Four men have been jailed today (21 July) for their parts in an operation to make and receive corrupt payments in order to win contracts as part of the Crossrail project. Alandale Rail Ltd, part of the Alandale Group, was also convicted of corruption by the jury and was fined £25,000.
Kevin McKee and John Zayya of Alandale Rail Ltd made corrupt payments and promised rewards to Innocent Obiekwe so they could secure the contract to supply safety critical staff as part of the Crossrail Project.
In return Obiekwe, a senior manager at CoLOR (Costain and Laing O’Rourke), nick-named by the co-conspirators as ‘our man in Havana’, provided confidential information during the tender process.
After Alandale Rail won the Farringdon contract by corruption, McKee, Zayya and Obiekwe defrauded CoLOR by claiming for so-called ‘ghost worker’ shifts (non-existent shifts). The proceeds of this fraud was shared amongst them, with the lion’s share going to Obiekwe.
When this practice was uncovered Zayya continued to send money to Obiekwe by using William Waring. Zayya skimmed from the operatives’ rates of pay and used Waring and his company, Qualitas, to pay the cash to Obiekwe.
Their operation came to light after McKee told CoLOR and Transport for London of their dishonest practices, sparking an investigation.
Jane Mitchell from the CPS said:
“McKee, Zayya and Obiekwe cheated their way to a significant contract and their level of ongoing dishonesty was uncovered only when one of their own came forward.
“The defendants could not hide from the overwhelming evidence put forward by the British Transport Police and CPS and all pleaded guilty, apart from the company that was found guilty unanimously by the jury.”
Notes to editors:
- Jane Mitchell is a Prosecutor for the CPS Specialist Fraud Division.
- Kevin McKee pleaded guilty in September 2016. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from being a director for eight years.
- Innocent Obiekwe pleaded guilty to corruption. He was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified from being a director for eight years.
- John Zayya pleaded guilty to corruption. He was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified from being a director for eight years.
- William Waring pleaded guilty at trial to corruption and money laundering. He was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified from being a director for eight years.
- Alandale Rail Ltd was found guilty of corruption and was fined £25,000.