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3 arrested in international Navy bribery scheme

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 13:54

San Diego: A Navy contractor for a Singapore-based firm, a commander and a Navy criminal investigator were arrested and charged with conspiracy in a bribery scheme to reap millions of dollars in port contracts worldwide, federal prosecutors has announced.

Leonard Francis was arrested Monday in San Diego, Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz was arrested in Colorado, and NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau II was arrested in Virginia, the US attorney`s office said in a statement yesterday.

Each faces up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.
An email seeking comment from an NCIS spokesman wasn`t immediately returned yesterday evening.

Francis, a Malaysian national who lives in Singapore, is the president and CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., which has had "husbanding" contracts for Navy ships at ports worldwide for 25 years.

The contracts, one of which was worth up to USD 125 million, involve services for ships and submarines in port, such as providing tugboats, security and transportation, paying customs fees, supplying food, fuel and water, and removing trash.

Prosecutors contend that Francis conspired to bribe the other men with luxury travel, prostitutes and gifts in exchange for information that allowed him to overcharge on port contracts by millions of dollars.

An email message to the company seeking comment was not immediately returned yesterday night.

Misiewicz is assigned to US Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. However, he previously was deputy operations officer for the commander of the 7th Fleet.

Documents filed in San Diego federal court contend that in 2011, Misiewicz provided Francis with confidential ship movements and helped arrange to have some 7th Fleet ships moved to certain Asian ports that were considered more lucrative and where the company faced less scrutiny for potential fraud.

In one case, according to an affidavit filed by a federal investigator, Misiewicz worked to have the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln sent to the port in Laem Chabang, Thailand, where during a 2012 visit the Navy was overbilled USD 500,000 for port services.

Prosecutors contend Beliveau provided Francis with information about an NCIS investigation into alleged overcharging by his company.


First Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 13:54

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