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MALABU SCANDAL: Shell, Eni officials’ trial continues as anti-corruption group head appears before court

The trial of officials of oil giants Eni and Shell over the controversial Malabu scandal will resume Wednesday at the Milan Palace of Justice in Italy, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The Milan court’s decision came after Simon Taylor, a founding director of anti-corruption group, Global Witness, appeared before it as witness on Wednesday.

Mr Taylor’s Global Witness, together with PREMIUM TIMES and its London partner, Finance Uncovered, have for years done extensive investigations into the long-running controversial oil deal. read more

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Shell, Eni Could Face Massive Damages in Nigerian Corruption Case

CAIN BURDEAU: July 19, 2018

CASTELBUONO, Sicily (CN) – Nigeria could learn Friday at a court in Milan whether it can pursue damages against oil giants Shell and Eni in a sprawling international corruption case.

The trial centers on a $1.3 billion bribery deal Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and Italy-based Eni S.p.A. executives allegedly entered into in 2011 with Nigerian officials, including then-President Goodluck Jonathan, to purchase a much-coveted oil field off the coast of Nigeria.

In December 2017, Italian judges in Milan ordered the companies and a number of individuals, including top executives at Shell and Eni, to stand trial. The trial has been slow to unfold and remains in preliminary hearings. read more

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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

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Shell, Eni trial on Nigeria corruption re-adjourned to June

Reuters Staff: MAY 14, 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – The trial of top executives from oil majors Eni (ENI.MI) and Shell (RDSa.L) over alleged corruption in Nigeria kicked off on Monday with a brief procedural hearing and a decision to re-adjourn next month.

At the next hearing, set for June 20, the Milan court said it would assess requests from third parties, including a series of international non-profit organizations, to join the case.

At Monday’s hearing Domenico Cartoni Schittar, a lawyer representing the Nigerian government, said he was stepping down from his role.  read more

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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With corruption investigations widening, oil companies with ties to Houston face reckoning

Big names in Houston’s energy world, like KBR, Shell and SBM Offshore, were suddenly having to explain how they came to win drilling rights and contracts worth billions of dollars in countries like Nigeria, Angola and Brazil. That money was then to be passed to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company controlled by the former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer Dan Etete. For years, Shell said it was unaware of what happened to the money, but emails obtained by Global Witness indicated that the company knew the money was going to Malabu. read more

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Shell, Eni Face Italian Charges Over Nigerian Deal

Mr. Brinded said: “I have done nothing wrong and believe that will become clear in any legal proceedings. I stand by my view that there is absolutely no basis for the charges against me.”

By Eric Sylvers in Milan and Sarah Kent in London FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

An Italian judge Wednesday indicted Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the chief executive of the Italian oil-and-gas company Eni SpA and other industry executives on corruption charges connected to a 2011 deal to acquire drilling rights off the coast of Nigeria.

Prosecutors say in court documents that Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and the other executives at both Shell and Eni knew that most of the $1.3 billion Eni and Shell paid to the Nigerian government to acquire the drilling rights would be distributed as bribes. Prosecutors will argue that Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president at the time of the deal, received part of the kickbacks, according to court documents. read more

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Eni and Shell to stand trial in Italy over Nigeria kickback scandal

Oil giants Eni and Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

…email exchanges between Shell management cited in a report by corruption watchdog Global Witness, and seen by AFP, suggest that Shell was aware the money was likely to be funnelled to individuals, including Etete and Jonathan.

Italian giant Eni and fellow petroleum company Shell will stand trial in Italy over allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2011 purchase of an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

A judge in Milan ordered Eni, Shell and key figures such as Eni chief Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni to stand trial in proceedings to begin March 5. read more

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Eni, Shell to Face Trial in Italy in $1 Billion Bribery Case

The Anglo-Dutch company, whose former upstream director Malcolm Brinded is among those facing trial, acknowledged in April that it was aware of the destination of part of the payments…

Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc and senior executives will face trial over a $1.1 billion bribery scandal in Nigeria, an Italian judge ruled on Wednesday.

The trial will start on March 5 in Milan, judge Giusy Barbara told reporters. The long-awaited decision, initially expected several months ago, will not only affect the two companies but 11 individuals including Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi.

The case is related to the acquisition of a deepwater oil-prospecting license by Eni and Shell in the Gulf of Guinea in 2011. Prosecutors allege that the two companies’ payment of almost $1.1 billion into a Nigerian government escrow account was later distributed as payoffs. While energy producers have come under scrutiny for bribery and corruption in the past, a trial centered around the sitting CEO of an oil major is rare. read more

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Law firm seeks criminal case against Shell and its CEO over Nigeria deal

LONDON (Reuters) – A Dutch law firm has asked the public prosecutor in the Netherlands to file a case against Royal Dutch Shell, its CEO and former executives of over what it says were criminal actions relating to a 2011 oilfield purchase in Nigeria.

The Dutch authorities are already investigating the oilfield deal, alongside Italian prosecutors, who want to take Shell and Italy’s Eni to trial over alleged corruption on the same oilfield.

Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing. Shell said on Tuesday it did not believe there was any basis to prosecute the company or any current or former employee. read more

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Malabu Scam: Human Rights Group File Criminal Complaint Against Shell In Netherland

Specifically, the criminal complaint is aimed at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Petroleum N.V., and former or current directors Peter Voser, German Burmeister, Simon Henry and Ben van Beurden.

Prankken d’Oliveira, a group of Amsterdam-based lawyers, on Tuesday, submitted a criminal complaint against Shell and some of the company’s former directors in relation to Shell’s dodgy acquisition of the exploitation rights to the Nigerian oil block, OPL245, from Malabu Oil and Gas, a Nigerian shell company suspected to have been illegally awarded the licence to Mr. Dan Etete, while he was Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the lawyers on Tuesday.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: DEC 05, 2017

Prankken d’Oliveira, a group of Amsterdam-based lawyers, on Tuesday, submitted a criminal complaint against Shell and some of the company’s former directors in relation to Shell’s dodgy acquisition of the exploitation rights to the Nigerian oil block, OPL245, from Malabu Oil and Gas, a Nigerian shell company suspected to have been illegally awarded the licence to Mr. Dan Etete, while he was Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the lawyers on Tuesday. read more

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Eni/OPL 245 growing global bribery probe

Jaclyn Jaeger | Extracts from article published Sept 19, 2017

Italian oil giant Eni in a public filing this month revealed further details about what corruption allegations and investigations its facing around the world.

Corruption allegations against Eni now include Nigeria, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Algeria, and Congo. The number of enforcement authorities, employees, and subsidiaries involved in these allegations has also grown.

Block OPL 245 — Nigeria. Eni first mentioned allegations of international corruption in a Form 6-K (Report of Foreign Issuer) in 2014. In that report, the company said that it had been served with a notice of investigation in July 2014 by the Italian Public Prosecutor in Milan “relating to potential liability on the part of Eni arising from alleged international corruption.” read more

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Two oil giants could face trial in Italy over Nigerian deal

“Etete can smell the money. If, at 70 years old, he does turn his nose up at 1.2 billion he is completely certifiable.”

That’s a quote from a confidential email which is embarrassing the oil giant Shell. For years, Shell had strenuously denied that it knew anything about the involvement of convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete in its purchase of the rights to one of Nigeria’s biggest oil fields.

But last week, the British environmentalist and anti-corruption organization, Global Witness, published confidential emails written by a Shell employee. This correspondence, which went right to the top of the Shell management hierarchy, proves that there was a direct link to the convicted Nigerian. After publication, Shell then decided that further clarification of its correspondence was needed. One had to negotiate with Etete “whether one wanted to or not,”  it said. read more

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Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – After Telling Lies for Years, Shell Admits It Knew Etete Would Benefit From $1.1 Billion

“This is a huge U-turn that reveals Shell’s duplicity,”

After repeated denials in various countries, Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, on Monday finally admitted it had foreknowledge that the $1.3 billion itself and ENI paid to Nigerian government for the OPL 245 oil block licence would ultimately be used to settle convicted former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete.

“Over time, it became clear to us that Etete was involved in Malabu and that the only way to resolve the impasse through a negotiated settlement was to engage with Etete and Malabu, whether we liked it or not,” The New York Times quoted Andy Norman, a spokesperson for Shell, as saying in an email Monday. read more

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Shell corruption probe: Top executives knew part of £1.3bn Nigerian oil deal would go to convicted money launderer

In a huge u-turn, the company has now admitted it knew Mr Etete was involved.

Top executives at Shell knew that money they paid as part of a $1.3bn deal for a huge Nigerian oil field would end up in the hands of a convicted money launderer who awarded the asset to his own company when he was oil minister of the country.

Emails seen by The Independent and reported by anti-corruption campaign groups Global Witness and Finance Uncovered, show senior bosses at the UK’s biggest company had been informed that hundreds of millions of dollars could flow through former oil minister Dan Etete to be paid in bribes to former President Goodluck Jonathan and other political figures. read more

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Shell admits dealing with money launderer

11 April 2017

Shell has admitted for the first time it dealt with a convicted money-launderer when negotiating access to a vast oil field in Nigeria. It comes after emails were published showing Shell negotiated with Dan Etete, who was later convicted of money laundering in a separate case. Shell and an Italian oil company paid $1.3bn (£1bn) to the Nigerian government for access to the field. Investigators claim $1.1bn was passed to a firm controlled by Mr Etete.

Shell and the Italian firm ENI agreed a deal with the Nigerian government for the rights to exploit OPL 245, a prime oil block off the coast of the Niger Delta. read more

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Malabu Scam: Shell Finally Admits Knowing It Was Paying Bribes To Etete

BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK APR 10, 2017

Global oil giant, Shell, has been forced to admit that it knew it was paying bribes to Nigerian government officials during the transaction for OPL 245. Shell, which had consistently denied wrongdoing, on Monday, admitted that the transaction lacked fidelity.    

On Sunday, Global Witness and Finance Uncovered exposed freshly leaked emails showing that Shell knowingly participated in a massive bribery scheme for one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks, which robbed Nigerians of $1.1billion. read more

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‘Shell was op de hoogte van doorsluizen geld naar Nigeriaanse witwasser’

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Shell rocked by corruption claims after negotiating with money launderer during £1bn Nigerian oil field purchase


Current chief executive Ben Van Beurden has also been caught up in the investigation. He was not in position when the deal was complete, but after Shell’s Hague offices were raided in February last year, Dutch authorities wire-tapped a call between Van Beurden and then chief financial officer Simon Henry in which Van Beurden allegedly urged Henry not to disclose the raid to shareholders.

Wiretap: After Shell’s headquarters in the Hague were raided in February last year, ceo  Ben Van Beurden urged chief financial officer Simon Henry not to disclose the raid to shareholders

By Sabah Meddings For The Daily Mail

Shell was last night accused of taking part in ‘one of the worst corruption scandals the industry has ever seen’ after buying an oil field in Nigeria.

The Anglo-Dutch giant joined forces with Italian rival Eni to acquire the site off the coast of the West African country for £1billion – giving it access to 9bn barrels of oil, worth nearly half a trillion dollars at today’s prices. But leaked documents suggest it knew much of this cash would fall into the hands of a convicted money launderer and be used to bribe government officials. read more

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Watchdogs allege Shell knew about Nigeria oil kickbacks

Corruption watchdogs alleged Monday that Shell executives knew that money earmarked for a controversial oil deal was being used to bribe senior Nigerian officials, a claim rebuffed by the petroleum giant.

The allegations by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered refer to the 2011 purchase by oil giants Shell and Eni of OPL245, an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion.

The deal saw the Nigerian government act as an intermediary between the oil majors and Malabu Oil and Gas, a Nigerian company allegedly controlled by former petroleum minister Dan Etete. read more

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New evidence in Nigeria Corruption Probe: Shell Bosses bribed the oil-minister

Published: Monday, 10 April 2017 18:54

When Shell was buying the OPL 245 oil field in Nigeria for US$1.3 billion, its executives knew that 1.1 billion will land in the pocket of former petroleum minister and convicted money launderer, Dan Etete, media reported Monday.

The BBC claims to have seen emails obtained by anti-corruption charities, Global Witness and Finance Uncovered, which say that Shell representatives were negotiating with Etete for a year before the deal was finalized. read more

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Leaked emails increase pressure on Shell over Nigerian oil deal

A trove of internal Shell emails seen by the Financial Times and dated between 2008 and 2010 leave no doubt that senior people within the company knew that most of the $1.3bn paid together with Eni for OPL 245 was destined for Malabu, and that much of the money would end up with Mr Etete and associates. Shell had previously said only that the money was paid to a Nigerian government escrow account.

In the intercepted phone call with Mr Henry, Mr van Beurden acknowledged Shell’s own investigation uncovered “unhelpful” and “stupid” email exchanges among former UK intelligence agents hired by the company to help negotiate the OPL 245 deal. read more

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The Recent Revelations About Shell And Nigeria Are “Utterly Indefensible”, Says Development Committee Chair

James Ball: BuzzFeed Special Correspondent: 10 March 2017 

The chair of parliament’s international development committee has called for the government to make clear what it is doing to investigate a $1.3 billion oil deal signed by Shell and Italian oil company ENI in Nigeria.

The call comes after BuzzFeed News and the Italian newspaper Il Sore 24 Ore published “Shell Shocks”, a cache of emails and court documents revealing that Shell top executives signed off on a deal with full knowledge that most of the money would go to Malabu, a company connected to a former Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete. read more

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Recorded call reveals Shell worried Nigerian oil deal could lead to U.S. probe

Top executives at Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) last year were worried that a controversial Nigerian oil deal may have violated an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and would prompt an investigation, according to a recorded phone call between CEO Ben van Beurden and Simon Henry, the company’s CFO at the time.

In the call, van Beurden said he was worried that Shell’s own investigators had discovered internal emails that could cast the company in a negative light and widen the investigation by drawing in U.S. authorities; the call was recorded and has now been made public. read more

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Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – Jonathan Must Have Gotten $200 Million, Middleman Tells FBI, Others

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – Jonathan Must Have Gotten $200 Million, Middleman Tells FBI, Others

Former President Goodluck Jonathan probably received as much as $200 million to approve the controversial $1.3 billion sale of OPL 245 oil field, Italian prosecutors said in court documents.

The documents, which were extracts of a thorough investigation by Italian authorities into the deal, also confirmed that Shell and ENI knew a good chunk of the $1.3 billion will be disbursed as kickbacks to Nigerian politicians, yet went ahead with the deal.

The findings were obtained by BuzzFeed and Italian business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore. BuzzFeed released its own version earlier today. read more

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