Friday, December 16, 2005

ABC News: Halliburton Contractor Arrested for Alleged Bribery Attempt

Contractor Was Returning From Cruise in Mexico

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2005 ? A contractor who works for Halliburton in Iraq was arrested Thursday in Tampa for allegedly attempting to bribe Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at Tampa Seaport in Florida, an ICE official tells ABC News.

The man, who works as a driver of jet fuel trucks in Iraq, was not identified.

Returning from a Mexican cruise, the contractor and his fianc�e, also a government contractor, were stopped by customs officials for questioning regarding small amounts of painkillers that officials said they were bringing into the country.

After learning the two were contractors for U.S. Central Command, ICE agents contacted CENTCOM headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. CENTCOM told ICE to confiscate the pair's military contractor IDs.

The male contractor then allegedly asked ICE agents what it would take to make this incident go away. Officials say he then offered a $1,000 bribe to the ICE agent. The agent asked the pair to meet for lunch.

According to an ICE official, the ICE agent got approval to wear a microphone. During the meeting, officials say the Halliburton contractor offered the ICE agent a bribe and handed him $1,000. The contractor was arrested and is expected to be charged with bribery. His fianc�e was released and has sought counsel.