Yet another company entangled in the massive media-leaked bribery and corruption scandal surrounding Monaco-based Unaoil has come forward, refuting the allegations and threatening legal action.
As Compliance Week previously reported, a special report published in April by Fairfax Media and the Huffington Post exposed an extensive global web of bribery and corruption, in which high-ranking bureaucrats and politicians awarded billions of dollars in government contracts in exchange for bribes paid on behalf of some of the world’s largest companies. The heart of the investigative report, “The Bribe Factory,” focused on Unaoil, a provider of industrial solutions to the energy sector in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.
Following that report, the Huffington Post last month published a follow-up story about a Unaoil middleman, Ahmed al-Jibouri, who allegedly received millions of dollars from Unaoil to funnel those payments to Iraqi oil ministers in exchange for directing lucrative contracts to Unaoil’s multinational corporate clients. According to the Huffington Post, a trove of leaked internal Unaoil e-mails shows communications between al-Jibouri and Unaoil executives over the course of several years.
In an e-mailed statement to Compliance Week, the corporate entities associated with al-Jibouri—namely, the Armada Group and International Procurement and Contracting—said they “refute, in the strongest possible manner, the allegations of facilitation of bribery made by the Huffington Post and Fairfax Media, and we have been working diligently since these stories first appeared to restore our good name and our previously rock-solid international standing.” The Armada Group website describes itself as “a company registered in Jordan pioneering in the oil, chemicals and power sectors in Iraq.”
Calling the allegations “baseless,” the Armada Group has threatened legal action: “The sustained damage to our reputations brought about by this series of articles cannot continue to go unaddressed. We have since hired a top-tier international law firm to investigate the sources and methods used by these news organizations in the course of their reporting, and the incorrect perceptions that such reporting has created.”
“This team of lawyers will also represent us in connection with all inquiries relating to the misplaced allegations,” the Armada Group added. “We will have no further comment on these matters at this time. We will, however, provide timely updates as warranted, and as appropriate.”