Details revealed on oil-for-food kickbacks
Date: 28 Oct 2005
2,200 companies have been accused of paying $1.8 bn in illicit payments to Saddam Hussein's government as part of the United Nations oil-for-food program by an independent report produced by a UN committee.
According to the report, the Iraqi government followed a policy of favouring France and Russia, for following policies deemed to be more 'friendly' to the regime. Companies from different countries tried to reposition themselves with appropriate connections to be able to benefit from the trade.
Companies that are alleged to have paid special surcharges to the regime are named in the report. DaimlerChrysler is alleged to have paid $7,000, and Volvo Construction Equipment paid $317,000. One third of the total oil exported ended up with Russian companies, such as Lukoil and TNK.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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