Tag Archive | "Australia"

Oil Minister meets Australian Ambassador


By John Lee.

Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi [Adil Abd al-Mahdi] met this week with the Australian Ambassador, Lyndall Sachs, to discuss the strengthen of relations relations between the two countries, particularly in the oil sector.

The Minister pointed out that “Australia is one of the countries that has good relations with Iraq, and we have a joint cooperation with them in all fields and we seek to open up prospects for wider cooperation with them”.

Australian Sachs expressed her country’s desire to develop closer relations in all fields, including the oil sector.

(Source: National Iraqi News Agency)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (0)

Emirates to Reroute Flights


By Patrick M Schmidt.

Sir Tim Clark, Chief Executive of Emirates Airlines, has announced that the airline would no longer allow its own aircraft to fly over Iraq.

This statement comes as a reaction to the missile strike on Malaysian Airlines MH-17 and concerns about ISIS militants in the north of Iraq being in possession of surface-to-air missile systems from arsenals captured in Syria.

Clark stated that, “The horrors that this created was a kick in the solar plexus for all of us. Nevertheless having got through it we must take stock and deal with it.

Within the next ten days, Emirates will issue new flight plans for routes that pass over Iraq. It is expected that these new routes could add up to an hour to current flight times.

Meanwhile, Australian airline Qantas has said that based on its latest security assessments it has no plans to stop flying over Iraqi airspace on its Dubai-London flights.

(Sources: The Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald)

Posted in Security, TransportationComments Off

Australian Oil-for-Food Case Dropped


By John Lee.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has today discontinued its proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Charles Stott and Michael Long for alleged breaches of their duties as officers of AWB Limited — formerly the Australian Wheat Board — in connection with the United Nations Oil for Food Programme in Iraq.

The discontinuance is by consent in both matters, on terms that the parties bear their own costs of and incidental to the proceeding. No finding of fault or declaration of contravention was made against Mr Stott or Mr Long.

ASIC decided to discontinue the proceedings after forming the view that it was no longer in the public interest to pursue its claims against Mr Stott, who was AWB’s former General Manager of International Sales and Marketing, and Mr Long, who succeeded Mr Stott in that role.

ASIC’s proceedings against Trevor Flugge, the former Chairman of AWB, and Peter Geary, the former Group General Manager Trading of AWB, are ongoing

In December 2007, ASIC commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against six defendants for alleged breaches of their duties as directors and officers of AWB Limited. The proceedings arose from investigations conducted by ASIC following the completion of the Inquiry into certain Australian companies in relation to the UN Oil-For-Food Programme that had been established by the Australian Government.

In August 2012 Justice Robson of the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered that Andrew Lindberg, the former Managing Director of AWB be disqualified from managing corporations and pay a pecuniary penalty for contravening section 180(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 which requires company directors and officers to discharge their duties with due care and diligence.

In March 2013 the Victorian Court of Appeal ordered that Paul Ingleby, the former Chief Financial Officer of AWB, be disqualified from managing corporations and pay a pecuniary penalty for contravening section 180(1) of the Corporations Act 2001.

(Source: ASIC)

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

Posted in Agriculture, SecurityComments Off

Unaoil joins Leighton in Denying Iraq Allegations


By John Lee.

The Australian reports that the company at the centre of the Leighton Holdings bribery allegations has denied any involvement in corruption in Iraq, or having links to the Oil Minister and Prime Minister.

Unaoil, which is based in Monaco, was alleged to have been paid kickbacks by Leighton to secure an oil pipeline contract from the Iraqi government. According to Fairfax Media, Unaoil, which is run by an Iranian family, had close ties to Oil Minister Shahristani and Prime Minister al-Maliki.

But in a statement the company said:

“Unaoil takes great offence from, and categorically denies, any allegations that we engaged in improper conduct in relation to our work with Leighton on the ICOEEP (Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project).

It added that it had been cleared of any wrongdoing following an external investigation.

(Source: The Australian)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, SecurityComments Off

Leighton Shares Dive on Iraq Corruption Allegations


By John Lee.

Shares in the Australia’s Leighton Holdings, Australia’s biggest builder, fell more than 10 percent on Thursday following reports that former executives knew of alleged corruption at the company in Iraq.

Leighton allegedly paid bribes to win contracts, and former chief executive officers Wal King and David Stewart were aware of the conduct, according to a report that follows a six-month investigation by the Fairfax Press.

A handwritten note from November 2010 allegedly shows that Mr King approved $42 million in kickbacks to “a firm in Monaco nominated by Iraqi officials” for a $750 million oil pipeline contract.

In July of last year, the company sacked a senior manager, whom it did not name, as part of its probe into allegations of bribery.

(Sources: Businessweek, ABC, Yahoo!)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, SecurityComments (2)

Australian Bank had Talks with Iraq, Despite UN Sanctions


By John Lee.

ABC and Fairfax Media report that Note Printing Australia, which is owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia, tried to do business with the Saddam Hussein regime despite UN sanctions.

Company officials are said to have visited Iraq in 1998, during the UN sanctions, to discuss a contract to replace the country’s paper currency with polymer banknotes.

During the trip, codenamed Delta Project, they met a middleman, Hussein’s brother-in-law and bodyguard Arshad Yassin, who confirmed that Hussein had seen samples of the banknotes and was keen to adopt them. Iraq allocated $US65 million for the project.

Two RBA banknote firms, NPA and Securency, face criminal charges for allegedly paying kickbacks to win contracts overseas.

(Source: The Guardian)

Posted in Banking & Finance, Industry & Trade, SecurityComments Off

Wheat Falls As Iraq Shuns US Grain


According to Bloomberg, wheat fell the most in three weeks after Iraq and Egypt shunned U.S. grain in tenders yesterday, indicating ample global supplies.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, bought 60,000 metric tons from both Romania and Ukraine on Aug. 6, while Iraq purchased 150,000 tons of Australian and Canadian grain.

“Wheat’s lower because we missed out on that sale to Egypt,” Jamey Kohake, a broker and branch manager at Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I don’t think wheat’s going to fall apart completely, but since we missed that sale,” investors are selling the grain, he said.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 1.4 percent to $6.5375 a bushel at 10:54 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest decline since July 15. As of Tuesday, the grain slumped 15 percent this year amid an outlook for increased world production.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Posted in Agriculture, Industry & TradeComments (1)

Leighton Looks to Move on from Iraq Scandal


By John Lee.

Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) chairman, Riad Al Sadik (pictured), has said Leighton’s name “became very, very bad in Iraq” in 2012 following the bribery scandal.

HLG was definitely affected,” he told The Australian. “It took us quite some time to clean this up.

The company sacked a senior manager last year as part of its probe into allegations of bribery related to its $1.3 billion of oil contracts in Iraq.

(Source: Business Spectator, The Australian)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, SecurityComments Off

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