Swiss-headquartered oil field services firm Weatherford is the latest company to make headlines for the wrong reasons in the region this year. The company last week paid $253m to the US Security Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle corruption charges linked to a string of incidents in the Middle East and Africa.

The firm “between at least 2002 and July 2011” routinely secured business through bribes and lavish corporate hospitality, according to evidence catalogued by the SEC in a 25-page dossier. The firm also contravened US sanctions in dealing with Sudan, Syria and Iran: refering to the latter as ‘Dubai across the water,’ the SEC says. (CONTINUED - 499 WORDS)