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CorpWatch Exclusives

Serco Paid Millions Over Budget for West Australia Hospital with No Patients
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
March 11th, 2014
Some 230 staff are being paid to work at the new Fiona Stanley Hospital in West Australia, even though it will not open to patients till March 2015. The project has been labeled a “privatization disaster” and Serco, the contractor, has come under fire for the soaring costs.

Rurelec Wins Compensation for Bolivia Nationalization, But Little Profit
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
February 10th, 2014
Bolivia has been ordered to pay $41 million to Rurelec, a UK energy company, in compensation for nationalizing the Guaracachi power plant in May 2010. The order represents a small profit for Rurelec which bought a 50.1 percent stake in 2006 but substantially less than what the company demanded.

Spanish Consortium Threatens to Stop Panama Canal Expansion
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
January 6th, 2014
Sacyr, the Spanish construction giant, has threatened to halt work on the expansion of the Panama canal unless it is paid an extra $1.6 billion. The company leads a consortium that won the 2009 contract after bidding to do the job for $1.1 billion less than the next bidder.

Police Attack Palm Oil Protestors in Sierra Leone
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
December 10th, 2013
Sierra Leone police opened fire on a group of protestors who were demonstrating against a palm oil plantation in the southern province of Pujehun. The project is being developed by Societe Financiere des Caoutchoucs (Socfin), a French agri-business giant.

U.S. Security Checks Contractor Has Record of Rushing Investigations
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 27th, 2013
U.S. Investigations Services (USIS), the company that signed off on a background check into Aaron Alexis, the military contractor who shot 12 people dead on a U.S. Navy base in Washington DC last week, has a record of rushing investigations, according to a number of former employees.

Privatization Profiteers from Pinochet’s Chile May Yet Face Prison
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 17th, 2013
Julio Ponce, the billionaire owner of Sociedad Quimica & Minera de Chile (SQM), faces ten years in prison for insider trading. A beneficiary of former dictator General Augusto Pinochet, Ponce is charged with buying company shares at below market prices and selling them at a profit.

Sierra Leone Farmers Evicted for Sugarcane Biofuel Plantations
by Jennifer KennedyCorpWatch Blog
March 5th, 2013
Addax Bioenergy, a Swiss energy company, is jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of subsistence farmers in order to export ethanol made from sugarcane grown in Sierra Leone, according to the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food and Brot Für Alle, an NGO based in Switzerland.

Capita Bungles Deportation of Irregular Migrants in UK
by Lily SmithCorpWatch Blog
February 18th, 2013
Capita, a UK outsourcing company, sent text messages to thousands of people in the UK, asking them to leave the country, as part of a privatized deportation scheme. Unfortunately hundreds of people that they targeted were in the country legally.

Contractors Alleged to Abuse Alcohol, Drugs, Guns at Parties In Afghanistan
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
November 14th, 2012
Jorge Scientific Corporation, a military contractor with nearly a billion dollars in U.S. government contracts, is being sued by former employees for “shocking misconduct” in Afghanistan. The charges include illegal and reckless use of firearms, abusing alcohol and drugs and billing the government for property destroyed during raucous parties.

Indigenous Protestors Against Guatemala Energy Company Targeted
by Jennifer KennedyCorpWatch Blog
November 10th, 2012
Six demonstrators were killed and dozens injured when the Guatemalan military fired into a group of indigenous Maya-K'iche' gathered on the Inter-American highway to protest rising electricity charges from Energuate, a major national power company owned by a private equity firm created by the UK government.

Private Prison for Asylum Seekers on Pacific Island
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 17th, 2012
Transfield Services, an Australian logistics company that provides services to the mining and oil industry among others, has won a $25.9 million contract from the government of Australia to run a detention center for asylum seekers in the Pacific island nation of Nauru.

Thorny Business: Ethiopian Rose Exports To Europe
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 5th, 2012
Karuturi Global and Saudi Star have leased thousands of hectares of land from the Ethiopian government for agricultural development. Critics says these projects have displaced traditional farmers and subsistence crops.

U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
June 23rd, 2010
This week, almost a decade after the U.S. "War on Terror" began, the Commission on Wartime Contracting held two days of hearings into the role of private contractors in conducting and supporting war. The Congressional witness table included Aegis, DynCorp and Triple Canopy. Curiously, Blackwater was not called; and the CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions failed to appear.

Afghanistan, Inc.: A CorpWatch Investigative Report (2006)
by Fariba NawaSpecial to CorpWatch
April 30th, 2010
The recent boom in humanitarian aid has an underbelly largely invisible to charity sector outsiders. “Easy money: the great aid scam," packs a biting critique (Linda Polman, The Sunday Times Online, April 25). In 2006, CorpWatch’s "Afghanistan, Inc.", cited by Polman, drilled down on reconstruction dollars, in what’s become known as “Afghaniscam.” We bring our report to you again.

Afghanistan Spy Contract Goes Sour for Pentagon
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 16th, 2010
Mike Furlong, a top Pentagon official, is alleged to have hired a company called International Media Ventures to supply information for drone strikes and assassinations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a complaint filed by the CIA and revealed by the New York Times on March 15.

Agility Attempts to Vault Fraud Charges
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
February 1st, 2010
Agility, a Kuwait-based multi-billion dollar logistics company spawned by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, is facing criminal charges for over-billing the U.S. taxpayer on more than $8.5 billion worth of food supply contracts in the Iraq war zone. If the lawsuit is successful, the company could owe the U.S. government as much as $1 billion.

Black & Veatch's Tarakhil Power Plant: White Elephant in Kabul
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
November 19th, 2009
In a secluded valley a few miles from Kabul's international airport, $285 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed into a Black & Veatch-built power plant outside Tarakhil village. But, far from the public relations coup the project was intended to supply, the plant has run into problems with planning, cost over-runs and alleged corruption.

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors
by Tim ShorrockSpecial to CorpWatch
November 16th, 2009
CorpWatch joins with Tim Shorrock today, the first journalist to blow the whistle on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, in releasing Spies for Hire.org, a groundbreaking database focusing on the dozens of corporations that provide classified intelligence services to the United States government.

Mission Essential, Translators Expendable
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 11th, 2009
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.

Is Halliburton Forgiven and Forgotten? Or How to Stay Out of Sight While Profiting From the War in Iraq
by Pratap ChatterjeeTomDispatch.com
June 3rd, 2009
At Halliburton's recent annual shareholders meeting in Houston, all was remarkably staid as the company celebrated its $4 billion in 2008 operating profits, a striking 22% return at a time when many companies are announcing record losses. Just three months ago, however, Halliburton didn't hesitate to pay $382 million in fines to the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the settlement of a controversial KBR gas project in Nigeria in which the company admitted to paying a $180 million bribe to government officials.

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