x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kuwaiti firm overcharged for feeding troops, says US

A Kuwaiti company that supplies food to US troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan overcharged for its services by more than $62 million, the US says.

US troops on patrol in Basra: Agility, a Kuwaiti supplier, overcharged the US by millions of dollars, the US government says.
US troops on patrol in Basra: Agility, a Kuwaiti supplier, overcharged the US by millions of dollars, the US government says.

A Kuwaiti company that supplies food to US troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan overcharged for its services by more than US$62 million (Dh227m) since 2003, the US government alleged late on Monday. The government claimed in a civil lawsuit and separate criminal indictment that Agility, a Kuwaiti logistics firm, defrauded the American military by inflating the prices of goods and failing to pass on discounts it received from suppliers. Agility is one of the largest suppliers of food to US troops in the Middle East, and has a broad reach in the Gulf. It has been awarded three contracts worth $8.5 billion since 2003 by the US government. The firm also handled shipping logistics for the Formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. Shares in Agility were briefly suspended from trading Tuesday on the Kuwait Stock Exchange following the charges. The stock continued to trade on the Dubai Financial Market, where the firm has a cross-listing. "It is very unfortunate that established companies that have contracted to do business with the US government would abuse this relationship by falsifying and overcharging the billing to the government," Greg Jones, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said. Agility denied the allegations in a statement to the Dubai and Kuwait markets Tuesday, saying it was "surprised and disappointed" at the US government's actions.

afitch@thenational.ae