April 14, 2004

Irish Oil-for-Food Scandal???

From Instapundit comes this link to yet another manifestation of the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal - the Irish connection This one manages to include Scott Ritter, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector as well as some high-level (and unrelated despite the same last name as me) Irish politicians including a former Prime Minister who later became chairman of an Irish Oil Company. The plot thickens: bq. As part of the anti-sanctions PR campaign, several Irish politicians, including former Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds, visited Iraq in 1998. bq. After Mr Reynolds' visit, he made pleas for ending sanctions. Then he became chairman of Bula Resources, an Irish oil exploration firm. bq. The PR firm's fees for the anti-sanctions campaign were paid by Bula Resources. bq. The Iraqi anti-sanctions campaigner was listed by the Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada as receiving 11,000,000 barrels in oil "allocations" (worth up to $3,300,000 according to the Financial Times estimates). And more: bq. ...one of Saddam's apologists, Mr Riad al-Taher, was listed by the Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada as receiving 11,000,000 barrels in oil "allocations" (worth up to $3,300,000 according to the Financial Times estimates). bq. We reported that Mr al-Taher, chairman of the London-based Friendship Across Frontiers organization, which campaigned for lifting of UN sanctions on Iraq and denial of American military use of Shannon airport had unusually good access to Irish Times Foreign Affairs Correspondent Deaglan de Breadun. bq. We also noted that he was a shareholder and consultant to Bula Resources, an Irish oil exploration firm. After making a trip to Iraq and subsequent appeals to end UN sanctions, former Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds became chairman of Bula Resources. bq. We noted that while Bula Resources was awaiting Saddam's signature on potentially lucrative Iraqi oil exploration contracts, Mr al-Taher was able to convince Bula to make changes to its board of directors to include people who were "more committed" to the company's future. And more: bq. Iraqi businessman Riad el Taher has insisted that the Irish exploration company Bula Resources and its former chairman Albert Reynolds were always aware that he was selling oil on behalf of Saddam Hussein's government. bq. "Of course Bula knew about it," el Taher told The Sunday Business Post this weekend. "Of course they knew, of course I told them. I am an oilman. I am in the oil business."... And where is Bula now? bq. Bula Resources is now in liquidation by the High Court and its 43,000 shareholders are most worried about recouping a 1.5 million deposit paid by the company as part of a deal involving an entity in Bahrain. bq. The company is also being investigated by officials from the [Irish] Office of the Director of Company Enforcement. Take the money and run. Screw the shareholders. 'Bidness' as usual. Posted by DaveH at April 14, 2004 11:57 AM