Friday, 1 April 2016

Ranhill, Petronas and Keppel implicated in Unaoil's "bribery scandal"?

"Asian companies such as Hyundai, Samsung, Sinopec and Petronas are household names. But they have dark secrets. In the latest in Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post’s global bribery expose, these firms and more are implicated for paying kickbacks, money laundering and corruption."

The start of part 3 "Unaoil: Dark secrets of Asian powers" of "World's Biggest Bribery Scandal"

The Asian powers mentioned are three companies of Korea (Samsung, Hyundai and ISU) and the following players:

Some snippets containing specifics:

Leaked emails reveal that Unaoil agreed to pay millions of dollars to a Malaysian middle man who claimed he could influence a top Petronas’ executive and other Malaysian officials in 2010. “I’ll make [an] arrangement for us to see Mr [Petronas executive] when I’m in Dubai,” middle man Affandi Yusuf wrote to Unaoil.

“As you are aware the situation is very sensitive at the moment. I’ll have to meet Mr [Petronas executive] personally to make him comfortable to meet up with your team.”

In a later email from Affandi, the middleman claims that, in return for the bribes, his corrupt Petronas contacts had “fed us” inside information from a tender committee. This ensured that Unaoil’s client Petrofac qualified for a large contract.

In Libya, Malaysian company Ranhill offered Unaoil $40 million to convince senior Libyan officials to award it a large housing construction contract. The leaked emails reveal Ranhill approached Unaoil after former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had failed to convince Colonel Gaddafi to help.

Unaoil succeeded where Mahathir had failed. Unaoil paid a high ranking Libyan official, Mustafa Zarti, to assist Ranhill. The leaked files also suggest Unaoil promised a $200,000 personal kickback to a Ranhill executive if he helped Unaoil extract large commissions from the Malaysian company.

Unaoil also paid up to $2 million (along with further payments for a rug and a collection of fine wines) into offshore accounts to two mysterious Algerian middle men, Tewfic Guerbato and Omar Habour. It appears these payments were made to increase Unaoil’s influence inside Petronas and other Asian firms.

A confidential 2007 Unaoil memo details its plans to help Keppel win offshore oil rig and barge contracts on the massive Kashagan oil field. Unaoil regarded Keppel as an ideal client because Keppel had lax anti-corruption controls compared with Unaoil’s other multinational clients. Unaoil also believed Keppel had its own connections to allegedly corrupt Kazakh government officials.

“In my opinion we have a lot at stake here, apart from the $30m [in fees from Keppel] – we could set-up a long term association with these guys [Keppel].... The problems of working with a US or European outfit do not apply here,” a Unaoil executive wrote in a 2007 memo.

The leaked emails provide specific details of just how helpful Unaoil was to Keppel. In 2006, when Keppel was competing with French multinational Technip to win a contract to build an offshore oil rig in Kazakhstan, Unaoil used a corrupt contact codenamed “small D” to leak inside information on bidding strategy.

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