By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.
Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Unaoil Corruption Scandal: International and Iraq update and follow-up
The recent joint report by Australia’s Fairfax Media and the Huffington Post uncovering serious international corruption scandal allegedly masterminded by a Monaco based company, Unaoil, has quickly gained publicity, captured worldwide attention and prompted formal investigations in many countries, including Iraq.
On 1 April, the headquarters of Unaoil and the homes of its executives have been raided by police in Monaco. In a statement, the Monaco government said it was helping British authorities investigate the “vast corruption scandal” revealed in recent days by Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post.
Monaco government statement said that several of the company’s senior executives had been questioned between 29-30 March and their homes and headquarters searched following an urgent request from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office-BSFO.
The searches and interviews were conducted in the presence of BSFO officers and the items collected during the search will be now be used by the BSFO in their investigations.
Fairfax Media revealed on Thursday, 31 March, that the British police had teamed up with the Australian Federal Police, the US Department of Justice-DoJ and the FBI to investigate the vast cache of emails on which their joint report was based.
The Monaco government said it would not release further details at this stage in case it compromised the investigation. The British, Australian and US authorities above mentioned might make some statements and provide further information on their investigation in the coming days; as more information on this scandal unfolding so we have to keep watching. The implications of such international investigations will not be confined to Unaoil, the corrupting company through deal fixing, but could implicate also a number of American, British, Australian, Dutch and Italian companies among others.
In Iraq, the development of the case has been, unusually, surprisingly and unexpectedly, very fast and substantive indeed.