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The New Arab Staff

US charges UK national with bribery scheme to obtain Iraq reconstruction contracts

Shwan Al-Mulla is accused of paying a million dollars in bribes for contracts. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 January, 2021

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US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has charged Shwan Al-Mulla with fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery, in relation to reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

A US court has charged a British-Iraqi businessman with involvement in a bribery scheme, which sought to secure reconstruction contracts in Iraq

Shwan Al-Mulla, and his co-conspirators, have been accused of bribing an individual for insider information, helping give them the edge in the bidding process for the contracts.

"The indictment unsealed today charges Shwan Al-Mulla, 60, the former owner of Iraqi Consultants & Construction Bureau (ICCB), with seven counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and defraud the US government," read the statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Al-Mulla, who remains at large, faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of fraud. 

Al-Mulla is accused of paying bribes worth over $1 million to John Salama Markus of the US Army Corps of Engineers, who plead guilty in 2012 to charges of fraud, money laundering and tax offences. He is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. 

The US Attorney's Office has submitted numerous examples of wrongdoing, including that "Salama Markus solicited a $350,000 bribe in exchange for helping ICCB obtain a $6.2 million contract to make certain infrastructure improvements at the Bayji Oil Refinery".

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The US Attorney's Office claim that in July 2007, ICCB secured four contracts worth an estimated $7 million, in exchange for a $550,000 bribe to Salama Markus.

A co-conspirator of Al-Mulla, Ahmed Nouri, plead guilty to a conspiracy charge in 2018, and is awaiting sentencing. 

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