Thursday, April 24, 2003

Exxon Mobil Being Investigated For Bribery In Kazakhstan

The U.S. is investigating whether Exxon Mobil Corp. participated in a scheme to route $78 million in payments from U.S. and European oil companies to the Swiss bank accounts of Kazakhstan's president and others.

A retired senior executive of the former Mobil Oil Corp. and a New York businessman have been indicted in federal court in Manhattan in the three-year investigation. Experts say it is far from inevitable that Exxon Mobil itself will be indicted under the 1977 U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials to obtain a deal. But, they say, the company will have to persuade prosecutors that its indicted former executive was a renegade, and that it did everything it could within reason to comply with the antibribery law.

I bet that's pennies on the dollar compared to what our government was throwing around to gain allies and bases in the War on Iraq (not to mention the War on Terror). I guess it would be asking too much for President Bush to declare a War on Corruption? Am I the only one who's getting sick of the rampant and seemingly standard level of corruption in "civilized" society at large?