November 30, 2017
This month saw the opening of several bribery investigations around the globe. The Greek corruption prosecutor ordered a preliminary investigation into allegations that Greek shipping companies Aegean Group and Tsakos Group obtained at least five contracts with Brazilian SOE Petrobras through bribery, by inflating the cost of services to include a two-percent bribe for Brazilian officials. Société Générale announced that France’s Parquet National Financier has opened a preliminary investigation into possible corruption in the company’s work with the Libyan Investment Authority. Israeli police are examining allegations of potential corrupt acts by Aeronautics Defense Systems to obtain a major contract with a “significant customer,” though details of the allegations are under a gag order.
U.S. officials arrested Chi Ping Patrick Ho, the head of non-governmental organization China Energy Fund Committee, and Cheikh Gadio, the former Foreign Minister of Senegal, alleging that the two conspired to bribe officials in Chad and Uganda so as to obtain exclusive oil rights for a Chinese oil and gas company, identified as CEFC China Energy Company. The UK Serious Fraud Office announced that it had charged Ziad Akle and Basil Al Jarah with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore, and issued an extradition request to Monaco for a third man, Saman Ahsani, on related charges. Late last month the Philippine ombudsman filed charges against former Bureau of Immigration officials and the former president of the Asian Gaming Service Providers Association after they were found to have extorted 50 million PHP from the chairman of Jimei International Entertainment Group in exchange for the release of 1,316 arrested Chinese workers who were violating Philippine immigration laws.
Finally, in a case to watch, banks Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, and VTB Group are now being investigated by U.S. authorities for their issuance of debt to Mozambique that may have facilitated bribery of Mozambican officials on a massive scale.
Visit the TRACE Compendium to view the complete entries on these cases, along with other updates from this month.