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Mon 24 Oct 2011 07:43 PM

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UK businessman faces Bahrain corruption charges

Victor Dahdaleh alleged to have made bribe payments to officials from Aluminium Bahrain

UK businessman faces Bahrain corruption charges
The High Court, London. (For illustration purposes only)

The UK's Serious Fraud Squad said on Monday that a businessman had been arrested and charged in connection with corruption allegations involving Bahrain aluminium contracts.

It said Victor Michael Phillip Dahdaleh had been charged with corruption offences and released on conditional police bail to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 31.

Dahdaleh, a British and Canadian national residing in Belgravia, London is alleged to have made payments of bribes to officials of Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), a smelting company in Bahrain with majority state ownership.

The SFO said in a statement that these payments were in connection with contracts with a US company, Alcoa Inc, for supplies of alumina shipped to Bahrain from Australia. 

It said further payments were also made in connection with contracts to supply goods and services to Alba.

The period covered by the charges spans 2001 to 2005, the SFO added.

A spokesman for Allen & Overy, Dahdaleh's lawyers, said on his personal website: "Mr Dahdaleh believes the investigation into his affairs was flawed and that he has done absolutely nothing wrong.  He will be vigorously contesting these charges at every stage, confident in clearing his good name."

Dahdaleh is owner and chairman of Dadco and affiliated companies and the Supervisory Board of Aluminium-Oxide Stade (AOS), according to the website.

Dadco Group is a privately-owned investment, manufacturing and trading group which has operations and investments in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

It added that he is president of the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce and is a board trustee of former US President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation.

The investigation by the SFO opened in July 2009 with assistance from the City of London Police Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit.

Additionally the SFO has been in liaison with the US Department of Justice and with the Swiss authorities, the statement said.

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