Nizar Maarouf, businessman and spouse of the Berlin State Secretary for Civic Engagement and International Affairs, Sawsan Chebli ( Social Democratic Party of Germany), was involved in controversial business deals with partners in Gulf states for years. Research by the newspaper WELT AM SONNTAG reveals this.
According to the report, Maarouf earned commissions for placing patients for the municipal Berlin hospital group Vivantes in 2008, which are considered “immoral” according to a court ruling and expert opinion. In one case, documents show that Maarouf thus received 27,000 euros from Vivantes. Shortly afterwards, the former medical student became vice-director of the hospital group’s foreign division.
According to the research, two nieces of his wife Sawsan Chebli were hired at Vivantes International under Maarouf’s leadership. In the summer of 2017, the two women and another employee came into the focus of the internal audit. Together, they allegedly paid out money totalling more than 100,000 euros from patient accounts to themselves over a longer period of time.
Vivantes basically acknowledges the cases. The employment relationship of the women was terminated. As a result, the company revised its compliance regulations. Maarouf and Chebli did not comment on the allegations when asked.
Maarouf also mediated the two Christian Democratic Union (CDU) MPs Nikolas Löbel and Mark Hauptmann to the management of his then employer Sana in the spring of 2020. The deals offered by the MPs to the hospital group, in Löbel’s case a procurement of face masks against commission, did not materialise. Löbel and Hauptmann later had to resign because of controversial deals with other partners. Maarouf’s lawyer stated that his client had not been responsible for such transactions at Sana.