It was widely reported, yesterday, that the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) have arrested and charged prominent Canadian investor Victor Dahdaleh with bribing officials of a Bahrainian state-owned smelting company. 

According to the SFO, Dahdaleh, who has dual British and Canadian nationality, is alleged to have paid bribes to officials of Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (“Alba”), a smelting company in Bahrain with majority state ownership. 

“These payments were in connection with contracts with US company, Alcoa Inc, for supplies of alumina shipped to Bahrain from Australia.  Further payments were also made in connection with contracts to supply goods and services to Alba.”

The charge follows a two-year investigation by the SFO, in collaboration with the US Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities.  The alleged bribes were made between 2001 and 2005.

Dahdaleh, who is contesting the charges, has been released on conditional police bail and is due to appear at City of Westminster magistrates court on Monday, 31 October 2011.