Former Unaoil manager sentenced to five years’ imprisonment

On July 23, 2020, Ziad Akle, who served as Iraq territory manager for Unaoil, was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to give corrupt payments in violation of section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.  

According to the evidence, Akle paid bribes worth more than $500,000 to public officials at the South Oil Company (now known as the Basra Oil Company), the Iraqi state-owned upstream oil company responsible for oil production in the south of the country, in order to secure a contract to provide offshore mooring buoys to the Iraqi government.  Akle’s co-conspirator Basil Al Jarah pleaded guilty in July 2019, and is scheduled to be sentenced in October 2020.  A third co-conspirator, Stephen Whitely, former SBM Offshore vice president and Unaoil territory manager for Iraq, was also convicted of conspiracy to give corrupt payments in violation of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.  Whitely awaits sentencing.

In a related development, the SFO has announced the retrial of Paul Bond, former vice president of SBM Offshore, to begin in January 2021.  In the 2020 trial against Bond on charges of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, the jury failed to reach a verdict.

SFO news release 

 
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