PF agents lead first joint-agency international investigation of combat contract corruption in the CENTCOM AOR

  • Published
  • By SAIC Jason T. Hein
  • PF Detachment 6, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agents from the Procurement Fraud Detachment 6, International Contract Corruption Task Force, identified and led the first ever joint-agency international investigation with Qatari Law Enforcement into an Al-Udeid Air Base contractor’s attempt to bribe a U.S. Government official.


The bribe was for an upcoming solicitation to include sharing of a competitor’s proprietary information.


Upon learning of a local base contractor’s conversations with a U.S. Government official, AFOSI contacted the Capital City Police Department, Doha, Qatar. CCPD requested support from the Qatari Ministry of Interior, Criminal Investigation Department and MOI, General Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Economic Crimes Prevention Division to aid in the investigation.


During four separate monitored interactions between the base contractor and the U.S. Government official, it became clear a scheme to commit bribery was in progress.


Special Agents Andrew Franz and Jonathon Christian, assigned to PF Det. 6, Operating Location-ICCTF, Al-Udeid AB, Qatar, coordinated with the Qatari Assistant Attorney General and MOI CID investigators, ultimately gaining approval to monitor the conversations in order to prove the elements of bribery and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government.


During these monitored conversations the joint-agency international investigation team proved a scheme to provide internal government estimates along with other local contractor’s proprietary information in exchange for $60,000. Ten thousand of which was meant as a “good faith payment.” The joint-agency team tracked movements of the individuals and monitored conversations, text messages and meetings between the contractor and the U.S. Government official. 


The joint-agency team learned a final exchange meeting was to take place and rapidly set up an operation to catch all participants in the act. Once the participants met up in a local hotel the joint-agency team observed the contractor giving the U.S. Government official $10,000 dollars concealed in a cologne bag and stating, “Here is your cologne.”


The U.S. Government official then gave the contractor a piece of paper containing bid information from five other contractors highlighting a suggested price to win the lowest bid technically acceptable for the award of the contract. Once this was observed the CCPD and MOI CID arrested the participants.


Prosecution of the contractors is pending with the Qatari government. Based on the monitored conversations, agents have identified other possible contractors and individuals who may have participated in the same type of scheme in the past.


The 24th Expeditionary Field Investigative Squadron deserves special recognition for logistical support as does Det. 241, Al-Udeid AB, Qatar, for providing linguist Jalal Alshati.


The joint-team’s ability to go from case initiation to arrest in just two weeks was the most impressive aspect of the operation.