UNAOIL: THE COMPANY THAT BRIBED THE WORLD

A massive leak of confidential documents has for the first time exposed the true extent of corruption within the oil industry, implicating dozens of leading companies, bureaucrats and politicians in a sophisticated global web of bribery and graft.
After a six-month investigation across two continents, Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post can reveal that billions of dollars of government contracts were awarded as the direct result of bribes paid on behalf of firms including British icon Rolls-Royce, US giant Halliburton, Australia’s Leighton Holdings and Korean heavyweights Samsung and Hyundai.
The investigation centres on a Monaco company called Unaoil, run by the jet-setting Ahsani clan. Following a coded ad in a French newspaper, a series of clandestine meetings and midnight phone calls led to our reporters obtaining hundreds of thousands of the Ahsanis’ leaked emails and documents.
The trove reveals how they rub shoulders with royalty, party in style, mock anti-corruption agencies and operate a secret network of fixers and middlemen throughout the world’s oil producing nations.
Corruption in oil production – one of the world’s richest industries and one that touches us all through our reliance on petrol – fuels inequality, robs people of their basic needs and causes social unrest in some of the world’s poorest countries. It was among the factors that prompted the Arab Spring.
Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post today reveal how Unaoil carved up portions of the Middle East oil industry for the benefit of Western companies between 2002 and 2012.
In part two we will turn to the impoverished former Russian states to reveal the extent of misbehaviour by multinational companies including Halliburton. We will conclude the three-part investigation by showing how corrupt practices have extended deep into Asia and Africa.
Theleakedfilesrevealthatsomepeopleinthesefirmsbelievedtheywerehiringagenuinelobbyist,andotherswhokneworsuspectedtheywerefundingbriberysimplyturnedablindeye.
The leaked files expose as corrupt two Iraqi oil ministers, a fixer linked to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, senior officials from Libya’s Gaddafi regime, Iranian oil figures, powerful officials in the United Arab Emirates and a Kuwaiti operator known as “the big cheese”.
Western firms involved in Unaoil’s Middle East operation include some of the world’s wealthiest and most respected companies: Rolls-Royce and Petrofac from Britain; US companies FMC Technologies, Cameron and Weatherford; Italian giants Eni and Saipem; German companies MAN Turbo (now know as MAN Diesal & Turbo) and Siemens; Dutch firm SBM Offshore; and Indian giant Larsen & Toubro. They also show the offshore arm of Australian company Leighton Holdings was involved in serious, calculated corruption.
The leaked files reveal that some people in these firms believed they were hiring a genuine lobbyist, and others who knew or suspected they were funding bribery simply turned a blind eye.
But some knew much more. A handful of senior insiders at firms such as Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas, French firm Technip and drilling giant MI-SWACO, not only actively supported bribery but pocketed their own kickbacks; US defence giant Honeywell and Australia’s Leighton Offshore agreed to hide bribes inside fraudulent contracts in Iraq; a Rolls-Royce manager negotiated a monthly kickback for leaking information from inside the British firm.
Many of those revealed to have been culpable, including the wealthy Ahsani family itself, which runs Unaoil, continue to operate with impunity.
The files expose the betrayal of ordinary people in the Middle East. After Saddam Hussein was toppled, the US declared Iraq’s oil would be managed to benefit the Iraqi people. Today, in part one of the ‘Global Bribe Factory’ expose, that claim is demolished.

THE BRIBE FACTORY

It is the Monaco company that almost perfected the art of corruption.
It is called Unaoil and it is run by members of the Ahsani family – Monaco millionaires who rub shoulders with princes, sheikhs and Europe’s and America’s elite business crowd. At the head are family patriarch Ata Ahsani and his two dashing sons, Cyrus and Saman. Their charities support the arts and children, and Ahsani family members sit on the boards of NGOs with ex-politicians and billionaires. Ten years ago, a spreadsheet showed they had cash, shares and property worth 190 million euros. They are members of the global elite.

Left to right: Saman, Cyrus and Ata Ahsani
How they make their money is simple. Oil-rich countries often suffer poor governance and high levels of corruption. Unaoil’s business plan is to play on the fears of large Western companies that they cannot win contracts without its help.
Themulti-milliondollarfeesUnaoiltakesfromitsclientsarefunnelledintoanindustrialscalebriberyoperationwhichfurtherentrenchescorruptionamongthepowerfulfew.
Its operatives then bribe officials in oil-producing nations to help these clients win government-funded projects. The corrupt officials might rig a tender committee. Or leak inside information. Or ensure a contract is awarded without a competitive tender.
If you believe Ata Ahsani, it’s all above board: “We are not in the business of fixing jobs for people. Our work is basically very basic. What we do is integrate Western technology with local capability,” he told Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post.
Did Unaoil bribe public officials? “The answer is absolutely no”.
But the evidence of their own internal email cache, leaked to Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post, clearly demonstrates that the multi-million dollar fees Unaoil takes from its clients are funnelled into an industrial scale bribery operation which further entrenches corruption among the powerful few.
Bankers in New York and London have facilitated Unaoil’s money laundering
For More: http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2016/the-bribe-factory/day-1/the-company-that-bribed-the-world.html?&utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0013-optim-nnn%3Anonpaid-25062014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-smh-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook

Source: Islamic News Daily

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