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May 21, 2007 

Australia Punishes AWB for Illegal Oil-For-Food Program Payments

Tuesday's edition of the The Australian newspaper reports that the AWB Limited "will lose its 67-year-old monopoly over wheat exports" as a result of the illegal payments that it made to the Government of Iraq during the U.N. Oil-For-Food Program (OFFP). The article also notes that a fourth class action lawsuit has been brought against the AWB and its U.S. affiliate in New York, "this time by US winter wheat farmers seeking millions of dollars in damages over the Iraq kickbacks scandal."

In November 2006, an Australian Government inquiry looking into Australian companies role in the OFFP found that AWB knowingly paid prohibited inland transportation fees to a Jordanian company that routed the payments to the Iraqi Government. The Office of the Independent Inquiry into the U.N. Oil-for-Food Programme (Volcker Commission) found that AWB was the biggest single source of kickbacks made to the Iraqi government.

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