#1 Panama Papers confirm Canadian billionaire and university benefactor as mystery man in global bribery case by april 27.05.2016 14:35



He has hobnobbed with the Queen and Bill Clinton. Donated a small fortune to Canadian universities. Runs a billion-dollar global business empire. And glides effortlessly in the highest echelons of corporate and political power.

Now, a joint CBC/Toronto Star investigation based on the Panama Papers provides the closing chapter in a years-long saga involving Canadian tycoon Victor Dahdaleh, which saw him battle criminal charges and a billion-dollar lawsuit on two continents over an international bribery scandal — all the while forging close ties with a trio of Canadian universities.

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The huge leak of offshore financial records reveals Dahdaleh, a 72-year-old Jordanian-born metals magnate, is indeed, as long suspected, the mysterious middleman known in U.S. court documents as "Consultant A" — described as having handed out tens of millions of dollars in inducements to officials at a Persian Gulf smelting company in exchange for supplier contracts that went to one of the world's biggest aluminum conglomerates.
Victor Dahdaleh with Bill Clinton

Dahdaleh has donated as much as $5 million US to the Clinton Foundation and is a friend of the former U.S. president. (Facebook)

Dahdaleh denies any wrongdoing and was acquitted in a British criminal trial, but his client, a unit of aluminum industry heavyweight Alcoa, pleaded guilty to a U.S. bribery charge in 2014 as a result of the scandal. With its parent company, it paid one of the biggest-ever anti-corruption penalties in American history — $384 million US.

The settlements between the U.S. government and Alcoa describe "Consultant A" as follows:

Starting in 1989, Alcoa's Australian subsidiary hired Consultant A to help secure a long-term contract to supply an aluminum ingredient called alumina to Bahrain's national aluminum-smelting company, Alba. "The relationship with the consultant was designed to generate funds that facilitated corrupt payments to Bahraini officials," according to agreed findings in the case.
By 2002, instead of invoicing Alba directly, Alcoa of Australia was routing the paperwork through two offshore companies controlled by Consultant A called AAAC and Alumet. AAAC marked up the price of the alumina to Alba by $79 million US between 2002 and 2004.
Beginning in 2005, Consultant A's companies bought alumina from Alcoa of Australia and sold it onward to Alba, pocketing a mark-up of $188 million US through 2009, though never actually handling any of the material.
Consultant A used some of the mark-up revenues "to enrich himself" and some to make "$110 million in corrupt payments to Bahraini officials." Recipients included a senior Bahraini official, directors and management of Alba, and a senior member of Bahrain's royal family.

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