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UK brings more charges against two people in Unaoil investigation

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(Reuters) – British prosecutors have brought further charges against two people in an ongoing investigation into alleged bribery and corruption at privately-held Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil and gas services company.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Tuesday it had charged Basil Al Jarah and Ziad Akle with conspiracy to give corrupt payments to secure the award of a $733 million (545 million pounds) contract to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

Al Jarah, 68, who was Unaoil’s Iraq partner, was charged with two offences of conspiracy. Akle, 43, who was Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, was charged with one offence, the SFO said.

Akle and Al Jarah have been told to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on May 23.

Akle and Jarah were charged in November 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.

Unaoil did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

(Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru)

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