Thursday October 3 2013

– Leighton Holdings’ offshore arms enlisted a network of Middlemen with links to influential officials in corruption-prone countries to help it win huge contracts.
Those middlemen included a Monaco firm with ties to former Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi and senior Iraqi politicians.
Company files indicate the Australian construction giant paid Monaco’s Unaoil $40 million at the direction of the Iraqi Oil Ministry as part of a 2010 contract suspected of being corrupt.
The ministry had nominated Unaoil as the subcontractor that would provide domestic support to Leighton Offshore on a $750 million oil pipeline project.
The files suggest Unaoil, which has employed former top Iraqi oil officials, received its money after the Australian company allegedly artificially inflated the value of an onshore support services contract by $40 million.
The Monaco firm, owned by a prominent Iranian family, stood to receive a further $25 million from Leighton via a proposed extension of the Iraqi pipeline project, company files show.
The Australian Federal Police is investigating payments associated with the Leighton Iraq venture after the company contacted it about suspect payments in late 2011. Hong Kong court documents reveal that Unaoil, which declined to answer questions from Fairfax Media, and Leighton are now in dispute over money.
In a separate case, an English High Court judgement in 2012 described Unaoil as being well connected with the former Gaddafi regime in Libya and had in the course of its work with another firm disguised a $4 million commission payment as “office expenses”.
Leighton companies have also won business and courted political influence through an array of colourful Asian businessmen.
Malaysian-based businessman Pakianathan Sri Kumar has been involved with Leighton contracts in Iraq, Indonesia, Tanzania and India.
Leighton documents show Mr Sri Kumar was paid by India’s giant Adani Group in relation to the construction of a barge in Indonesia.
This barge was built with steel that had been illegally bought by an allegedly corrupt former Leighton executive. Mr Sri Kumar has denied any wrongdoing.
In 2011 the Adani Group was accused by an Indian ombudsman of alleged bribery relating to a mining project in India, a claim the company has rejected.
Elsewhere in India, executives from the Leighton joint venture partner for major road projects, Oriental Structural Engineers, were arrested by the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation in 2010 as part of probe into allegedly rigged highway construction contracts.
In Malaysia, Leighton courted political support by entering into a 2008 deal to train and employ students from a Malaysian TAFE owned by a political party and chaired by a government minister who has been awarding contracts to the Australian company since the 1980s.
The Kolej TAFE is owned by the educational arm of the Malaysian Indian Congress, a political party that is part of Malaysia’s government. It is chaired by a former minister for works, Sammy Vellu, a politician who has been embroiled in corruption scandals, but never found guilty of offences.
The deputy chairman of the Leighton Malaysian subsidiary, Tan Sri Hari Narayanan, is also associated with the educational arm of the Malaysian Indian Congress political party.
Mr Narayanan was a director of the Malaysian Highway Authority, a statutory authority overseeing major road projects, at the same time the Australian firm was building government-funded highway extensions in Kuala Lumpur in 2007.

– Richard Baker & Nick McKenzie

About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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