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Unaoil probe and bribery trial saga of former executives holds uncomfortable lessons for UK’s Serious Fraud Office
21 July 2020 00:00
Last week saw the conclusion, after six months, of the London trial of former Unaoil executives on charges of bribery to secure contracts in Iraq. The UK’s white-collar crime agency, the Serious Fraud Office, secured two convictions to add to an earlier guilty plea by another former employee of the oil-sector consultancy: a respectable result. But it was a rare bright spot for the SFO after a series of poor showings at trial, and its investigations and runup to trial were shown to have been fraught with problems — including a fracas with US counterparts and alarming exchanges of messages between the agency’s head and a representative of the Ahsani family, Unaoil’s owners.
13 July 2020 12:12 by Martin CoyleA swoop by US prosecutors on Saman Ahsani sparked an extraordinary row between the two countries’ fraud agencies.
James Panichi Senior Editor, Asia Pacific
James, an Australian journalist with over 25 years’ experience in print and electronic media, helps to oversee MLex’s coverage of regulatory risk in Asia, with special attention to Australia and New Zealand. In 2016, James was appointed as MLex’s managing editor for continental Europe, overseeing the Brussels bureau’s coverage of EU regulatory affairs and managing a team of 16 journalists in Brussels and Geneva. Previously James worked for the European Voice newspaper, before joining the... Read more
Martin Coyle Senior Correspondent
Martin Coyle is a senior correspondent, based in MLex's London office, reporting daily on bribery and corruption issues in the UK and Europe. Previously he was a senior editor at Thomson Reuters where he covered anti-money laundering, financial crime and regulatory enforcement issues. Prior to that he was editor of The Accountant, the world's oldest accounting publication, and International Accounting Bulletin, a bi-monthly business journal owned by Lafferty.