UK charges businessman over Bahrain aluminium deals

by Reuters
Monday, 24 October 2011 17:27 GMT

Reuters

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(Updates with Alcoa comment in paras 5-7.)

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Britain&${esc.hash}39;s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has arrested and charged businessman Victor Dahdaleh with corruption offenses relating to contracts for the supply of aluminum to Bahrain, it said on Monday.

"He has been released on conditional police bail to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates&${esc.hash}39; Court on 31 October 2011," the SFO said in a statement.

The SFO said Dahdaleh was a British and Canadian national living in London&${esc.hash}39;s Belgravia district and that he was alleged to have paid bribes to officials of state-controlled smelting company Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. <ALBH.BH> (Alba) in connection with contracts with U.S. company Alcoa Inc. <AA.N>.

Dahdaleh&${esc.hash}39;s website, quoting a spokesman for legal firm Allen & Overy, said he believes the investigation into his affairs was flawed and he will be contesting the charges vigorously, confident of clearing his name.

(http://www.victordahdaleh.com/news/view/victor-dahdaleh-to-fight-bribery-charges</A1 >)

An Alcoa spokesman said he was limited in his response because of the pending investigation and litigation.

"We have not, have not, been contacted by authorities in the United Kingdom, and cannot comment on the charges pending against Mr. Dahdaleh," the spokesman told Reuters.

"As we have said, we are fully cooperating with U.S. authorities. Alcoa has a strong commitment to compliance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which we operate and does not tolerate improper conduct by any of our employees or the parties with which we contract," he added.

Alba officials could not immediately be reached.

The contracts were for supplies of intermediate product alumina, shipped to Bahrain from Australia, and for the supply of further goods and services to Alba, the SFO said.

(http://www.sfo.gov.uk/press-room/latest-press-releases/press-releases-2011/victor-dahdaleh-charged-with-bribery.aspx</A1>)

Dahdaleh&${esc.hash}39;s Website said, he is 68 and is owner and chairman of Dadco and affiliated companies. It said, Dadco is a privately-owned investment, manufacturing and trading group with operations and investments in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

(Reporting by Paul Hoskins; Additional reporting by Maytaal Angel, by Carole Vaporean in New York and by Amena Bakr; Editing by Anthony Barker and Andrea Evans)

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