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World Bank debars two companies, including South Korean firm for Vanuatu airport fraud

The World Bank debarred a South Korean engineering and construction company Wednesday for thirteen months for fraud involving a project in Vanuatu.

Seoul-based Yooshin Engineering Corporation is ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the thirteen-month debarment.

During negotiations for a supervision services contract at three major airports in Vanuatu, Yooshin failed to disclose the unavailability of two key experts, despite attempts to secure their commitment. Yooshin signed the contract before disclosing the experts’ unavailability or seeking their replacement. Those are fraudulent practices, the World Bank said.

The $60 million World Bank-funded Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project was designed to improve the operational safety and oversight of international air transport and associated infrastructure in Vanuatu.

As a condition of the settlement, Yooshin acknowledged responsibility and took voluntary remedial actions. The company agreed to develop an integrity compliance program and cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency. After the thirteen-month debarment, Yooshin is subject to seventeen months of conditional non-debarment. During the conditional non-debarment, Yooshin will be eligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects.

Yooshin’s debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

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In an unrelated case, the World Bank also debarred a Peruvian freight transport company Wednesday for fifteen months for fraud involving a project in Peru.

Aaron Ingenieros Constructores & Consultores E.I.R.L., is ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during the fifteen-month debarment.

According to the World Bank, the company misrepresented its financial capacity through false letters of credit to meet World Bank-financed tenders’ requirements, which is a fraudulent practice.

The World Bank said the company acknowledged responsibility and took voluntary remedial actions.

The debarment of Aaron Ingenieros Constructores & Consultores E.I.R.L. also qualifies for cross-debarment.

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A list of all World Bank debarred entities and individuals is here.

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