Some strange events at Shell Brunei Petroleum (SBP).
Around four weeks ago we published an email from a senior official of the Brunei government writing from The Chairman’s Office of Shell Brunei Petroleum, explaining the mysterious absence of the companies Managing Director, Dr Grahaeme Henderson. It said he was absent for medical treatment.
We understand from our sources that in November the head of SBP HSE left the country in a hurry and did not return.
Now we learn that a number of fraud investigations are going on, allegedly involving Nigerian expats.
Perhaps all of these matters are unconnected. Or it could be that Dr Henderson was pressing for action to be taken in relation to the corruption, when he encounterted a medical problem that necessitated his temporary exit from Brunei.
We have commented before on the corrupting relationship between Shell and the head of the Brunei Royal Family, the Sultan of Brunei.
Borneo Bulletin: Fraud probe at oil company
By Ignatius Stephen
Saturday 6 February 2010
In an effort to keep the country’s cooperate image clean the Brunei Anti Corruption Bureau has begun a series of massive fraud investigations against more than 10 senior oil company officials.
The amount probed, according to reliable sources, exceeds $5 million and both local and foreign employees are allegedly linked to what is quoted as “irregular material purchase procedures and related matters.”
The company Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has already dismissed some of the officials after questioning while the affairs of others are still being looked into, informed sources said. Some of the others are under investigation, it is learnt.
The matter is still in its early stage and a thorough check has been on the way for some time and a source said that “no stone will be left unturned.” It is understood the alleged fraud was discovered during a routine audit check.
The authorities, it is understood, are looking into the allegations seriously, although no arrests have been made apart from the termination and suspension of some of the alleged miscreants.
Oil and gas are the country’s lifeblood and the authorities are determined keep the industry clean.
Rumours of the alleged fraud have been strong in recent times although no public announcements have been made so far.
The country’s oil industry is mainly based in Seria, in the south of the capital.
Oil and gas account for 48 percent of the country’s economic output that is helped by the country’s stability and an efficient and clean oil industry sector helping to maintain the country’s production levels.
Although there have been instances of petty irregularities in the oil sector in the past that brought about court action, instances have been rare.
In recent times other overseas oil companies have begun major operations here.
Brunei launches investigation into fraud at Brunei Shell