some of the time, but u can't fool all people all of the time..

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

He's the weakest link, there's nothing they can do to the Belgian company, but they can keep their manager in the country until this problem with the company.

By goaboy• 8 years 2 months ago.
goaboy

i feel very sad for this person.its slavery here plain and simple.

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

Mandi, people here want to ignore that part. Since they're a Belgian company, they ARE be fair.

By Mandilulur• 8 years 2 months ago.
Mandilulur

OK, I just read more carefully:

The Belgian company, Dialogic SA, which ceased supporting Bogaert financially after he resigned, cut off all communication with him in March 2009 and no longer answers his calls.

Wow, that's a whole 'nother story in itself.

Mandi

By Mandilulur• 8 years 2 months ago.
Mandilulur

Seems that the honorable thing to do would be for his Belgian company to post a large bond with the Qatari court and allow him to go home until the court case. (Is there such a thing as a surety bond here?)

Mandi

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

He is not one of the partners, is he?

That is my point bleu. He is an EMPLOYEE. They should go after the PARTNER. I do recognize the flair for the dramatic by calling himself a hostage, but the facts seem to be that he is an employee being held responsible for problems created by teh business owners.

BTW, found the information about Azad quite interesting -- and unusual, I would think.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

PM, he's the manager of the company, from the Belgian side. When the company failed to perform a contract, they want to bail-out, and leave the Pak-Qatari sponsor to bear all the responsibility (Maybe QR 3.2MM or more).

He complained to the police, and there's a court case pending, now the Belgian manager claims that his resignation was accepted in Belgium, and should be let out of the country. He is staying at the ambassador's villa, claiming to be a "hostage".

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

Read the links.

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

Exactly, something wrong with this.

________________________________________________

Man makes plans...............God smiles ;-)

By Mandilulur• 8 years 2 months ago.
Mandilulur

Me neither, PCG. Why isn't his Belgian company ponying up the money?

Mandi

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

He is not a hostage then.

He can make it out of the Embassy.

So, not exactly too bad then. If he was truly in trouble his family would not be allowed here.

This bloke is a manager, the business goes tits up. He is held responsible and then he is held hostage.

As a manager he must have been told things were dodgy or when he first came here he would have been alerted.

I don't get this at all.

_________________________________________________

Man makes plans...............God smiles ;-)

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

His kids and wife miss him alot...

Hopefully this will be resolved in November...

I know him personally and he is a decent guy...

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

The commercial and legal part of the story have multiple faces. This guy can be an escape goat (that mean it was enough stupid to accept such job) or can be part of the escaping plan of the Belgian company (that mean he has been payed for taking responsibility). He mustto go to court and let the law to decide..

By britexpat• 8 years 2 months ago.
britexpat

Whilst I feel sorry for the guy, there are TWO sides to the story.

The full story cannot be determined till the litigation is over.

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

one of the points to note from this incident is the prevailing sponsorship system in this country. it is not for us to decide whether the man is right or wrong. let the courts decide that. but the abuse of the exit permit system in this country by such "nationals" gives a whole new meaning to the "slavery" term.

being held hostage in the belgian ambassador's villa might sound a bit dramatic but better than twittering from within a jail..

with Qatar wanting to become the next cultural, art, sport, etc.. capitals of the Middle East, isnt the shady exit permit system a bit medieval to be still practiced in this country?

Or is Qatar on track to become a modernised medieval tribal country?

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

rebel - read the links and get the facts before you use a thread as another excuse to vent. The gulf times have asked him for an interview.

By rebel• 8 years 2 months ago.
rebel

Gulftimes has nufin to say about this story...they never publish any thing like this which spoils the image of the government or the nationals...I think the people who say Qatar is the best place and people are very lovely,they now know how the other side of picture looks like.the reality is infront of everyone.i know people will give excuse that majority is not like that but when time comes anyone can turn bad..the truth is never written on the faces,its hidden inside.

By ranishkt• 8 years 2 months ago.
ranishkt

feel very sorry .. waiting to c what gulf times has to say abt his story and is it going to make any diff in his life ...

By salman icon• 8 years 2 months ago.
salman icon

it makes me sad at all but i hope everything will be good for him and his family will be quite happy to see him very soon.

on the other hand, this is only one side of the story. we cannot decide bcoz we dont know the other side of the story. belgium govt. and his fellows partners could not do anything, it means there would be something extremely wrong which makes all this situation exhaust (may be he knows about this or not). I believe that no any govt. will hostage anyone without any reason on this level of executive personnel.

hope everything will be okay soon. best wishes for his family.

By laurana• 8 years 2 months ago.
laurana

After all, the Belgian guy was the representative of the Belgian part and was nominated as administrator of the business. When he accepted the position, that probably mean a nice salary and allowances, he should be aware of the responsibilities he have. Everywhere in the world, the owner of the company can ask to receive compensation for the loss. He should not ask for resignation from his Belgian company without being sure that all the debts between parts are covered. It is very nice to receive 100 000QAR salary and to live like a king without being responsible for nothing. It is his fault and according to any management contract he is fully responsible. He must go to court and face the reality. After all, the only thing he can do is to ask his former employer for compensation.

Sorry for him, but the prisons are fulfilled with "inocent" peoples.

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

bleu, it doesnt make a difference. it could have been empty pans as well..

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

scorpio, they used swords.

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

C'est la vie..

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

tallg

i am not the hostage.

on a personal note - too much of drama in it and to think that this is only a side story of a much bigger plot..

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

and yet he has a job singing? Does not add up. I would use the words he took refuge at the Embassy and he can not leave the country until the case is sorted.

Not saying it is right but seems odd.

__________________________________________________

Man makes plans...............God smiles ;-)

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

the "qatari" national is a pakistani who got his citizenship by virtue of an ancestor who "fought Bahrain in a war without a single gunshot fired."

By scorpio79• 8 years 2 months ago.
scorpio79

btw he is not a scapegoat. mix equal proportions of dumbness, innocence, mismanagement with a huge dose of naievity and u get hostageinqatar.com

By Andrews• 8 years 2 months ago.
Andrews

As per law qatari national has to hold atleast 51% of shares of every company . in most of the cases they are for only name sake. They will get a monthly/yearly amount for their signature. All the investments and business is being done by the other partners/share holders. I assume in this case, Company got doomed, Foreign partner washed his hands. Sponsor of the company left with a huge debt..and an innocent fellow trapped in the case.

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

Internation business court and sort it out there, and let this guy go home.

He aint gonna have all the money to pay this debt is he ?

And like Gypsy says, you want the greater percentage of the business to cream off the rewards, yer also gotta sort out the shit when the business doesnt go how its planned.

If yer dont want that hassle, dont be greedy and have a 50-50 share of any business.

Yer cant have it both ways.

---------------------------------------------------------

I think you have me confused with someone who gives a sh1t.

By Gypsy• 8 years 2 months ago.
Gypsy

The Belgian company only owns 49%, so yes the 51% owner is the one responsible. That's the risk you take when you go into these partnerships.

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

"Dialogic Belgium washed their hands of the situation.

They decided the debts were the client’s fault and my imprisonment in Qatar was the sponsor’s decision and responsibility."

"Qatar’s Ministry of the Interior could release me at any time. But they choose not to. Why? Because I have a court case against me."

This makes sense.

As I said before,Belgian company opens partnership with (Qatari), then when project fails, wants to liquidate, and (Qatari) sponsor should foot the bill. (Yes, he will need to find the money, or he'll go to real jail, not an ambassador's villa)

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

You need to have a Qatari co-partner, with 51% of the business, who can take control if anything goes wrong.

This project failed, so therefore, surely, its down to the Qatari businessman to bail out the company and sort the problems.

After all, we all know that you guys have 51% of the business to make sure that you make plenty of money, so when things go wrong, yer cant really crib about it.

Yer gotta take the rough with the smooth.

But, like ya say, theres 2 sides to every story, but holding this guy a 'prisoner' in Qatar isnt the best way to be seen by the worlds human rights groups, especially when yer wanna promote Qatar as a human rights compliant country.

---------------------------------------------------------

I think you have me confused with someone who gives a sh1t.

By Rob1811• 8 years 2 months ago.
Rob1811

I have been offered a job in qatar but I am not sure whether I will be able to get a visa as I have a previous driving offence in the UK. Please can anyone advise whether this would prevent me getting a visa?

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

on the tortures that he presently suffering! Hope it doesn't happen to us!

........tsk! tsk! tsk! Ganun pala nangyari sa miting ng mga Heneral!!!!!!

"Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship"

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

I am implying that the immature Qatari justice system allows uncivilized behavior to take place under the eyes of a dormant system!

Until there is no recognition of the urgent need to improve upgrade and enforce the law, up to a modern standard, there will always be abuses in countries like this.

We can not pretend that the law and its enforcement here are up to the level of developed nations, it’s just not yet the case, thus this post!

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

Interesting that the bars and restaurants are happy to employ him, even though doing so must be illegal since they can't be sponsoring him, can they?

"To support myself, I’m falling back on an old talent. I’m playing the piano and singing in bars and restaurants around Doha."

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

Will be interesting to see how the Gulf Times present the story (they've just asked him for an interview).

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

Is he not a shareholder in the company is he not jointly liable for the business? Maybe he should have taken a more active interest in the company rather than trying to blame everyone else when it went wrong.

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

uncivilized country? Isolated case but really pathetic. I pity his family in Belgium!

........tsk! tsk! tsk! Ganun pala nangyari sa miting ng mga Heneral!!!!!!

"Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship"

By Formatted Soul• 8 years 2 months ago.
Formatted Soul

Scorpio is an old member...he is just trying to spread the word...

His first line says it all...

By Gypsy• 8 years 2 months ago.
Gypsy

From the way the story reads as well it's the sponsors fault the losses were incurred. Anyway he's the 51% owner, if the company fails, it's his problem, thus is business.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

I don't think it says anywhere that the sponsor should foot the bill.

But the manager shouldn't should foot it either, and shouldn't be held hostage for that reason.

I can see the reason why Qatar has the sponsorship system, but it's downfall is when people abuse it like this.

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

The attitude of his sponsor is not too far from the attitude of the UAE prince who tortures his business partners.

The only difference here is the type of torture applied to the victim.

In countries where the rule of law is almost non existent or applied selectively and human rights have no say, there are similar risks to all those who venture their way here :(

In no civilized country an individual can dictate the destiny or freedome of another. In those countries, only the law can do so...

By Formatted Soul• 8 years 2 months ago.
Formatted Soul

If not, the sponsor will be responsible for the loss. which he is trying to avoid. A good lawyer can find a better solution than holding this guy.

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

So the sponsor should foot the bill for any losses????

There are two parts to every story, I'm sure this is only one part.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

btw, I don't think the OP (scorpio79) is the hostage!

By Gypsy• 8 years 2 months ago.
Gypsy

The sponsor shouldn't hold a person hostage for the losses bleu. Especially a person who no longer has ties to the company in question.

By anonymous• 8 years 2 months ago.
anonymous

........tsk! tsk! tsk! Ganun pala nangyari sa miting ng mga Heneral!!!!!!

"Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship"

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

Agree, from what he's saying it sounds like he's been made a scapegoat. Worth noting that he states that he doesn't blame the government for his situation, and realises it's all down to his sponsor.

By Anne Windsor• 8 years 2 months ago.
Anne Windsor

Human Rights Commission can do nothing as they have no voice here in Qatar.One of my friends has been here without a job and a place to live for over a year and a half.Can't work cause the company won't let him,can't leave cause the government won't let him....!WHAT'S he suppose to do?What I don't understand is, how can anyone can be held against their will if they have not done anything and have not been charged with anything.I love Qatar,but the more I hear about these stories it makes me sad.I don't believe that the King would let something like this happen,if he knew.What do you all think.Does he know? I wonder......???Hope you do get out and reunite with your loved ones.Good Luck and God Bless.

By tallg• 8 years 2 months ago.
tallg

He's telling his story via twitter (not the best way if you ask me, but there you go). Thankfully you can read his tweets in chronological order here - http://hostageinqatar.com/tweets-in-chronological-order/

It makes for interesting reading, and I urge people to read it all before commenting.

By Gypsy• 8 years 2 months ago.
Gypsy

Sounds like he's the scapegoat

By Formatted Soul• 8 years 2 months ago.
Formatted Soul

From his story it looks like he got trapped in a situation which was beyond his control.

By bleu• 8 years 2 months ago.
bleu

Foreign Company opens Qatari company then fails in a project, (Qatari) sponsor wants them to be responsible for their failure, manager refuses and wants to slip out of the country, claims resignation from foreign company.

This is why the sponsorship system exists.

He's most probably staying at the embassy to avoid Qatari law.

By lusitano• 8 years 2 months ago.
lusitano

It is a true sad case of what can happen to people in countries like Qatar.

here are the details publish in the victim's blog:

Belgian Businessman Held Hostage in Qatar

Doha, Qatar – May 28, 2009 - Since October 2008, Philippe Bogaert, 37, a Belgian TV producer, has been held hostage in Qatar due to laws that place control of his exit permit in the hands of a hostile employment sponsor.

The married father of two arrived in the Gulf state in April of last year to work as a broadcast manager for Dialogic Qatar, a subsidiary of the Belgian company, Dialogic SA, which was contracted to organize the Qatar Marine Festival.

Bogaert was unaware of problems the company had already been facing with the client which was refusing to pay invoices for their services.

Three months later, in July 2008, Bogaert was asked by the company’s board to replace the managing director, Harald Vervaecke, who had been fired for mismanagement. Bogaert was tasked with saving the project and restoring the client’s trust. Ten days after he assumed the position, however, the Qatar Marine Festival Organizing Committee terminated the contract with Dialogic Qatar.

After two attempts to liquidate the company, on orders from the board of directors in Belgium, failed because the company’s Qatari sponsor, Farukh Azad, boycotted official proceedings, Bogaert resigned. His resignation was accepted by Philippe Housiaux, chairman of the company and CEO of the parent company Dialogic SA in Belgium.

In Gulf countries, foreign companies must have a local sponsor who is generally paid in return for his signature on documentation, and who also holds a controlling interest in the company’s local operations. While operating as silent partners, their signature on bureaucratic matters is essential.

In Bogaert’s case, Azad refused to accept his resignation and grant him an exit permit, a legal requirement for expatriate employees who wish to leave Qatar. Instead Azad, who under Qatari law would be responsible for the debts of the company he sponsored, launched a court case against Bogaert holding him responsible for the failure of the project and demanding €3.2 million in compensation.

“I am being held hostage in Qatar with a ransom of QAR16 million on my head,” says Bogaert. “I could never have imagined, when I signed on to help organize a marine festival, that I would find myself captive to a medieval system in which a corrupt young man could hold me prisoner on a whim. This is a cautionary tale for westerners who come to work in the Gulf. You have no rights.”

Left with no salary or accommodation, Bogaert has taken shelter at the Belgian Ambassador’s residence since early December. “I can’t thank them enough. They are the most helpful and good hearted people I have met in a very long time”, Bogaert says.

Six months later, no progress has been made toward his release from the country.

His sponsor, Farukh Azad, a 28 year-old Qatari of Pakistani origin who is employed as a secretary in the office of the Head of Qatar Foundation, refuses to allow him to return to his family in Belgium.

The Belgian company, Dialogic SA, which ceased supporting Bogaert financially after he resigned, cut off all communication with him in March 2009 and no longer answers his calls.

The Belgian government, despite multiple efforts, has not been able to resolve the situation.

The Qatari government refuses to intervene as long as a court case is pending against him.

“I am now using the internet to send out my SOS to the world,” says Bogaert, who is telling his story through Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, at www.twitter.com/hostageinqatar and on the web at www.hostageinqatar.com.

By MikaylasMom• 8 years 2 months ago.
MikaylasMom

Read his link he posted. He is getting the shaft hard core. The last twitter post says the Gulf Times just contacted him for an interview that I bet will never be published. I feel really bad for him.

Motherhood...The hardest job you'll ever love! : )

By Formatted Soul• 8 years 2 months ago.
Formatted Soul

Did you contact Human Rights commission?

By tanya123• 8 years 2 months ago.
tanya123

huh???

...CHO RAH MO...

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