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Unaoil

In July 2016, the SFO opened a criminal investigation to the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees and its 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.

Outcome of the case

In July 2019, Basil Al Jarah pleaded guilty to five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. 

In July 2020, the SFO secured convictions for Ziad Akle, guilty on two counts and Stephen Whiteley, guilty on one count of conspiracy to give corrupt payments. 

In February 2021, a jury found Paul Bond guilty on two counts of conspiracy to give corrupt payments following a retrial of his case.

For more information please see the related press releases section.

Former SBM and Unaoil Executives guilty of corruption explained graphic. The background, bribes, defendants and verdicts explained.

Former SBM and Unaoil Executives guilty of corruption explained graphic. The background, bribes, defendants and verdicts explained.

Sentencing

On 23 July 2020, Ziad Akle was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

On 30 July 2020, Stephen Whiteley was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

On 8 October 2020, Basil Al Jarah was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.

On 1 March 2021, Paul Bond was sentenced to three and half years’ imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently.

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.

Page published on 19 Jul 2016 | Page modified on 17 May 2021