Serious Fraud Office charges two in Unaoil investigation

Courtney Goldsmith
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Unaoil has previously denied the allegations (Source: Getty)

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today charged two people amid an ongoing investigation into Monaco-based oil firm Unaoil.

Ziad Akle and Basil Al Jarah were both charged by requisition with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure contracts in Iraq to Unaoil's client SBM Offshore between June 2005 and August 2011.

Akle was Unaoil's territory manager for Iraq while Al Jarah was Unaoil's Iraq partner. The two will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 7 December.

A third man, Saman Ahsani, is subject to an extradition request to Monaco on related charges. Ahsani was Unaoil's commercial director.

‚ÄčThe SFO originally opened its investigation into Unaoil, which provides services to the energy sector in the Middle East, central Asia and Africa, in March 2016.

The probe has dragged in other companies as well, including oilfield services firm Petrofac, which suspended its chief operating officer in May following an investigation.

Unaoil has "vigorously denied" the allegations.

Read more: British American Tobacco shares tumble as SFO launches investigation

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