The global oil corruption scandal  and Australia’s role in it

corruption 1

UNAOIL Why we Must Act , The Age, Nick McKenzie, 2 Apr 16Australia is leagues behind the US when it comes to investigating corrupt multinational companies who bribe their way to success in third world countries.

This fact is even more concerning given that US prosecutors acknowledge that even they aren’t getting it right, and need to do more to send US corporate crooks to jail. If the US regime needs a jolt, Australia’s system needs a triple bypass.

Recently, when the CEO of the Australian Securities Exchange, Elmer Funke Kupper, stood down to deal with a police investigation over an alleged international bribery case, we even had the corporate cop saying what a “sad loss” it was.

Not a single Australian executive has been jailed for paying a bribe overseas, despite the introduction in 1999 of specific laws banning this practice…….

Unaoil is a Robin Hood in reverse. On steroids. It robs the poor of oil-rich nations such as Iraq, Libya, Angola and Iran. The citizens own the resources beneath their feet, but the money from exploiting them ends up lining the pockets of executives and crooked officials.

Among the Australian firms exposed in the leaked trove of documents is Leighton Offshore, the overseas arm of construction giant Leighton Holdings (since renamed CIMIC).

The emails show that Leighton Offshore promised to pay tens of millions of dollars in bribes in 2010 and 2011. These kickbacks were allocated by Unaoil to high-ranking Iraqi officials and politicians. In return, Leighton Offshore wanted these corrupt officials to help them win pipeline construction projects worth more than $1 billion.

This Australian-funded bribery is precisely the sort of illegal conduct the FBI’s McEachern says fuels inequality, anger and extremism…….

Both the US and UK have comprehensive anti-foreign bribery frameworks. Companies and whistle blowers have strong incentives to self-report corruption and co-operate with authorities – in the US, volunteering information can mean payments of millions of dollars to individual informers. High-quality inside knowledge makes it easier for authorities to hold the corrupt to account.

None of this applies in Australia. ra ra


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