Custom Search

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

UK Drops Unaoil-related Probe into ABB

By John Lee.

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigation into ABB linked to the Unaoil case.

After a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The SFO announced its investigation into ABB Ltd in February 2017 following a self-report by representatives acting on behalf of the company.

(Source: UK SFO)

Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq, Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security 0 Comments

justice, court, law 3 (Pixabay)

Iraq Bribery Trial starts in London

By John Lee.

The trial has begun in London of three British businessmen accused of conspiring to pay bribes totalling $6m (£4.6m) to win contracts in Iraq worth $800 million.

According to the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Monaco-based Unaoil bribed Iraqi officials to help Dutch-based SBM Offshore [Single Buoy Moorings], and Singapore's Leighton Offshore, to secure the contracts between 2005 and 2013.

The Guardian reports that Ziad Akle (44), Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, Stephen Whiteley (64), who was a vice-president at SBM until 2009 before joining Unaoil as its manager for Iraq, and Paul Bond (67) SBM’s sales manager for the Middle East, have all pleaded not guilty.

The trial is expected to last three months.

(Sources: The Guardian, Bloomberg)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on Iraq Bribery Trial starts in London

CIMIC logo

CIMIC settles "Bribery" Class Action

Australian construction giant CIMIC, formerly known as Leighton Holdings, has reportedly settled a long-running class action with investors over allegations its senior executives had knowledge of corrupt behaviour relating to the Unaoil bribery scandal that hit the company's share price.

The class action alleged that CIMIC failed to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by withholding from shareholders that its executives "were, or may have been, aware of conduct which was corrupt or potentially corrupt."

The settlement follows the US Department of Justice revealing last month that Cyrus and Saman Ahsani, the two brothers who ran Unaoil, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate bribes on behalf of multinational companies to secure contracts in Africa and the Middle East.

In a statement on Friday CIMIC said:

"CIMIC Group Limited has reached a conditional settlement agreement in relation to a class action brought by certain shareholders who acquired an interest in CIMIC between23 November 2010 and 3 October 2013. The settlement will have no material impact on earnings or profit forecasts, and is subjectto approval by the Federal Court of Australia."

More here.

(Source: WA Today)

Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq, Iraq Industry & Trade News, Security Comments Off on CIMIC settles "Bribery" Class Action

justice, court, law (Pixabay)

Unaoil Directors Plead Guilty in US

Two brothers have pleaded guilty in the US to facilitating the payment of millions of dollars in bribes to officials in nine countries, including Iraq.

Cyrus Ahsani, 51, and Saman Ahsani, 46, both of United Kingdom (UK), ran the Monaco-based oil and gas consultancy Unaoil.

They are due to be sentenced on 20th April, 2020.

The following announcement was made by the US Department of Justice:

The U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday that Cyrus Ahsani, 51, and his 46-year-old brother Saman each pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) on behalf of companies to secure oil and gas contracts.

They will be sentenced on April 20, 2020, the department said.

Steven Hunter, a 50-year-old British resident and former business development director, also pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

The former CEO and chief operations officer (COO) of a Monaco-based intermediary company have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to corruptly facilitate millions of dollars in bribe payments to officials in multiple countries. These included Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya and Syria. The company’s former business development director also pleaded guilty for his role in paying bribes in Libya.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas, Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzales of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Houston Division and Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of the IRS-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Houston Field Office made the announcement.

Cyrus Ahsani, 51, and Saman Ahsani, 46, both of United Kingdom (UK), each pleaded guilty March 25 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), for conspiring to facilitate bribes on behalf of companies in foreign countries in order to secure oil and gas contracts. UK resident Steven Hunter, 50, former business development director, pleaded guilty Aug. 2, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Cyrus and Saman Ahsani are set for sentencing April 20, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the Southern District of Texas. Hunter’s sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2020, before U.S. District Judge David Hittner.

According to court documents, former U.S. resident and CEO Cyrus Ahsani and former COO Saman Ahsani managed a Monaco-based intermediary company that provided services for multinational companies operating in the energy sector. From approximately 1999 to 2016, the Ahsanis conspired with others, including multiple companies and individuals, to make millions of dollars in bribe payments to government officials in Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya and Syria.

Additionally, court documents reflect Cyrus and Saman Ahsani laundered the proceeds of their bribery scheme in order to promote and conceal the schemes and to cause the destruction of evidence in order to obstruct investigations in the United States and elsewhere. Hunter participated in the conspiracy to violate the FCPA by, among other things, facilitating bribe payments to Libyan officials between about 2009 and 2015.

The FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Dennis R. Kihm, Gerald M. Moody Jr., Jonathan P. Robell and Gwendolyn A. Stamper of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided substantial assistance in this matter.

The governments of Australia, Canada, France, Guernsey, Italy, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and UK provided significant assistance in this matter as did the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Eurojust.

The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/foreign-corrupt-practices-act.

(Sources: US Dept of Justice, Reuters)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on Unaoil Directors Plead Guilty in US

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Former Unaoil Exec pleads Guilty to Iraq Corruption

Former Unaoil executive pleads guilty to conspiracy to give corrupt payments

Basil Al Jarah, Unaoil’s former partner in Iraq, pleaded guilty on 15 July 2019 to five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments in connection with the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)’s investigation into Unaoil.

The offences relate to the award of contracts to supply and install single point moorings and oil pipelines in southern Iraq. A court order restricting reporting of the plea was lifted today.

In the same investigation, Ziad Akle, Paul Bond and Stephen Whiteley have been charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments. A trial is scheduled to begin on 13 January 2020 at Southwark Crown Court.

(Source: UK Serious Fraud Office)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on Former Unaoil Exec pleads Guilty to Iraq Corruption

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

UK Starts Corruption Proceedings against Unaoil

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has commenced criminal proceedings against Unaoil Monaco SAM and Unaoil Ltd as part of an ongoing corruption prosecution.

This follows charges already brought against four individuals for alleged conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq.

Unaoil Ltd has been summonsed with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

This relates to alleged corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth US$733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

Unaoil Monaco SAM has been summonsed with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

The charges relate to alleged corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.

The first appearance for the companies will be held at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 18 July 2018.

(Source: SFO)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on UK Starts Corruption Proceedings against Unaoil

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

New Charges in Unaoil Investigation re $733m Contract

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has brought further charges against two individuals facing trial in relation to the Unaoil investigation.

Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle have both been charged with conspiracy to give corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth US$733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

  • Basil Al Jarah was charged on 15 May 2018 with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
  • Ziad Akle was charged on 16 May 2018 with one offence of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 23 May 2018.

The SFO would like to thank the Australian Federal Police for the assistance it provided in connection with our investigation.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source: SFO)

Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq, Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on New Charges in Unaoil Investigation re $733m Contract

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Two more charged in UK’s Unaoil Investigation

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged two further individuals in relation to the Unaoil investigation.

Paul Bond and Stephen Whiteley have both been charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.

The charges relate to alleged corrupt conduct within Unaoil, between June 2005 and August 2011.

  • Paul Bond has been charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
  • Stephen Whiteley has been charged with one offence of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

Paul Bond and Stephen Whiteley will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 10am on Thursday 7th December.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source: UK SFO)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News, Security Comments Off on Two more charged in UK’s Unaoil Investigation

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Two charged in UK's Unaoil Investigation

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged two individuals in relation to the Unaoil investigation.

Ziad Akle (42) and Basil Al Jarah (68) have both been charged by requisition with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.

Akle, who resides in London, was Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, while Al Jarah, who lives in Hull, was Unaoil’s Iraq partner.

A third man, Saman Ahsani, is subject to an extradition request to Monaco on related charges; he was Unaoil’s Commercial Director.

The charges relate to alleged corrupt conduct within Unaoil, between June 2005 and August 2011.

  • Basil Al Jarah has been charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
  • Ziad Akle has been charged with one offence of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

Ziad Akle and Basil Al Jarah will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 10am on Thursday 7th December.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source: SFO)

Posted in Iraq Industry & Trade News, Security Comments Off on Two charged in UK's Unaoil Investigation

UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Unaoil takes Legal Action Against UK SFO

By John Lee.

Monaco-based Unaoil, which has been implicated in an international bribery scandal, has launched legal action against the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), alleging that it has unlawfully misused its powers.

The SFO is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees and its agents in connection with suspected offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering.

The company claims that a raid organised by the SFO on its offices in Monaco was a "speedy and aggressive" fishing expedition.

The SFO is opposing Unaoil’s legal challenge, maintaining that it had significant grounds to suspect that Unaoil had "paid bribes ... to high-ranking Iraqi and other public officials on behalf of [its clients].

Judgment is to be given at a later date.

(Sources: The Guardian, WA Today, SFO)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News Comments Off on Unaoil takes Legal Action Against UK SFO