A person working in Iraq in 2015 contacted the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and, later, Wall Street regulators about the proposed deal with Dabin Group, alleging the deal could constitute corruption and urging them to investigate.
The OFS met the whistleblower in London in 2015, but did not publicly pursue the case. Now there are calls for them to watch again.
“Very worrying” agreement
A spokesperson for Kozel said the Dabin deal “never materialized.” He added: “It was presented to the regional government of Kurdistan; they opposed and it was never implemented… Once the Kurdistan regional government passed its law, our agreement with Dabin was canceled by both parties.
The spokesperson added: “Dabin has nothing to do with the receipt of the contract by GKP. “
Ed Davey, investigator for the anti-corruption group Global Witness, says: “The existence of a written agreement promising to pay a senior politician in an oilfield deal is of great concern.”
“This arrangement should be thoroughly investigated whether the money actually changed hands or not. It should not be assumed that the Serious Fraud Office will not thoroughly investigate a UK listed company in such circumstances. “
Neither the Kurdistan Regional Government nor Hawrami were parties to or witnesses to the Excalibur dispute, but the judge noted that Hawrami was a man with whom it was agreed on all sides “to have detailed technical knowledge, to be a man of integrity.” and someone who would. appreciate what was in the interest of the Kurdistan Regional Government in examining tenders and awarding contracts ”.
Years after leaving GKP, Kozel was arrested at JFK Airport a week before Christmas 2018 and charged with hiding millions of dollars in assets in the Gokana Trust, which owned up to 6.5% of GKP on several occasions, far from his ex-wife.
The charges of fraud and money laundering, which he has denied, have now been dropped and Kozel has instead pleaded guilty to charges of late filing tax returns. His conviction, which is likely to take place in August, was postponed because he underwent treatment for throat cancer.
GKP, meanwhile, is under new management that wants to stand out from the Kozel era. But the giant Shaikan oilfield he has secured, which has been producing since July 2013, is their only asset, producing 40,000 to 44,000 barrels per day.
A spokesperson for the GKP said the issues of The telegraph and OCCRP relate to events that “predate the appointment of any current board member or management team”.
He added, “The company is committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, including ensuring that we undertake appropriate due diligence and third-party professional advice and have a code in place. appropriate stock trading, disclosure and compliance procedures. “
A spokesperson for Kozel said: “These allegations from ten years ago have been investigated, prosecuted and brought to trial, without any findings of corruption, fraud or non-disclosure.”
Berwari did not respond to a request for comment.
Hawrami did not comment.