The UK Serious Fraud Office has charged a British/Canadian billionaire, Mr Victor Dahdaleh, for allegedly bribing officials at Bahrain-based aluminium smelting company, Alba. Payments exceeding £700 million were said to have been made between 2001 and 2005 in order to win supply contracts for Alcoa Inc.  

Mr Dahdaleh denies the accusations, believing that the investigation into his activity was flawed. Mr Dahdaleh’s lawyers stated that “He will be vigorously contesting these charges at every stage, confident in clearing his good name”.  

Former Chairman and oil minister of Alba, Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa, has been accused of accepting payments from Mr Dahdaleh, together with former CEO of Alba, Mr Allan Hall, who is facing extradition to Britain.  

A London court granted Mr Dahdaleh bail until his next appearance at court on January 13 2012. He was ordered to post £10 million in security.  

These events come a year after three former Alba marketing officials were fined and imprisoned for money-laundering, fraud and bribery.