Back in February 2011 I wrote about the Libyan oil connection of Alan Duncan to Ian Taylor and Vitol Oil on this blog.
Now the International Development Minister, Alan Duncan is facing intense scrutiny over his links to an oil firm which secured rights to provide Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) with fuel.
Apparently "Disappearing" David Cameron assigned Alan Duncan to devise Britain's plan to starve Colnol Gaddafi of oil while keeping the rebels supplied. Duncan now faces "serious questions" over the process whereby the giant oil company, Vitol, gained the NTC contract. No other companies were asked, although many would have had a great interest. Before he entered politics, Alan Duncan, made vast sums of money by cutting deals to buy and sell large quantities of oil, shipping around the world in a fleet of chartered tankers. He has previously worked in the murky world of "black gold" for about twenty years and become embroiled in shady deals with criminals, corrupt governments and dictators.
This latest deal with Libya and Vitol was conducted in secret behind closed doors and it is not enough for number 10 to say they were not involved in the deal because a member of their government was, so a government inquiry should be held, because it's clear that there is the proclivity for a massive conflict of interests here.
It is not the first time that the MP has been embroiled in this kind of murky shady oil deals in , from 1982 to 1988 Mr Duncan worked for Marc Rich, a highly controversial US commodity trader. Mr Rich was indicted on charges of illegal trading with Iran and tax evasion, forcing him to live in Sweden where the US did not have a extradition treaty with. However, he was pardoned by Bill Clinton in his last week of f office. While working for Mr Rich, Alan Duncan became involved in an elaborate operation to bust UN oil sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Duncan dismissed these allegations claiming ignorance once again and saying that details of the deal had been copied to him by mistake. Even after entering politics Alan Duncan kept very close links with his "friends" in the oil industry.
Even in 1993, just a year after entering politics, Mr Duncan became embroiled in an alleged illegal multi-million pound oil deal that would later lead to a criminal investigation.
In 2001, it emerged that the Pakistani government was probing a huge oil shipment in 1993, when Vitol sold 280.000 tonnes of "contaminated" oil to the country's state owned power company.
Mr Duncan was a paid consultant to Vitol oil at the time and was the person who dealt principally with Pakistan, although there was never any proof obtained (or suggestion) that Mr Duncan had acted illegally. For More on this story read HERE.
"having been in the oil business for 20 years and having sold a lot of oil to Pakistan during the Gulf War and things like that, I have a very interesting network of friends and contacts. Over the last two months [in November 2001] those same people who used to criticise me are now coming to me and ask for address book. They all want to know them. Tough! [laughs]" - Alan Duncan
"In 2001 the Observer established that the firm had paid Serbian warlord Arkan to help with an oil dispute in Serbia in 1995. And last year it confessed to “grand larceny” and was fined $17m for paying $13m in illegal “surcharges” to Saddam Hussein’s government to help facilitate oil deals.Last year it was also in court over deals it did in the Republic of Congo, aka Congo-Brazzaville, where it was accused of bribery and corruption linked to the purchase of 950,000 barrels of oil. Vitol and a finance house called Kensington became locked in a dispute over who should profit from the African nation. Kensington, having bought Congolese debt, expected to be repaid from oil sales and accused Vitol of helping the republic sell oil through a secret route to avoid its debt repayments.Vitol bought its oil from a firm called Sphynx which was based in Bermuda. However, Sphynx was controlled by Denis Gokwana, head of the Congolese State Oil Company and an adviser to the Congolese president. The president’s son was also involved in the sale. Sphynx was getting its oil from the Congo cheaply before selling it to Vitol.LastNovember the judge in the case said Vitol had been told to disclose information about bribes apparently paid in Hong Kong to employees or representatives of the Congo. Instead of denying the bribery accusation outright, Vitol tried to “claim privilege against self-incrimination in relation to the disclosure of the information”.Before the case was settled out of court, the British judges thought the evidence against Vitol formidable. They said: “In various proceedings judges of the Commercial Court have found that the Congo has been taking elaborate steps to conceal its oil trading activities in order to prevent Kensington from identifying any resulting assets that might be seized in execution. They have also found that it is strongly arguable that Vitol SA and companies within the Vitol group have cooperated with the Congo in order to assist it.”Other judges pointed to the use of front companies to disguise the true identity of those doing the oil deals.Alan Duncan’s office told Private Eye that as he has never received money from Vitol it was not his responsibility to answer questions about the firm’s behaviour."
It seems that cash donated the the Conservatives via the "unincorporated association" loophole from Vitol’s president (Ian Taylor) doesn’t count.
The Conservative party uses an "unincorporated association" loophole which allows them to accept large donations without declaring them individually. "Focus on Scotland" for example is an "unincorporated associated", it is a legal entity that does not have to publish accounts or other financial details and since 2004 has given over £2 million (collectively since 2004) to the Tories. The Midlands Industrial Council (MIC) is another "unincorporated association" that has given millions to the Tory party, which does not have to publish accounts or disclose members, however, if you want to take a look, I have disclosed members of the MIC and done the research read about it HERE . Vitol Oil is another company that donates to the Tory party in this way.
Even as far back in 2008, Alan Duncan faced questions about donations to the Tories from Ian Taylor the oil tycoon.
When Duncan was the shadow business secretary his office accepted political donations of tens of thousands of pounds from Ian Taylor, president and chief executive of Vitol oil company, whose main business is in energy trading. However, because the money was donated to the Tories in the form of "unincorporated association" individual donors were never listed and then it was transferred to Alan Duncan's office through the Conservative party the amount was never registered personally to Alan Duncan. It has been reported that over £200.000 has found its way to Alan Duncan's and the prime minister David Cameron's offices in this fashion.
Duncan, who knows Ian Taylor well, at the time maintained he was unaware that donations to his office had came from Taylor. However, until recently, Duncan was a director of Arawak Energy, an oil firm partowned by Vitol on a salary of £1.750 per day. It seems rather odd that as an employee and a close friend of Ian Taylor's that he was unaware of such large donations to his own office via the "unincorporated association" loophole from the oil company he was working as a consultant for!
In 2008 when this story was first revealed Alan Duncan's office said they told the Commons registrar about Duncan's job with Vitol, but the message failed to get through. However, after a flurry of press reports at that time both Ian Taylor and Vitol money now appear in an *amended* register.
Taylor was convicted of "grand larceny in the first degree" in 2008 after paying Saddam Hussein's regime $13m in kickbacks for oil deals.
In 2008, Ian Taylor is also reported to have donated £50.000 to David Cameron which automatically included him as a member of Cameron's Leader's Group, where he would have had the opportunity to meet Mr Cameron in a personal one to one meeting.
Alan Duncan and the leaked American Embassy cables.
When David Cameron rushed back from his fifth luxury holiday in 12 months to stand at his lectern in Downing Street to bask in the "glory" of the Libyan peoples "revolution" trying to give us all the impression that it was he who "saved Libya" and that we had flown 20% of sorties, yet again he is totally misleading the British public in yet another one of his untrue "Mittyesque" statements, in fact official MOD figures put the UK at flying 12% which is on a par with the rest of Europe except for France, who flew the main bulk of 36% and the the US flew 16%. (I bet Nicholas Sarkozy wasn't impressed with Cameron for trying to hog the limelight.)
Already the sordid squabbling for the oil contracts and who done what and when has begun and William Hague said this Britain "won't be left behind" in the grab for oil contracts - rumours are rife that Libya's new government plan to hand the French 35% of Libya's oil.
I would like to know what the share of British energy companies involvement before we helped take action in Libya and what the share is in the coming few months. I would also like to know the names of the companies and all their directors etc. It would also be worthwhile checking out the people now involved in the new Libyan interim government (elections will be called in approximately 18 months) and what their links are to Western governments, especially in France and the UK.
Action in Libya is costing the UK £1.5 million per day, yet David Cameron is the head of a government that is applying devastating cuts to the armed forces, so much so that David Cameron, has been accused f leaving the military so squeezed it almost ran out of missiles during the campaign against Libya.
Service chiefs were forced to "improvise" after being left with no aircraft carriers and dangerously low levels of ammunition.
But hey ho, just as long as the Tories keep their donations flooding in.