Skip to comments.Zhirinovsky named in oil-for-food scandal
Posted on 12/01/2004 6:15:18 AM PST by NativeNewYorker
LONDON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Two European newspapers claimed to have evidence Wednesday Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky profited from the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.
The Financial Times and Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore conducted an investigation and claim to have documentary evidence former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein personally did business at least twice with Zhirinovsky. They tracked movements of two oil shipments through Zhirinovsky to the Russian oil company Tyumen, and also the Houston-based Bayoil.
Under the U.N. plan, Iraq's oil exports were to be strictly controlled and used in exchange for food as the country was living under U.N. sanctions. However, evidence continues to come forward that Saddam side-stepped the program repeatedly to profit personally.
According to documents provided by a senior Iraqi oil official, Zhirinovsky, or his Liberal Democratic party, was allocated 53 million barrels of oil.
Another document lists a payment of $546,000 to Tyumen by Bayoil, headed by tycoon David Chalmers, whose office declined to comment.
A spokesman for Zhirinovsky also denied any involvement by the party or its leader.
Dealing with Saddam's Regime Through the lens of one specific case, the Il Sole/FT investigation provides an unprecedented insight into how oil allocations were granted and traded, commissions were paid and a privileged few were able to earn millions from an initiative intended to ease the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. ...
Mr Giangrandi was one actor in an international charade that helped Mr Hussein's regime divert hundreds of millions of dollars from the United Nations oil-for-food programme to its own ends. ...
[A Chilean-Italian arms dealer, Mr. Giangrandi founded Italtech in the late 1980s, to build engines for mini-submarines. Through Carlos Cardoen, an arms dealer, Giangrandi was introduced to Iraq. He met General Ameer Mohammed Rasheed, in charge of Air Force procurement, and later Oil Minister.]
In 1995 Gen Rasheed became Iraq's oil minister. Sensing an opportunity, Mr Giangrandi decided to refocus Italtech, the company he had formed in 1991 to develop engines for Cosmos submarines. On 15 July 1999, he registered it as a "national oil purchaser" under the oil-for-food programme. Italtech lacked both the know-how and the capital to lift significant amounts of oil. But Mr Giangrandi knew just the man to turn to: David Bay Chalmers, Jr., a wealthy Houston-based independent oil trader, owner of Bayoil Tech. ...
"Chalmers would get the oil lifting," says a retired US customs agent who worked on the Miami case. He would then sell it and reimburse Mr Cardoen, while keeping a percentage for himself, the agent says.
The business plan was simple: Italtech acquired allocations of Iraqi oil, then sold the oil to Bayoil for a small commission. Bayoil would collect the oil and sell it on.
[The article continues, citing documents and financial transactions that confirm the relationship between Iraq, Italtech, and Bayoil. In March, 2001, gun-toting Baathist agents arrived at Giangrandi's Baghdad villa, and demanded that he cough his 'commission.' Immediately! Giangrandi complied, and survived.]
David Chalmers is an associate of Oscar Wyatt, who also was on the CIA list.
Here is an article detailing Wyatt's involvement:
Intersting names surface in this article.
The next day Giangrandi met Somo and a representative of Al Wasel & Babel. He wrote a dozen cheques, for more than $6m, says the witness. Those cheques were never cashed. But an electronic copy of an unsigned fax message, obtained by Il Sole and the FT, refers to a total payment of euro5,507,802 by Italtech to Al Wasel & Babel.
Mr Giangrandi declined to comment on this payment. Bayoil said it "did not as a matter of practice appoint or authorise any company personnel or individuals to work on a commission basis to obtain so-called 'allocations' of Iraqi oil. Bayoil's practice was to negotiate the purchases of Iraqi oil with or through authorised representatives of various companies which had existing, UN-approved contracts with Somo."
Bayoil suspended further purchases of oil from early May 2001 "due to wide press reports of alleged demands by the Iraqis to impose surcharges on those companies in which it had direct contracts", Bayoil says. Over the seven years of its operation, the UN oil-for-food programme allowed a privileged few, both Iraqi and western, who had the access and the means to make a lot of money. But the Italtech story illustrates how difficult it will be for UN and national investigators to pinpoint clearly illegal behaviour.>p> DANGEROUS BUSINESS
On Bay Oil which has been operating in Iraq since the late 1980s and David Bay Chalmers, Jr., and the 32 oil trades between August 1999 and December 2000, see:
Yup...for those not reading down far enough...Scott Ritter's name pops up. As far as Dem campaign donations go...as much as I hate to admit it...I would give even them the benefit of the doubt that they were more than likely not aware of the real source of the money as the money went to the campaign rather than payments to the individual themselves. But IMHO, Ritter should have known and probably did know, despite his claims of innocence.
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