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."
(Source: The Age)
(Corruption image via Shutterstock)