Panel Says BayOil Key In Saddam Scheme

May 18th, 2005 by Andy in Halliburton & The Iraqateers

Panel Says BayOil Key In Saddam Scheme
By David Ivanovich
Houston Chronicle

Houston firm was ‘puppeteer’ in oil-for-food scam, investigators say

Houston’s BayOil (USA) was the “puppeteer” in a scheme to help Russian politicians profit illegally from the United Nations’ oil-for-food program and pay kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime, Senate investigators say.

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations contends the trading firm, led by Houston’s David Chalmers Jr., played a key role in helping Saddam curry favor with Russian leaders. At the time, Saddam was trying to win friends on the U.N. Security Council.

“They are involved in Iraqi oil from soup to nuts,” a Senate investigator said.

In a pair of reports, Senate investigators say BayOil helped anti-Western Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian Presidential Council and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s own Unity Party illegally earn millions by circumventing U.N. rules.

The subcommittee’s allegations come one month after a federal jury in New York accused Chalmers and his colleague Ludmil Dionissiev, both of Houston, as well as BayOil trader John Irving of London of scheming with Baghdad to fix oil prices and pay millions in kickbacks to Saddam’s regime.

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