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Tag: Oil

Weekend Series on Crime: Mexican Oil and the Drug Cartels

FBI Acknowledges It Violated Own Rules by Investigating Pipeline Protesters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI acknowledged Tuesday that it violated its own guidelines in 2013 by investigating environmental advocates who were protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, The New York Times reports. 

Agents were investigating claims that some opponents planned to damage part of the existing pipeline, which sends oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Without approval from their office or chief lawyer, FBI agents gathered information about opponents and combed through databases for information on environmental advocates. The investigation appears to have been prompted by communication from the Houston office.

Agents are required to get authorization for such an investigation and did not, the Times wrote.

A further investigation revealed no evidence that protesters planned to damage the pipeline.

 

FBI to Open Office in North Dakota’s Oil Country As Crime Increases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The boost in oil production in North Dakota has brought a lot of wealth – and crime – to the state.

The FBI is responding to an uptick in crime by opening an office in the state’s oil country, The Hill reports.

The bureau plans to fully staff the Willinston office later this year.

The office will be a “resident agency” of the FBI’s Minneapolis division.

“The office in Williston is a welcomed addition to our presence in North Dakota,” Richard Thornton, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis division that oversees the Williston office, said in a statement.

“The opening of this office is in response to the unprecedented growth in population and economic activity associated with the oil exploration and production in the Bakken region and the corresponding increase in criminal activity,” he said. “The FBI will be in a better position to effectively address these issues in this region of North Dakota through this new office.”

Man Pleads to Bribing Iraqi Officials in Oil Contracts

iStock_000006637909XSmallBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A man with Canadian-Lebanese dual citizenship pleaded guilty Friday to participating in an eight-year conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil for Food Program and bribing Iraqi officials in connection with the sale of a chemical additive used in the refining of leaded fuel, the Justice Department announced.

Ousama Naaman, 61, of Abu Dhabi, was arrested July 30, 2009, in Frankfurt and extradited to the United States, the Justice Department said. He pleaded guilty to charges including violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

From 2001 to 2003, acting on behalf of the company Innospec, Naaman paid 10 percent kickbacks to the then Iraqi government in exchange for five contracts, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said Naaman negotiated the contracts, which included a 10 percent price increase to cover the kickbacks, and routed the funds to Iraqi government accounts in the Middle East.

He also admitted that from 2004 to 2008 he paid more than $3 million worth of bribes in cash, travel, gifts, and entertainment, to officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Trade Bank of Iraq to secure sales of tetraethyl lead in Iraq, as well as to secure “more favorable exchange rates on the contracts.” the Justice Department said. Naaman faces up to 10 years in prison.