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Shell Money Laundering

From a Shell Blog contributor

I commend you on your article Shell Money Laundering for Saudi Arabia

As the NGO Global Witness pointed out earlier this year in relation to the OPL 245 corruption scandal, nobody should be above the law, even the mighty Royal Dutch Shell enterprise. Global Witness and The Corner House have campaigned and exposed the corruption around the OPL 245 deal for several years. In 2011, Shell and Eni paid $1.1 billion to Malabu Oil and Gas, a front company secretly owned by a former Nigerian oil minister. Prosecutors have alleged that over US$500m went to “fronts for [former] President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria”. This crooked deal deprived Nigeria’s people of a sum worth 80% of its 2015 healthcare budget. Shell and Eni have always denied that they knew the money would go to Malabu, but documents seen by Global Witness show that the companies constructed the deal knowing that the money would flow ultimately to Etete’s company.

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Shell Money Laundering for Saudi Arabia

Once again the conspiracy involved a shadowy man associated with Shell, said to be an MI6 agent. Not John Copleston or Guy Colgate of OPL 245 fame, but a spy from an earlier generation of British spooks – Stephan Kock – reportedly responsible for ordering assassinations.

By John Donovan

As has been widely reported, Shell and former/current senior managers up to executive director level face criminal charges in connection with the OPL 245 corruption scandal. Apart from other issues, Shell is accused of money laundering along with Eni. If found guilty, there is no prospect of Shell reducing any penalty by pleading it’s a first offence, because that is not the case. 

In the 1980’s, Shell and BP played a money-laundering role in the Al-Yamamah project generating slush funds associated with Saudi arms contracts which helped to fund terrorism and corruption, including massive bribes to Saudi royals by the main contractor, BAe Systems.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CORRUPTION

By John Donovan: Monday 19 June 2017

It is interesting, in view of subsequent events, to reflect back on an “Investigations Case Manager” job Shell advertised a decade ago.

Extract

The successful candidate for this role will provide specialist advice, awareness training, information and expert investigative resources to all Group companies worldwide on practices which conflict with Shell Group Business Principles. These include fraud, contract corruption (illegal information brokering), bribery, money-laundering and organised crime.

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Shell lack of transparency about corruption

By John Donovan

It is interesting to consider Shell’s current overview approach to the disclosure of corruption and bribery activity involving Shell and its employees/contractors, compared with the detailed information supplied in past years. 

e.g. from The Shell Report 2004

In 2004, we provide the number of proven incidents of bribery and fraud gathered by our internal audit system and reported to the Group Audit Committee – 16 bribery incidents and 123 fraud cases were reported, resulting in the dismissal or resignation of 203 staff and contractors. We will continue to improve our detection and data quality.”

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Shell News Update 14 June 2017

Shell gets $142m tax refund in UK as decommissioning bills mount: The Herald: 14 June 2017

Around $116m of the refund appears to be due to the relief provided to Shell for the costs of decommissioning work completed on the giant Brent field north east of Shetland.

Shell’s report says it has ‘zero tolerance’ on bribery and corruption: The National: 13 June 2017

Shell’s code of conduct includes specific instructions to staff and mandatory training “especially with respect to potential conflicts of interest and the offer or acceptance of gifts and hospitality”. “Our anti-bribery commitment is an integral part of the Shell General Business
Principles, first published in 1976.

Gov. Tom Wolf tours Shell cracker plant site, impressed by speed and scale of work: The Times: 14 June 2017

POTTER TWP. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is impressed by the speed and scale of the work being undertaken by the workforce building Shell Chemicals’ $6 billion ethane cracker plant.

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Shell Litigation News Stories June 2017

Supreme Court rules Shell acted in contempt over Corrib land access: The Irish Times: 14 June 2017

The Supreme Court has found Shell E & P Ireland was acting in civil contempt of court orders when, nine years ago, it entered on to commonage lands at Rossport located on the modified route for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline.

Company fined €300,000 over death of worker at Corrib gas tunnel: the journal.ie: 14 June 2017

A GERMAN CIVIL engineering company has been fined €300,000 over the death of a contractor in 2013. Wayss and Freitag Ingenieurbau AG contractor Lars Wagner, who worked for Herrenknecht AG, was killed on 8 September 2013 at the Mayo project.

Polluted-Water Case Against BP and Shell Revived: Courthouse News Service: 13 June 2017

MANHATTAN (CN) — No longer protected by its deals with California prosecutors, BP and Shell must face another lawsuit alleging that its underground storage tanks continue to pollute Orange County’s groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive.

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Shell African News Stories

Malabu Deal: Court adjourns case against Adoke, Etete, Shell to October 26: TV360 Nigeria: 13 June 2017

The case against former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete; oil giants, Shell, Eni and four others has again been adjourned to October 26, 2017.

Court orders Shell to pay N122b damages for oil spill: TheGuardian Nigeria: 12 June 2017

The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt has ordered Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to pay N122 billon as damages to Ejama-Ebubu community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State for crude oil spillage.

Support integrity fund against state capture, says Shell boss: BusinessDay: 12 June 2017

Bonang Mohale, chairman of Shell SA and deputy chairman of Business Leadership SA, has called on business to invest in an integrity fund that would support activities to put the country on a different path.

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Shell Corporate Espionage?

Several years ago I corresponded with senior Royal Dutch Shell lawyers concerning allegations made by a former employee of Shell Oil Company, Mr Frank Joseph Trunk III., about alleged Shell sponsored industrial espionage.

The ingenious Mr Trunk filed for patents in the 1990’s and early 2000’s that define certain novel technologies with important dual use (military and civilian) applications.

It is quite likely that in a related move Shell tried to patent the use of spread spectrum signaling for controlling a BOP in a noisy environment, based on the number of other things they tried to patent disclosed to them under confidentiality agreements. Digital spread spectrum acoustic signaling is also used in a number of naval/military applications.

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Contemptible Shell Says Irish Supreme Court

 

John Donovan

The link at the foot of this article is to a judgement released by the Irish Supreme Court earlier today.

It relates to the Shell led Corrib gas project in Ireland, beset by controversy from the outset, including bribery and corruption sponsored by Shell. 

Landowners from Rossport North County Mayo who objected to Shell’s land grab plans and put environmental considerations before personal reward, were jailed at the behest of Shell. They became known as the Rossport Five

One high-minded Rossport landowner, Monica Muller, launched a court action against Shell in October 2007 alleging that Shell had entered her land without her permission.

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Role of a hapless Ann Pickard in OPL 245

By John Donovan

During the period that Shell was conniving in setting up the OPL 245 deal, the company had a vice-like grip on the oil wealth of Nigeria and more power than the Nigerian government. This information comes from an analysis of leaked secret US embassy cables.

Ann Pickard, a then senior Shell executive, was directly involved in the OPL 245 deal, and the primary indiscreet source of the secret information.

Extracts below from various publications provide evidence of her role in OPL 245. They are followed by astonishing related extracts from a Guardian newspaper article about the leaked classified cables.

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Shell’s dismal track record on transparency

“Shell is very different from Enron. We were criticized for that some time ago and I’’m glad we have a absolutely rock-solid way we do business. It’s all completely transparent, as far as Shell is concerned.”

By John Donovan

Following publication of my article Shell false pledges of transparency and openness contributors to this website have been accused of hating Shell. That is not the case.

Many of us do, however, take great exception to the hypocritical claims made by successive RDS Chairman and CEO’s over many years that Shell operates within an ethical code – the General Business Principles – which includes a pledge of transparency.

Shell Group Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart preached transparency while conspiring with senior colleagues to hide information from Shell shareholders.

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Shell false pledges of transparency and openness

By John Donovan

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says that he believes in the fundamental importance of openness by Shell. This echo’s comments made previously by Jorma Ollila when he was Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said in a speech at the 2014 AGM “Shell believes in transparency and your board has high levels of commitment to this.”

Unfortunately Shell senior management deeds do not, in practice, match their lofty words.

On 22 May I wrote to Shell Legal Director Donny Ching asking him to instruct Shell US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to release for use in the Dutch courts over 100,000 items of evidence gathered by Shell internally in relation to its past conduct in Nigeria. Alleged human rights abuses, including alleged complicity in the murder of Ogoni leaders.

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