• 11/06/2019
  • Oil Companies

On the 19th December 1956 the American intelligence announced the arrests of four men for theft from Gulf Oil, one of the biggest oil companies in the world.

The facts were apparently simple, but it could be more complex; a company employee, a gambler deep in debt, stole many documents and maps, results of “many years of work in the USA and in the Middle East”.

Then, the man gave the loot to his creditors, the New York underworld; the mobsters immediately understood the enormous value of the documents, and persuaded the Gulf employee to continue his robberies, but the feds soon discovered him.

The value of the documents, according to the newspapers from the time, ranged from 500.000 to 1.000.000 dollars; in some cases, the group also tried to find itself oil deposits indicated on maps.

But suspicious movements of independent operators in the areas mapped by Gulf caught the attention of the company, which engaged private detectives; as reported by the “Chester Times”, in this way they managed to discover the racket.

To sell maps and documents, one of the gangsters was pretending to be the president of a society of uranium from Utah, owner of many oil fields in Texas.

Other newspaper, however, believed that the story was more complex: was there a link between these facts and Serge Rubinstein’s case? He was a rich businessman and playboy, accused of fraud and mysteriously murdered in 1955.

Effectively, one of the men arrested for the Gulf affair (the “president” or the Utah society) was a former Rubinstein’s business partner, who tried also to defraud him.

The links with the unsolved Rubinstein’s murder cast a dark shadow on the Gulf affaire, which caused a great stir throughout the world.


Marco Mocchetti