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Unaoil

In July 2016, the SFO opened a criminal investigation to the activities of Unaoil, its officers, employees and agents, in connection with suspected offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering.

The SFO charged four individuals with conspiracy to give corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore

  • Basil Al Jarah, who was Unaoil’s Iraq partner, charged with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. 
  • Ziad Akle, who was Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, charged with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
  • Paul Bond, charged with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
  • Stephen Whiteley, charged with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

In May 2018, the SFO brought additional charges against Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle relating to corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth US$733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

  • Basil Al Jarah was charged on 15 May 2018 with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
  • Ziad Akle was charged on 16 May 2018 with one offence of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Outcomes

In July 2019, Basil Al Jarah pleaded guilty to five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. Mr Al Jarah was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.

In July 2020, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court,  Ziad Akle was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. At the same trial Stephen Whiteley was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. They were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and three years’ imprisonment respectively. Mr Akle subsequently appealed his conviction.

In February 2021, a jury found Paul Bond guilty on two counts of conspiracy to give corrupt payments following a retrial of his case. On 1 March 2021, he was sentenced to three and half years’ imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently.

In December 2021, the Court of Appeal allowed Ziad Akle’s appeal and overturned his conviction. The Court of Appeal also declined to order a re-trial.

Recovering the proceeds of crime

In June 2021, Basil Al-Jarah was ordered to repay over £400,000.

In November 2021, Stephen Whiteley was ordered to repay almost £100,000.

Paul Bond is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court for a confiscation hearing on 22 February 2022.

Reporting information

We have been approached by a number of sources who may have information relevant to this investigation. If you have any information please contact us through our secure and confidential reporting channel. When providing information please quote ‘Unaoil investigation’ on the reporting form.

Tudalen wedi ei chyhoeddi ar 19 Gor 2016 | Tudalen wedi ei haddasu ar 13 Rhag 2021