The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has brought further charges in relation to the Unaoil investigation, this time against two individuals facing trial.
Since opening its investigation into Unaoil in March 2016, the SFO has been conducting an investigation into the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees, and its agents in connection with suspected offenses of bribery, corruption, and money laundering. In total, the SFO has charged four individuals with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to Unaoil’s client, SBM Offshore, to secure the award of contracts in Iraq.
Basil Al Jarah, Unaoil’s Iraq partner, and Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s territory manager, have each been charged with conspiracy to give corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth U.S. $733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.
Al Jarah was charged on May 15 with two offenses of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Akle was charged on May 16 with one offense of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, also in violation of Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Both will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 23.
The SFO thanked the Australian Federal Police for its assistance in the investigation, which remains ongoing.