It has been described as the biggest financial scandal in history. Businesses paid illicit surcharges to secure contracts Most of the deals involved Russian and Middle Eastern firms Corruption on contracts alleged to be worse in post-Saddam Iraq The money allegedly went into accounts at the Jordan offices of the Iraqi national bank.
But we also found that the oil-for-food affair is far more complex than is often portrayed. BBC World Service business correspondent Saddam allegedly embezzled billions by evading UN sanctions The BBC has found evidence of corruption by companies around the world doing business with Iraq while it was under the sanctions regime.
But that could be changing. And this is a dangerous sport. To help change that perception, small groups of amateurs and semi-professionals are working hard with custom built "super bikes" to get motorbike racing off the ground.
Middle East Business Report is a weekly half-hour programme covering business issues from the region Contact the programme on middleeastbiz bbc.
Splits among the diplomats on the UN security council and flaws in the design of the oil-for-food programme played at least as much a part in what happened as negligence by UN officials or collusion in corruption by foreign firms trading with Iraq.
First challenge is to install a network of charging points. But intriguingly, one prominent businessman told us the corruption on Iraqi contracts had actually got worse since the former Iraqi dictator fell from power. These abuses were found to have been widely known about at the time.
The oil-for-food programme was a scheme administered by the UN allowing Iraq to export oil despite the sanctions.
So is that enough to wean drivers off their love of the gas guzzler. Companies around the world have reason to be nervous about the outcome of all the investigations BBC World Service business correspondent Mark Gregory Listen: Some of the deals involved western firms, but most were with companies from the Middle East and Russia.
We also uncovered anecdotal evidence of collusion by international oil companies in sanctions busting. Thanks to cheap fuel and higher disposable incomes, 4x4s are the car of choice. And is it really that simple?
So how important is the business community in coming up with alternative sources of energy?
UN officials have been accused of either turning a blind eye to abuses, or in some cases of being corrupt themselves.
Sponsors are flooding in to help with the expense of this fledgling industry. And whilst many of the issues stem from deeper problems; calls for leadership reforms, free elections and press freedom - tensions have boiled over because of rising costs, soaring unemployment and poverty.
That figure released earlier this week is double previous estimates. Fuel prices in the UAE have risen three times in the last six months - and are set to rise even further as subsidies are cut.
The revenue went into accounts controlled by the UN and was supposed to be spent on food and medicines to improve living conditions in Iraq. Algerians are rioting the Egyptians are calling for change and Yemen is as unstable as ever. But rarely do they go for motorbikes. In a small way, our inquiries confirm the picture of massive abuse of UN sanctions that is emerging from multiple investigations in the United States.
Contact the programme on middleeastbiz bbc. And what role do they have in mobilising governments to make those changes?
Can the league survive and flourish in such an environment? So - if governments can solve the economic problems, can they solve the social ones too?
Abu Dhabi may have the financial clout to invest in alternative forms of energy but will its plans pay off in the long run?Spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud? Tell us about it. BBB Scam Tracker Report a Scam. Middle East. Video 'shows Mosul mosque's destruction' On Air: World Business Report.
More from around the BBC. The range of harms include cyber-scams as well as trolling, bullying and. Getting behind the issues of trade, business and economics, Middle East Business Report provides a window on finance and commerce in the Gulf, revealing how this important economic region works.
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