Nov 22, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – A former construction giant executive took part in an elaborate conspiracy to bribe Iraqi government officials, including their former Deputy Prime Minister and two former oil ministers, to secure oil contracts worth billions of dollars, police allege in court documents.
Details of the allegations claiming an intricate scandal were revealed after Brisbane man, Russell John Waugh, faced court last Wednesday on charges of foreign bribery.
Officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) swooped on his Annerley property that morning and escorted him to the Brisbane Watch House in handcuffs.
He appeared in Brisbane Arrests Court via video link where prosecutor Lindsay Glenn, acting for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, asked for his extradition to Sydney.
Waugh did not seek legal representation from the duty lawyer.
Magistrate Michael Quinn approved Waugh’s extradition and granted bail, with numerous conditions that include that he surrenders his passport and possesses only one mobile phone.
Waugh was whisked from the court by his wife into a waiting taxi.
The 54-year-old is charged with two foreign bribery offences, engaging in conduct to falsify books linked to the corporation and knowingly providing misleading information contrary to the Corporations Act 2001.
The AFP says in court documents that Leighton Singapore, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings Pty Ltd, tendered for contracts for the installation of onshore and offshore oil pipelines and a mooring system in Basra, Iraq between 2009 and 2011.The projects had a combined value of $US1.46bn ($2bn).
Entities associated with United Arab Emirates businessman, Ramjee Iyer, and Monaco-based energy company, Unaoil Ltd, were engaged as sub-contractors for the project.
Prosecutors allege Waugh was a party to two “conspiracies” involving the sub-contractors to bribe Iraqi government officials to award the lucrative contracts to Leighton Singapore.
Prosecutors allege representatives from Unaoil and Mr. Iyer’s companies would act as a conduit to officials in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the South Oil Company of Iraq.
“In furtherance of the conspiracies, each of Mr. Iyer and representatives of Unaoil Limited obtained inside information from representatives of the Government of Iraq to assist Leighton Singapore in being awarded the projects,” it is alleged.
Waugh’s charges of falsifying books and giving misleading information relate to allegations of the transfer of more than $US5M (6.84m) to Unaoil in 2011.
Waugh is alleged to have prepared various documents in relation to this transfer and provided them to Peter Cox, the director of Leighton Singapore.
Waugh was a managing director of Leighton Singapore, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, from 2007 to 2010.
“It is alleged that the accused (Waugh) falsified documents relating to this transfer … (and) provided those documents knowing they were misleading and/or had omitted from them information which rendered the documents misleading,” AFP court documents allege.
Unaoil was hired as a sub-contractor by Leighton Singapore for a project to install onshore and offshore oil pipelines in Basra around 2009 and 2010.
The documents further allege the transfer was to “obscure” a payment to Asian Global – a company unrelated to Leighton Holdings or Unaoil.
Representatives of Unaoil were never told what the purpose of the transfer to Asian Global was for, according to police documents.
Speaking outside of court, AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney praised police for their “resolve and resilience” throughout an intricate investigation.
“No matter how hard, difficult or complex they are, we will follow through and bring people to account for (allegedly) breaking Australian laws,” he said.
“This is sophisticated. There is a range of complex subsidiary companies that the money flowed through to disguise payments, and write a very complex flow of money. We had to investigate at each juncture to identify and prove the offence,” he said of the allegations.
Mr. McCartney said police were exploring the option of using proceeds of crime laws to pursue money obtained by Leighton, but conceded the matter was “fairly complex”.
“There is a misconception that foreign bribery is just the cost of doing business. It isn’t,” he said.
“Foreign bribery strikes the conduct of Australian people and businesses overseas. It reflects poorly on our national character.”
Waugh will reappear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on December 2. (Extracted and modified from News.com.au)
Nov 29, 2020– exciting climax anticipated today By Zaheer Mohamed Kaieteur News – Eric Thomas struck his second century as Regal Legends booked their place in the final of the over 50 category when...
Nov 29, 2020
Nov 29, 2020
Nov 29, 2020
Nov 29, 2020
Nov 28, 2020
Kaieteur News – If there is any philosophy I embrace in life is that a man must fight for his family; family comes... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Human rights and constitutional violations in Haiti have been ignored for too... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]