Serious Fraud Office
Former Unaoil executives guilty of giving corrupt payments for oil contracts in post-occupation Iraq
The SFO has secured convictions against two former oil executives who conspired to give corrupt payments to secure contracts in Iraq.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court found Ziad Akle guilty on two counts and Stephen Whiteley guilty on one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. The convictions follow the guilty pleas of co-conspirator Basil Al Jarah who, in July 2019, admitted five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments.
In the years of reconstruction following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the three men conspired with others to pay bribes to public officials at the Iraqi South Oil Company and, and in Basil Al Jarah’s case the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, to secure oil contracts for Unaoil and its clients.
The post-occupation Iraqi government had commissioned the South Oil Company to run projects as part of a “Master Plan” to rebuild Iraq’s oil industry and thereby expand the country’s oil export capacity. This included the installation of offshore mooring buoys and new oil pipelines. To ensure Unaoil benefitted from these state-run projects, the defendants and co-conspirators conspired to bribe public officials at the South Oil Company and Ministry of Oil to secure contracts for Unaoil and its clients SBM Offshore. Basil Al Jarah also conspired to bribe public officials at the South Oil Company and the Ministry of Oil to secure contracts for Unaoil and its client Leighton Offshore.
Basil Al Jarah admitted to paying bribes totalling over $6million to secure contracts worth $800m for the supply of oil pipelines and offshore mooring buoys. Ziad Akle and Stephen Whiteley were found guilty of paying over $500,000 in bribes to secure the $55m contract for the offshore mooring buoys.
Latest News from
Serious Fraud Office
Lisa Osofsky address to the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime09/09/2020 14:33:00
Lisa Osofsky address given recently (07 September 2020) to the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime.
Three former G4S executives charged with fraud against taxpayer08/09/2020 16:15:00
The Serious Fraud Office has charged three former executives of G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (G4S C&J) with multiple offences in relation to a multi-year scheme to defraud the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
SFO secures £5.45m confiscation order against ex-Afren CEO and COO03/08/2020 13:05:00
The SFO recently (31 July 2020) secured confiscation orders totalling £5,450,000 against the former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Afren.
SFO charges GPT and three individuals following corruption investigation31/07/2020 09:33:00
The Serious Fraud Office has brought charges against GPT Special Project Management Ltd and three individuals in connection with its investigation into allegations concerning the conduct of GPT’s business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
HMCPSI Inspection of SFO’s response to COVID-19: 16 March to 8 May 202030/07/2020 16:38:00
The HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) conducted a review of the SFO’s immediate response to Covid-19. It can be accessed here.
Applying SSRO guidance to costs affected by COVID-1921/07/2020 13:05:00
The SSRO has published a note to assist the MOD and contractors in identifying and applying relevant SSRO guidance to qualifying contracts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SFO receives final approval for DPA with G4S Care & Justice Services (UK) Ltd17/07/2020 17:17:17
The Serious Fraud Office has today received final approval to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (G4S C&J) relating to a scheme to defraud the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in connection with contracts for electronic monitoring of offenders.
SFO receives approval in principle for DPA with G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd13/07/2020 14:38:00
Following the announcement from G4S Plc, the Serious Fraud Office can confirm that it has received approval in principle to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (G4S C&J), a wholly-owned subsidiary of G4S Plc.