Ex-AWB boss Admits to Iraq Bribe Breaches

After almost 10 years, the former chief executive of Australia's AWB Ltd has admitted to four breaches of the law relating bribes paid to Saddam Hussein's government between 2001 and 2005 to secure wheat sales.

According to the report in The Australian, Andrew Lindberg's four admissions relate to his having failed to tell the AWB board about illegal deals, which involved the payment of more than $125 million in bribes.

Retired judge Terence Cole found in his 2006 inquiry that AWB paid 10 percent "transportation fees" to have the wheat trucked from Basra in breach of UN Resolution 661, which prevented states from making payments that ended up going to the Iraqi government.

The resolution covered a UN-sponsored oil-for-food program whereby Iraq paid in oil for humanitarian aid to the Hussein regime.

The regulator recommended, and Lindberg agreed, to a fine of $100,000 and disqualification from managing companies for just under 2 1/2 years.

Cases against five other former AWB employees, which are all also civil actions rather than criminal and thus carry lesser penalties, are proceeding.

(Source: The Australian)

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