Oil firm to cough out $32m for bribing Nigerian government officials

Posted by News Express | 6 July 2017 | 1,747 times

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China’s state-owned Addax Petroleum has agreed to pay a 31 million Swiss francs ($32 million) fine in Geneva, Switzerland, to settle charges of suspected bribes given to Nigerian officials, thus ending a four-month old investigation, which uncovered the illegality in the payments.

The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office, which investigated Addax Petroleum, had also confirmed the criminal investigation into allegations concerning its operation in Nigeria.

The investigation had led to the arrest of the company’s chief executive officer of its Geneva Office, Zhang Yi, and the legal director, who were also charged over several millions of dollars in payments to an unnamed company and several lawyers in Nigeria.

Reuters quoted the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office as saying in a statement yesterday that the four-month investigation found that the payments were not sufficiently documented and doubts remained on their legality.

The statement, however, added that no criminal intent was established against Addax Petroleum, which was bought in 2009 by China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner and third largest in the world.

The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office said that Addax acknowledged possible organisational shortcomings and had taken measures to improve internal anti-corruption procedures.

With this settlement, the cases against the CEO and legal director have also been closed, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

Addax said in an emailed statement that its CEO had resumed his duties, while its chief legal officer retired on June 30.

“Addax Petroleum is committed to conducting its business with the highest level of integrity, and in full compliance with applicable laws, regulations and industry standards,” the company said in a statement.

Adapted from a THISDAY report.



Source: News Express

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