AMEP still exists on registry documents in Monaco, but Mr. Abdelnour confirmed that the office there on Boulevard Princesse Charlotte closed two years ago. Intriguingly, the same building in Monaco houses another oil company, Toro Energy SAM, whose owner and a key business partner both figure prominently on the Al Mada list: oil industry specialist Cabecadas Rui de Sousa and Frenchman Patrick Maugein. (Mr. Abdelnour says he does not know either man). Mr. Maugein, a billionaire with close ties to Jacques Chirac, is a longtime associate of the trader and former fugitive Marc Rich, who fled to Europe in 1983 to avoid answering charges of racketeering, illegal trading and dodging a tax-bill of $48 million. (Mr. Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton in his final hours in the White House). Mr. Maugein was also a close contact of Tariq Aziz, with whom he met regularly. He is the non-executive chairman of Soco International PLC, a publicly listed London-based petroleum exploration/production company, which goes into markets the majors tend to skip--Mongolia, Vietnam, North Korea, Libya and Yemen.
The report found that Marc Rich & Co financed oil purchases from Iraq and the associated kickbacks for the son of a French MP shortly after the companys founder received a controversial pardon from President Clinton.
The report also said Marc Rich & Co. financed 4 million barrels of oil under a 9.5-million-barrel contract awarded to the European Oil and Trading Co. (EOTC), a French-based shell company.
"Surcharges were imposed on the oil," the report said, and "Marc Rich & Co. directed BNP Paris not to disclose its identity to BNP NY in connection with its financing of the U.N. contract."