Former Unaoil Iraq partner pleads guilty to UK Gov corruption charges

Serious Fraud Office, which began probe in March 2016, says three others have also been charged under same investigation

Unaoil's former exec has pleaded guilty to corruption in Iraq.
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Unaoil's former exec has pleaded guilty to corruption in Iraq.

Basil Al Jarah, former partner in Iraq for Monaco-based firm Unaoil, has pleaded guilty to five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments in connection with an investigation into Unaoil by the UK Government’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The offences, the SFO said in its 19 July statement, relate to contracts awarded for the supply and installation of single point moorings and oil pipelines in Southern Iraq.

A court order restricting reporting of the guilty plea was lifted on 19 July – the day Al Jarah admitted to the offences.

Three other parties have also been charged under the same investigation, which the SFO started in March 2016.

Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, has been charged with three offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, with Paul Bond – former senior sales manager at Dutch-based firm SBM Offshore – charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

Stephen Whiteley, a former vice president of SBM (Offshore) and Unaoil’s former general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Angola, was also charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

 A trial is scheduled to begin on 13 January, 2020 at Southwark Crown Court in London.

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