International - Written by on Monday, October 24, 2011 10:53 - 0 Comments

SFO uses pre-Bribery Act & POCA laws with latest arrest over Middle East bribery allegations

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Continuing to make good on the Director of the SFO’s threats to investigate and prosecute alleged bribery Dow Jones reports that on Monday the SFO arrested and charged Victor Dahdaleh with corruption offences relating to contracts for the supply of aluminum to Bahrain.

The arrest follows a raid which took place over a year ago.

On his own website Mr. Dahdaleh describes himself as a 68 year old Canadian national based in London and Switzerland, who is owner and chairman of Dadco and affiliated companies.  Dadco is described as a privately-owned investment, manufacturing and trading group with the business founded in 1915.  Dadco reportedly has operations and investments in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

It is reported that Mr. Dahdaleh has been released on conditional police bail to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Oct. 31.

He is reportedly alleged to have made payments of bribes to officials of Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C. (ALBH.BH), or Alba, a smelting company in Bahrain with majority state ownership in connection with contracts with a U.S. company, Alcoa Inc (AA), for supplies of alumina shipped to Bahrain from Australia.

Dow Jones reports that Mr. Dahdaleh was charged with Corruption contrary to Section 1, Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, conspiracy in respect of the same and acquiring and transferring criminal property contrary to Sections 329(1) and 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The mixing of traditional corruption offences (under pre Bribery Act laws) and the Proceeds of Crime Act in this prosecution underscores what we have been saying for some time namely that POCA will increasingly be used as a weapon by the SFO in combating bribery.

In a statement issued yesterday Mr. Dahdelah’s spokesman said: “Mr Dahdaleh believes the investigation into his affairs was flawed and that he has done absolutely nothing wrong.  He will be vigorously contesting these charges at every stage, confident in clearing his good name.”

Image © Crown Copyright 2011

 

 

 

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