New Allegations of Massive Corruption in Iraq Oil Industy

By John Lee.

An investigation by Fairfax Media — publisher of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers — and The Huffington Post, claims that Monaco-based Unaoil has been involved in widespread bribery and corruption in the oil industry, including in Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Following examination of tens of thousands of emails, the report says that Unaoil channelled huge bribes to government officials on behalf of its clients to help win billions of dollars worth of government contracts.

In Iraq, it accuses the company, and its country manager Basil Al Jarah, of arranging bribes for clients including Rolls-Royce, Petrofac, Clyde Pumps, Weatherford, Cameron/Natco, FMC Technologies, Saipem, SBM Offshore, MAN Turbo, Rosetti Marino, ABB, The Shaw Group, Core Labs, Leighton Offshore, Weir and Hyundai.

Public officials allegedly implicated include Dr Hussain al-Shahristani, former Minister for Oil and current Minister for Education, who has denied any wrongdoing; Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi], former Minister for Oil; Kifah Numan, Director General of the South Oil Company (SOC); Dhia Jaffar also a Director General of the SOC and since last year a Deputy Minister for Oil in the Iraqi government; and Oday al-Quraishi (SOC).

According to the report, “Unaoil made Dhia Jaffar and Oday al-Quraishi wealthy men.

Family owned and controlled, Unaoil was founded by the Iranian-born Ata Ahsani, who left Tehran at the time of the Islamic revolution. The company says it “strenuously [denies] any wrongdoing and consider[s] the allegations to be baseless and entirely false.

The original story can be read in more detail here.

(Source: The Age)

(Corruption image via Shutterstock)

5 Responses to New Allegations of Massive Corruption in Iraq Oil Industy

  1. DA March 31, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

    That explains why we’ve been working in Iraq for 3 years and have not succeeded much … all of those companies named above never gave us any business. It is against our policy and ethics and morals to pay any ‘fees’, and so the curse is that we are struggling. We are an Iraqi company by the way, and that is another way this is so unfair, we have not had any share of the market in the past 5 years.

  2. Ahmed Mousa Jiyad March 31, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    This piece of investigative journalism published by Fairfax Media and Huffington Post reveals very serious and damming corruption allegations involving current and former senior officials within the Ministry of Oil. In addition to the contents of the article I traced few of the email messages which the article refers to. The article mentions names, amounts, projects and further details covering the period 2008 to 2012.
    The article mentions the following names of the involved Iraqi government officials (current and former):
    1- Kifah Numan (Former DG for South Oil Company-SOC);
    2- Dhia Jaffar al-Mousawi (Current Deputy Minister and Former DG for SOC);
    3- Oday al-Quraishi (He too was a SOC official; then was appointed by the Ministry as Project Manager to liaise between the Ministry of Oil and US Gulf Development Projects -GDP);
    4- Ahmed al-Jibouri, a middle man who operated out of Amman, Jordan (no information on his former employment or position at the Ministry of Oil);
    5- Dr Hussain al-Shahristani (Former Minister of Oil and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of High Education);
    6- Kareem Luaibi (Former Minister of Oil).
    By making such assertion the publisher of the article is usually, under European and international law, legally responsible for such disclosure if proven baseless. That what makes allegations have sharp teeth and nails!
    It is worth stating that the article says, “Shahristani, called to say he had never heard of Jibouri or Al Jarah, and that he had never taken a bribe as oil minister. He urged Fairfax Media and Huffington Post to provide its evidence to the courts and Iraq’s integrity commission.”
    From the information provided by the article permits to make the following remarks:
    1- The involved bribing company, Unaoil, is demoiselles in Monaco and it should be subject to the European legal framework of anticorruption and bribery;
    2- All companies involved in bribe-giving and consenting are British, American, Australian, Italian and Dutch. As was the case with Unaoil, all these companies supposed to adhere to the legal framework of anticorruption and bribery and related business ethics;
    3- What the bribed and bribing companies have done in Iraq petroleum sector could very well done/do the same in other countries in order to promote their business unlawfully and corruptly. The Civil Society Organization-SCO in Iraq and other countries in MENA region should activate a widespread “name and shame” campaign;
    4- Except al-Shahristani, all those individuals mentioned above have to declare publically and officially their stand towards the related allegations mentioned in the article to clear themselves; by keeping silent is self-incrimination and admission of wrongdoing;
    5- The seriousness of the accusations should prompt the Iraqi authorities, particularly the Council of Ministers, the Parliament, the Integrity Commission and the Ministry of Oil to take immediate legal action to investigate the accuracy and validity of the allegations concerning the Iraqi government officials whose names are mentioned in the above mentioned article;
    6- The Iraqi authorities should consider taking legal actions against Unaoil and all involved companies that are mentioned in the article, and should seek to have compensation accordingly.
    7- Blacklisting Unaoil from any operation in Iraq and declaring all its owners, agents, associates, partners and employees (especially Basil Al Jarah) as “persona non-grata” and preventing them from visiting Iraq is an immediate course of action until the investigation proves otherwise;
    8- There should be no-impunity for corrupting and corrupted entities, companies and individuals: corrupts must punish and pay.

    Ahmed Mousa Jiyad,
    Iraq/ Development Consultancy and Research,
    Norway.
    [email protected]

    31March 2016

  3. Ibn Al Irq April 3, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    Dear Sirs

    I can gatecorigly confirm that the vast majority of the Iraqis would like to see the Iraqi Gov, the Supreme Audi Board and the Supreme Court ( if truly are independent,) to bring all these Iraqi officials including Dr. Shehrestani into justice, to be tried publicly and punished severely. To set an example for the rest of Iraqi crocks!

    It’s enough! These Iraqi politicians have no dignity to say the least

    Justice will prevail no matter what and they will pay the price sooner or later

    Saddam and alike are perfect example who had much more power than the entire current officials and yet he had paid the price.

    The missing/stolen $350Billons should be returned to the Iraqies

    In God we trust

    Thanks