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Corrib Corruption Scandal on the Agenda at Royal Dutch Shell AGM

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Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 00.03.05The Corrib corruption scandal and cover-up will  be raised at the Shell AGM on Tuesday. I can state on good authority that Shell lawyers have already prepared a script for Ben van Beurden to use for evasion purposes when confronted by OSSL directors. It mentions waiting for the outcome of the investigation by the Irish Police Ombudsman. Van Beurden can either continue with the cover-up tactics, or pick up the phone and ask Michael Crothers or Brian Foley to tell him the truth. Although unpalatable, it will emerge sooner or later. 

By John Donovan

REPLY TO POSTING ON SHELL BLOG BY LONDONLAD

LondonLad, no doubt by accident, you have misconstrued what OSSL stated. They never said that the allegation was first made 5 years ago. Please read it again. It is not an important point, but if something inaccurate is stated in print, then it is best to correct any such mistake immediately.

The first I heard about any of the relevant allegations was on 10 Sept 2012 when a long detailed email from OSSL to Brian Foley, the Contracts Manager for the highly controversail Corrib Gas Project, was forwarded to me without explanation.

That same day, I sent the leaked email to our designated contact at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate. I said I would not publish anything on the matter until after Shell had a reasonable time to investigate and establish the facts. I said that any comments Shell wished to make would be published in full, unedited by us.

Shell has responded many times to previous invitations of this kind from us and we have faithfully published any response so provided. On occasion we have refrained from publication of allegations at the request of Shell.

This time there was no response whatsoever. The lack of any reply heightened my interest.

OSSL subsequently provided me with over a hundred pages of evidence, including direct written communication with Michael Crothers, the current Chief Executive of Shell EP Ireland.

At 12.26 on 22 May 2012, OSSL sent him an email. It mentioned his alleged admittance that Shell had shut down OSSL abruptly, without notice and immorally. It detailed a threat OSSL had allegedly received from a party acting for Shell in relation to the supply of large amounts of alcohol to the Irish Police Force and related falsification of invoices.

22 Minutes later Crothers personally sent a reply.

Extract

“I did not say that “Shell shut down your company immorally”. I was careful to say that I personally felt some moral obligation to try to find a way to find a settlement, hence the without prejudice offer that was made.”

Significantly, Mr Crothers did not take issue with, or make any denial, in respect of the OSSL statements about the threat to OSSL, the large amounts of alcohol showered on the Irish Police, nor on the related disguised invoices.

He did not take issue, as you would expect if Shell was totally innocent, with the account stated by OSSL.

No one disputes the authenticity of the relevant leaked internal emails.

Mr Crothers has never given a satisfactory explanation of why he never took issue at the time with what OSSL had said.

This is but one example of numerous internal emails between Shell and its agents including OSSL where reference was made to such matters without Shell or anyone else denying the accuracy of what was being said. This was all before OSSL allegations were put into the public domain (by me).

If someone sent you an email containing very serious false accusations would you reply without making a denial?

Mr Crothers let the comments stand without correction.

The Corrib corruption scandal and cover-up will be raised at the Shell AGM on Tuesday. I can state on good authority that Shell lawyers have already prepared a script for Ben van Beurden to use for evasion purposes when confronted by OSSL directors. It mentions waiting for the outcome of the investigation by the Irish Police Ombudsman. Van Beurden can either continue with the cover-up tactics, or pick up the phone and ask Michael Crothers or Brian Foley to tell him the truth. Although unpalatable, it will emerge sooner or later.

THE EMAIL TO BRIAN FOLEY

From: OSSL <[email protected]>
Date: 23 August 2012 10:45:02 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Subject: Your instructions to OSSL for the record .a sinister twist

For the attention of Mr Brian Foley Contracts Manager Shell Corrib Gas Project, Leeson Street Dublin , and Bellanaboy Site Erris County Mayo.

Dear Mr Foley,

In March 2012 at a meeting in Shell head office in London in the presence of Mr Michael Crothers CEO Shell E&P Ireland Julia Busby Head of Legal Shell and Frances van Dam of Shells business integrity department BID, I was informed by Miss van Dam that when asked by her for your confirmation that you had used OSSL to make payments of cash and gifts to various parties in Erris and beyond you declared that you had no such knowledge of the numerous transactions that had taken place .

Can you imagine the surprise and shock on hearing this declaration by you when you know fine well you had on occasions called to our business premises in person and in the presence of three witnesses (some times four ) and gave instructions regarding the purchase of various items to be gifted to local householders with a view to advancing your project in a particularly difficult period of your construction program , these transactions were later “buried” by your Mr Conner Byrne of Shell in a manner such as to disguise the nature of the purchase and the recipient ,to that end he (Mr Byrne) demanded that the invoices to cover the transactions be falsified and diverted to Roadbridge (a Corrib contractor ) so as to avoid any connection with Shell directly .whilst we did not agree with this route for reimbursement we were given no alternative .

Whilst I can only imagine that your inexplicable denial of what you knew to be the facts in this matter is brought on by a need for self preservation completely ignoring the enormous consequence for me and my family which you have just witnessed , it is clear that had you come clean to Mr Crothers then this matter could have been resolved with the minimum of pain some thing you might want to reflect on .

You will recall that you attended a meeting on this matter with Shell Corrib Financial Director Ann Hamilton in Lesson Street some time ago at which all these Disguised favours were openly discussed including the cash payments to security Guards at which you spoke at length on indicating how that should have been hidden , Ann Hamilton disagreed on that matter .i mention this meeting in particular (others took place ) because you were very concerned and genuinely worried about exposure of this covert payments scenario ,how you went from that position to total denial is beyond me .

We (OSSL) have in the coarse of recent meetings learned in the presence of our legal people that OSSL suffered a very sinister blow in so far as our cooperation with SHELL in accommodating your requests has lead to our removal from the Corrib Gas Project a move on Shells that has been described as immoral by Mr Crothers at a recent meeting in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin .

Do you recall that in meeting in the Broadhaven Hotel chaired by your goodself in July 2010 We again discussed payments of invoices that had been diverted to Roadbridge in a disguised Manner that hid the fact that the content was actually televisions and other household goods for Project cooperators Mrs Noone at Glengad and that other valued cooperator Mr Eamon Sweeney

Also from Glengad landfall site , Shell insisted that these invoices be transformed into safety wear from televisions and cookers and that that was the only way we would be reimbursed ,Brian Foley instructed Roadbridge to pay the invoices in their disguised state and Roadbridge complied.

It would be fair to ask you how you could chair such a meeting instruct in the manner you did And then cop a plea of “I know nothing” at polar opposite with the facts.

Mr Crothers had great difficulty understanding such a bold contradiction when he learned of the Broadhaven Meeting .

Miss Van Dam had details and a copy of the Shell falsified invoice made out to Roadbridge but was a loss to explain why she had accepted your declaration of no knowledge re disguised invoices whilst holding contradictory evidence in her hand .

Mr Foley I would suggest to you I that you are fully aware that OSSL cooperated with Shell in a joint aim to delivering a successful CORRIB GAS DEVELOPMENT you witnessed a small local company bending over backwards to accommodate SHELLS ever wish however you have stood by and watched decent people suffer for their compliance with you requests .

Mr Conner Byrne Of Shell has assured us at OSSL that disclosure of any of this aforementioned Activity will result in OSSL never working in the oil and Gas industry again .

Looks like he’s right

Shame on you

Three members of OSSL

Des Neil Amanda

Footnote Neil Rooney whom I have observed over the last number of years going a long way out of his road to assist you and many of your colleagues in a personal capacity and for no reward was denied a simple reference by project management that would have assisted him in obtaining another job …….eaten bread is soon forgotten !!!!

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