On Nov. 22, 2006, Paul Jennings received an email from a fellow executive at his chemical company. “As you are aware, Indonesia was planning to go lead free in 2000,” the note read. “This obviously did not happen for a number of reasons and since 1st January 2000 until the present, we have supplied 28,390 [tons] of [tetraethyl lead] … generating $277 million in revenue.”
Today, Jennings is one of three former employees of the Associated Octel Corporation (renamed Innospec) behind bars. They were sentenced Monday in a London court for bribing Indonesian — and in Jennings’ case, Iraqi — government officials to continue their nations’ importation of a toxic product banned across most of the world.