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The Mystery of a Geneva Briefcase, Nigeria Middleman and Big Oil

By Hugo Miller , Kelly Gilblom , and Sergio Di Pasquale: 24 May 2018, 08:40 BST Updated on 24 May 2018, 10:23 BST

A briefcase seized from a Geneva apartment two years ago could be the key to an Italian bribery case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA — if it makes it to Milan in time.

The bag held SIM cards, Nigerian passports, a laptop and a hard drive containing more than 40,000 documents, and belonged to Emeka Obi, according to a spokesman for the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office. Swiss prosecutors found it during a raid for an unrelated investigation and are trying to get it to their Italian colleagues, who are prosecuting Obi as an alleged middle man in a $1.1 billion kickback scheme involving the energy companies vying for a Nigerian oil license.

Obi’s lawyers persuaded a Geneva judge to put the contents of his briefcase under seal, citing his rights to privacy. Now a decision by Geneva’s Measures of Constraint Court on whether to lift that seal is expected as soon as this month.

While officials in Milan have moved forward with charges against the oil companies without the briefcase, the evidence could strengthen the graft case. The trial, which centers around events in 2011, begins on June 20. Milanese Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale said he has “sent more reminders” to the Swiss saying he wants the briefcase, underscoring its importance. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell, Eni oil executives on trial for graft in Nigeria

A corruption trial against oil giants Shell and Eni and Nigeria’s ex-oil minister Dan Etete is getting started in Milan. The case deals with alleged bribes valuing millions, and the Italian trial is not the only one.

Starting Monday, the Italian city of Milan will be the scene of a month-long trial that deals with corruption allegations in the oil industry.

The Milan public prosecutor’s office accuses the Italian oil firm Eni and the British-Dutch oil company Shell of having paid millions of dollars in bribes in order to acquire a lucrative oil exploration and drilling license in Nigeria.

Now 15 defendants are facing trial. Most of them employees of the two companies but Nigeria’s ex-Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, will also be tried. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell and Eni in court over alleged corruption in $1.1bn Nigerian oil deal

Royal Dutch Shell, Italian oil giant Eni and a number of senior executives at the two firms face trial in Milan on Monday over corruption charges relating to a $1.1bn (£800m) deal for a Nigerian oil block.

The Milan public prosecutor alleges that $520m from a 2011 deal to buy rights to a vast oil block off Nigeria’s coast was converted into cash and intended to be paid to the then Nigerian resident Goodluck Jonathan, members of the government and other Nigerian government officials.  read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Malabu Oil Deal: Two British Secret Service Agents Docked As Trial Begins In Milan

Shell and Italian oil giant, Eni, are also defendants in the charge of ‘Aggravated international corruption,’ leveled against the oil executives in the trial which began in Milan, Italy on Monday.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: MAY 11, 2018

Two retired secret agents of British Mi6 identified as Collegate Guy Jonathan and John Coplestone De Carteret, are among the executives of Royal Dutch Shell under prosecution in the ongoing trial of bribery allegation in the purchase of lucrative Nigerian Malabu oil block.

Shell and Italian oil giant, Eni, are also defendants in the charge of ‘Aggravated international corruption,’ leveled against the oil executives in the trial which began in Milan, Italy on Monday. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Malabu Oil: Trial of Shell, Eni CEO, Other Top Executives, Begin Monday

By Bayo Akinloye: 12 MAY 2018

The Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, along with a number of their senior executives, will on Monday face criminal charges in Milan, Italy, for alleged aggravated international corruption for their role in a $1.1bn deal for a Malabu Oil’s OPL 245.

This was made known in a statement yesterday by the international corruption watchdog, the Global Witness.

It noted that no company as large as Royal Dutch Shell or senior executives of a major oil company had ever stood trial for bribery offences.  read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Malabu Scandal: Court to hear case to force seizure of oil block

“This corrupt deal is spawning legal action all over the world. Global Witness wholeheartedly supports the move to revoke the rights to this oil block. Shell and Eni should not be allowed to profit from their appalling behaviour…”

May 7, 2018

On Tuesday, the Federal High Court of Nigeria will hear a case to compel the Nigerian government to take back one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks, which has been at the centre of a $1.1 billion multinational corruption scandal.

The case is brought by Nigerian civil society organization, Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), who are demanding that the government “revoke the Operating Production Licence (OPL) 245 on grounds that the entire Malabu transaction in relation to the OPL 245 is unconstitutional, illegal and void as it was not legally granted, same having been obtained fraudulently vide corrupt practices.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Malabu Scandal: UK Opposition Leader Wants Govt Probed over Payments to Etete

The transactions were made by the U.S. bank when Royal Dutch Shell and Eni bought offshore oilfield OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011. The $1.3 billion deal has spawned legal cases spanning several countries and involving Nigerian government officials and senior ENI and Shell executives, a number of whom would be facing trial in Italy on corruption charges next month.

Ejiofor Alike with agency reports

A Liberal Democrat and former British Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has called on the UK Home Office and National Crime Agency to explain themselves over the revelation that the country’s anti-money laundering agency allowed JP Morgan to transfer $875 million to a former Nigerian oil minister, Mr. Dan Etete. The transfers were made in relation to the Malabu oil deal, involving the controversial Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245.

JP Morgan’s London branch had claimed it repeatedly sought consent from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to pay the fund into accounts linked to Etete. The bank said instead of being told to block the transfers, it was authorised by Soca to make the payment. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

JP Morgan says it knew ex-minister linked to firm in Nigeria oilfield deal

Shell said in April last year that it “always knew” the Nigerian government would compensate Malabu and that Etete was involved. It had previously told Reuters only that payments went to the Nigerian government.

Julia Payne, Libby George: 7 April 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – JP Morgan Chase has acknowledged it knew a former Nigerian oil minister convicted of money laundering would benefit when it transferred over $800 million of government funds to a company he controlled, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

JP Morgan made the acknowledgement in its legal response to a lawsuit filed by Nigeria over transactions made by the U.S. bank when Royal Dutch Shell and Eni bought offshore oilfield OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Trial of Shell, Eni over Nigeria to switch to new Milan court: sources

The Italian inquiry is one of several into the acquisition of OPL-245, including cases in the Netherlands and Nigeria.

Reuters: 2 March 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – A trial in Italy of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria, which had been due to start on March 5, will be transferred to another court in Milan, delaying the proceedings, legal sources said.

Earlier this week, the Milan tribunal informed lawyers that the court which had been due to hear the trial had too many cases and could not guarantee that it would do so in a reasonable period of time, three sources told Reuters on Friday. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery

Extract relating to OPL 245 Shell/ENI Malabu Oil Deal scandal taken from FT article: “Eni reports record oil and gas production”

Eni’s strong performance has been clouded by allegations of bribery related to a $1.3bn deal in 2011 to acquire one of Nigeria’s largest untapped oilfields. Mr Descalzi and several other current and former executives are due to stand trial for alleged corruption in Milan in March. Mr Descalzi has denied wrongdoing and Eni’s board has maintained its “full confidence” in him. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Nigerian court sets Malabu oilfield corruption case hearing for June 18

ABUJA, Feb 15 (Reuters) – A Nigerian court has set a hearing over a disputed 2011 oilfield deal for June 18, the country’s financial crimes watchdog said on Thursday, part of a string of international corruption probes into the purchase.

The case relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block from Malabu Oil and Gas, allegedly controlled by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell, ENI take final investment decision on ‘juicy’ OPL 245

By TheCable: 24 JAN 2018

Despite the litany of court cases surrounding the award of the juicy deepwater OPL 245, the two principal stakeholders in the acreage, Anglo/Dutch firm Shell and Italian oil giant Eni, are proceeding with the development of the main oil field already discovered.

TheCable Petrobarometer understands that Shell and Eni have taken the final investment decision (FID) to develop the field known as Zabazaba field, which lies in water depth ranging from 1,700 and 2,000 meters and holds an estimated oil reserves of up to a billion barrels. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Nigeria sues JP Morgan for $875 million over Malabu oilfield deal

Late last year, a Milan judge ruled that Shell and Eni must stand trial in Italy…

Libby George, Julia Payne: 18 JAN 2018 LONDON (Reuters) – Nigeria has filed a claim against JP Morgan Chase for more than $875 million, accusing it of negligence in transferring funds from a disputed 2011 oilfield deal to a company controlled by the country’s former oil minister.

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan dismissed the accusation on Thursday, saying the firm “considers the allegations made in the claim to be unsubstantiated and without merit”.

The suit filed in British courts relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in 2011.

At the core of the case is a $1.3 billion payment from Shell and Eni to secure the block that the lawsuit says was deposited into a Nigerian government escrow account managed by JP Morgan. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Leaked documents reveal how Shell blackmailed Nigeria in Malabu deal

29 December 2017

Confidential internal documents of Royal Dutch Shell suggest that the oil giant capitalised on the 2011 presidential election to arm-twist the federal government into a “cheap” deal over the sale of the disputed OPL 245.

The international oil company also used an arbitration case it filed with the International Centre for the Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID), an organ of the World Bank, to railroad the government into brokering truce between it and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, its estranged erstwhile partner and the original licensee. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Eni and Shell on trial in Italy over Nigeria ‘corruption’

20 December 2017

Two global oil giants, Eni and Shell, are to stand trial in Italy over allegations of corruption in Nigeria.

The case involves the purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria for $1.3bn (£1bn) in 2011.

The companies deny wrongdoing, saying they acquired the rights in accordance with Nigerian law.

The trial in Italy is expected to start in March next year. It follows a lengthy investigation by Italian prosecutors.

Anti-corruption watchdog Global Witness says it could be one of the biggest corporate corruption trials in history. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Italian Judge Orders Biggest Corporate Trial In History Against Shell, Eni, CEO And Executives Over Bribery Of Nigerian Government Officials

…face trial alongside four Royal Dutch Shell staff members including Malcolm Brinded CBE, former Executive Director for Upstream International and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell….The prosecutor further alleges that money was also channelled to Eni and Shell executives…

BY GLOBAL WITNESS: DEC 20, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell and Italian oil giant Eni have been ordered to stand trial in Milan on charges of aggravated international corruption for their role in a 2011 $1.1bn deal for Nigerian oil block OPL 245. Mrs Justice Barbara handed down the ruling today. The judge set March 5 as the date for the trial to begin.

Eni’s current CEO Claudio Descalzi, former CEO Paolo Scaroni, Chief Operations and Technology Officer Roberto Casula were also ordered to face trial alongside four Royal Dutch Shell staff members including Malcolm Brinded CBE, former Executive Director for Upstream International and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell and Eni to Be Tried Over $1.3 Billion Nigerian Oil Deal

LONDON — An Italian judge ruled on Wednesday that two of the world’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, the Italian company, must go on trial on charges of corruption over a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria.

The judge set a March 5 trial date in Milan for the companies as well as a group of current and former executives, including Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s chief executive, and Malcolm Brinded, a former chief of exploration and production for Shell. No current Shell officials were to be tried in the case. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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