Tony Blair's company 'brokered deals' with Chinese officials for Saudi Arabia oil firm

A leaked document claims Tony Blair's company would be paid tens of thousands for securing deals

Lamiat Sabin
Sunday 09 November 2014 18:54
Tony Blair's former aid has called for a kinder assessment of the former Labour PMs legacy
Tony Blair's former aid has called for a kinder assessment of the former Labour PMs legacy

Tony Blair’s company is alleged to have brokered multi-million pound deals that earned £41,000 a month and two per cent commission on each transaction with an oil firm founded by a senior Saudi royal family member.

The leaked 21-page contract apparently shows that the former Labour prime minister's umbrella company, Tony Blair Associates, agreed in November 2010 to arrange deals for PetroSaudi with his senior Chinese officials contacts during his visit to Beijing that month, as reported by The Sunday Times.

This is the first time that a commercial contract of his has apparently been revealed, despite the petrol firm insisting it stays top secret, and it poses questions over Blair's role as a Middle East envoy and his vested personal interests following his decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

PetroSaudi, which is registered in the Cayman Islands tax-haven to legally avoid 85 per cent oil and gas company taxes in the Middle Eastern nation, was jointly founded by Saudi businessman Tarek Obaid and Prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, one of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah's seven sons.

The contract appears to state that TBA would help find potential new investment donors and says that they would make "introductions to the senior political leadership, industrial policy-makers, corporate entities and other persons in China identified and deemed by us and you to be relevant to PetroSaudi's international strategy," the Sunday Times added.

A spokesperson said: "Tony Blair Associates worked for PetroSaudi for a period of months over four years ago.

"This was in connection with an issue in the Far East and nothing whatsoever to do with the Middle East or the unpaid ex-officio role of Tony Blair for the Quartet in Palestine.

However, the Sunday Times reported that chief investment officer of PetroSaudi, Patrick Mahoney, claimed that Blair worked on the Saudi Arabian deal "for about four to five months maximum."

The UK arm of the oil firm is registered in Mayfair, London, and the whole operation has projects in Ghana, Indonesia, Venuzuela and Tunisia with an alleged £1.1 billion investment from Malaysian government firm 1MDB.

"TBA has had no involvement in Malaysia and has no knowledge of the matter," the spokesperson added.

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