Supreme Foodservice FZE fined $389m for Afghanistan food fraud
By Khaama Press - Wed Dec 10 2014, 9:12 am
The Swiss-based logistics company Supreme Foodservice GmbH, together with Supreme Foodservice FZE in Dubai, agreed to pay $389 million in fines after engaging in war profiteering.
Supreme’s contract withte US was worth $8.8 billion from 2005 to 2013 to supply food for troops in Afghanistan, from lobster and rib-eye steak on special occasions to basic fare of chicken wings, breaded shrimp and hamburgers.
According to the court, the contractor the Sharjah-based Jamal Ahli Foods Co LLC (Jafco), a company under the control of Supreme Foodservice FZE, as a middleman to mark up food prices.
Products like milk and juice were marked up by 55 percent, non-alcohol beer soared up to 125 percent of its original price, according to examples cited in the case.
The US department of justice said in a statement said the companies and their owners “made concentrated efforts to conceal Supreme’s true relationship with Jafco, and to make Jafco appear to be an independent company.
The statement further added “They also took steps to make Jafco’s markup on [local market-ready goods] look legitimate, and persisted in the fraudulent markups even in the face of questions from the [US government].”
Supreme will be on probation for five years in addition to the $389 million in fines and the company’s owners will be prohibited from doing business with the federal government during that period.