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Posts under ‘Simon Henry’

OPL 245: Shell Den Haag HQ was raided by 60 investigators

Snippets from an article originally published by Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland on 9 November 2017. Translated from Dutch to English by Iefke Prins.

Clearly, Shell has played a crucial role in criminal activities; ‘the most important decisions were made at the headquarters in Den Haag’; Top management at Shell looked the other way and did not want any contact with Etete’; In the early morning of 17 February 2016, thirty tax authority investigators together with thirty Italian colleagues raided the Shell headquarters at the request of the Italian prosecutor. In the directors’ offices, 1800 pages of documents and e-mails were seized.; According to the e-mails, Shell was very much aware that Etete was corrupt.; On the day of the raid on Shell’s offices, the company’s CEO Ben van Beurden’s phone was wiretapped by Dutch police. In a leaked conversation with CFO Simon Henry, he mentioned ‘unhelpful e-mails’ from Copleston, who speculated ‘who would get paid what’. Van Beurden chalked up the conversations as ‘pub talk’, which he called ‘foolish’. He also decided that it would be better if the raid would not be reported to shareholders.; He instructed CFO Henry to ‘not voluntarily say anything other than what’s being asked’ to the authorities.; Shell’s behavior is all the more striking because the company was already under enhanced control by US authorities because of another Nigerian corruption case.

FULL ARTICLE BELOW

Bags filled with Naira’s were divided amongst politicians. Photo: Shuttershock.

A scheme to purchase an oil field from a corrupt Nigerian former minister of oil was devised and approved at Royal Shell’s headquarters in The Hague. The complete file landed on journalist Harm Ede Botje’s desk. A reconstruction.

A raid on Shell’s headquarters, two former UK Secret Service MI6 agents negotiating with a corrupt Nigerian former minister of oil affairs on behalf of Shell, a former Russian ambassador intermediary in talks with the FBI, a fugitive Nigerian ex-Minister of Justice, millions of dollars in kickbacks for employees of the Italian oil company Eni, bags of Nigerian Nairas being divided among politicians and businessmen. They seem the right ingredients for a riveting thriller, but these events actually happened. read more

OPL 245: When will Shell CEO Ben van Beurden be forced to resign?

Listen to wire-tapped call implicating Ben van Beurden in OPL 245 corruption cover-up. 

By John Donovan

  • Hear an admission by BvB that Shell had not been open with the U.S. Dept of Justice in regard to a related Shell Nigerian corruption scandal already subject to a 61 page Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
  • Concern expressed by BvB over potential share-price sensitive fallout, rather than the obvious priority of being open with shareholders as pledged in Shell’s claimed business principles. 
  • Express instruction from BvB to Simon Henry at the close of the call: “don’t volunteer any information that is not requested.” How can that be construed other than as potential obstruction of an investigation involving police and the other important authorities BvB mentions. Significantly, Simon Henry did not resist that unethical and perhaps criminal instruction. Even if material evidence was discovered internally at Shell, the unavoidable implication was that its existence should not be disclosed to the police. That order came from the very top. BvB has not made an apology or comment on his instruction. 
  • Inexplicably, both BvB and Simon Henry chuckled at times during the discussion. Perhaps a case of Shell shock at the dawn raid carried out at Shell HQ earlier that day by an army of 60 investigators, which triggered the call?

Listen and read the proof in audio and transcript form confirming  current Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and then CFO colleague Simon Henry have both been infected with the deeply ingrained culture of cover-up adopted by successive Shell executive directors.

At the time of the incriminating wire-tapped telephone conversation in Feb 2016, a police dawn raid had just taken place at RDS HQ in The Hague searching for evidence in relation to the OPL 245 billion dollar Nigerian oil deal corruption scandal. read more

Dutch law firm Prakken d’Oliveira Target of Shell Spying?

Email Sent To Prakken d’Oliveira by John Donovan, Sunday 10 December 2017

Be Warned: Your Law Firm is Almost Certainly Under Surveillance Again!

As Prakken d’Oliveira is aware, for more than two decades I have operated websites focussed on the *global misdeeds of Royal Dutch Shell. In more recent years, mainly via my websites royaldutchshellplc.com and royaldutchshellgroup.com. I make the above warning based on my own experience during a long drawn out acrimonious relationship with Shell.

Perceived as an arch-enemy, I have been the target of multiple spying operations carried out over many years at the behest of Shell senior management. I have irrefutable proof in the form of letters of admission by Shell and confidential Shell internal communications obtained in response to SAR applications under the Data Protection Act. UK police have carried out  investigations covering burglaries, threats of violence and repeated cyber attacks. read more

Shell China Corruption Whistleblower, Robin Yu

Shell China Whistleblower, Robin Yu

By John Donovan

Today, EnergyVoice.com published a denial by Shell in relation to its involvement in the Nigerian OPL 245 corruption scandal.

Extract: “Shell attaches the greatest importance to business integrity. It’s one of our core values and is a central tenet of the business principles that govern the way we do business. “We have clear anti-bribery and corruption policies and a code of conduct. All employees around the world are expected to uphold these principles and comply with our policies and code – failure to do so will result in consequences up to and including dismissal.” read more

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

Libby George: DECEMBER 5, 2017

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

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

A new revelation about Shell in Nigeria shows that oil trade always makes dirty hands

Google translation of an extensive OPL 245 article published in Dutch. Cannot guarantee that all the links work. Listen here to the unprincipled notorious BvB/Simon Henry wiretapped phone call. Instruction given to withhold information from the police and Shell shareholders. (Currently conversation 9 down from the top)

Jelmer Mommer, Correspondent Climate & Energy

27 October 2017

In 2011, Shell concluded a deal to win oil for the Nigerian coast. Of that, a condemned money launderer benefited – with the knowledge of Shell. Free Netherlands publishes a new reconstruction about the case this week, based on a file of thousands of pages, internal emails, reports and listened calls.

In the amazing documentary Here was the unforgettable film about oil, corruption and capitalism. Here was the unforgettable film about oil, corruption and capitalism. Big Men, says a member of a small American oil company doing business in Ghana: “The oil business is a team sport.” read more

OPL 245 was a tipping point

Comment by Bill Campbell (retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International) on the article “Corruption charge looms for outgoing BHP director Malcolm Brinded” 

It was good news for those who care for Shell and it’s reputation when Brinded and his guard dog Ruddock were shown the door in 2012. Brinded had contaminated the boardrooms of Shell UK and RDS for 15 years with his toxic behaviour. Corruption of external parties also in the shape of the North Sea safety reguluator using his special relationship with the then Secretary of State for Scotland. Still wary of the demise of reputation during the reserves debacle it seems the Chairman and his counsel with the support of the non executives called time on Brinded sensing Shell was heading yet again into the scandal zone. read more

Did Malcolm Brinded fail to wipe the crime scene free of fingerprints?

COMMENT BY RETIRED SHELL INTERNATIONAL HSE GROUP AUDITOR BILL CAMPBELL ON THE ARTICLE: 

Shell executives charged in lead up to landmark trial over billion dollar Nigerian bribery scheme

Malcolm Brinded Charged

Bill Campbell asks: Did Malcolm fail to wipe the crime scene free of fingerprints?

We have all seen the movies where the bad guy covers up his deadly deed by wiping clear any sign of his presence at the crime scene. Malcolm was good at this, taking care on the 11th September 2003 to have destroyed the HSE files in The Hague and the audit files in the phase 3 building of Tullos removing forever the incriminating evidence re his involvement and contribution to the deaths on Brent Bravo that day.

Surprising therefore, that when the Dutch police searched the offices in The Hague on 17 February 2016 approx 3 years after Malcolm’s surprise and unexplained departure from RDS they found a whole stack of what I understand was incriminating stuff in a file cabinet in Malcolm’s old office now occupied by the new Shell Chairman who had taken over from Ollila. read more

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. read more

OPL 245: SHELL MI6 LOOSE CHATTER

Introduction by John Donovan

Published below are comments by Mr Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Royal Dutch Shell. His remarks are in relation to the involvement of Shell and current?/former MI6 officers in the OPL 245 skulduggery currently involving multiple regulatory and legal authorities, including the Dutch Director of Public Prosecution and Dutch Police, the UK Serious Fraud Office, Italian and Nigerian Police and Prosecutors, the US Securities And Exchange Commission, and an investigation by the US Department of Justice under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. read more

New Shell finance boss says North Sea remains important to oil and gas giant

MARK WILLIAMSON: 5 MAY 2017

ROYAL Dutch Shell’s new finance chief has said the company will continue to invest in the North Sea where it is making good returns but declined to rule out selling off more UK assets.

Speaking after Shell posted a 140 per cent increase in first quarter profits, Jessica Uhl said the North Sea remains important to the firm although rationalisation moves will leave it with a much reduced presence in the area.

The oil and gas giant agreed in January to sell a portfolio of mature assets which account for around half its UK production to Chrysaor for up to $3.8 billion. read more

More analysis of wiretapped BvB/Simon Henry phone call

By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Shell International)

I have read through the Ben van Beurden/Simon Henry phone transcript but frankly cannot understand the apparently relaxed attitude, with many chuckles and laughter on the phone.

It seems clear also that RDS had been or were still pursuing some kind of internal investigation into the matter.

They raised but then thought lightly it would seem, of the emails that are incriminating, as though these did not involve their own employees whether direct or indirect, ex MI6 etc. read more

Transcript of Wiretapped Ben van Beurden Simon Henry phone call

Transcript: Tap 5 – 716
TITLE: TAP 5 – 716
PERSONS NAME: Ben van Beurden (Shell CEO) & Simon Henry (Shell CFO)
DATE: 17 February 2016
TIME: 19:53:12
DURATION: 00:13:53

TIMECODE Name Dialogue
0:00 BVB Hey Simon
00.24 SH Hi Ben
00.25 SH Sorry, your missed call. I was, er, having something to eat.
00.30 BVB Yeah, I know you’re on leave, so am I. You obviously know what happened at the office today, so I just wanted to check in with you…
00.37 SH I’m actually in the office tomorrow morning.
00.40 BVB Oh will you be…
00.42 SH I’m leaving at lunchtime. I’ve been in Brussels today.
00.45 BVB Oh, I thought you were in Switzerland this week?
00.50 SH I fly down tomorrow afternoon, evening.
00.55- BVB Oh OK, so I… as I said I… just hold on, I just want to get away from the nanny. And so I just wanted to check in and see whether you’re alright. I trust you have been informed about what happened at the office and the fact that they have gone through both our rooms to get whatever information they needed to get.
1:20 SH Yeah. I spoke to Ronan [Cassidy, Shell Chief Human Resources & Corporate Officer] and Souli [Bouchla, Shell Executive Assistant] and I heard that. I hadn’t heard much else actually. That’s about it, all that I’ve heard…
1:302:00

2:30

3:00

BVB Yeah well I don’t know exactly of course the details of the events but I spoke with Michiel [Brandjes, Shell Company Secretary] and Ronan [Cassidy] three times during the day, and with Donny [Ling, Shell Legal Director] who is in Barcelona. So it looks as if they have some form of coordination between the Italian prosecutor, possibly … with a link into the DoJ, but we’re not sure yet. But, er, clearly something they have been preparing for and need to do now apparently also because of a statute of limitations that expires next month in Italy. But it… they were apparently … quite, er, firstly well prepared but also quite forceful and brusque this morning when they got hold of Annette [van Lisse, secretary to Ben van Beurden], they rattled a few people in the office probably. But during the day it sort of all turned into a fairly sort of professionally run organisation, certainly from our side, but also from the side of the prosecutor. Annette was… I spoke with Annette at the end of the day, apparently they had been in my office for 3 or 4 hours going through everything. I have nothing on OPL245 … but anyway they managed to take one folder which they thought was of relevance … no idea what that would be. Apparently they had been in your office … they were still in your office when I spoke with Annette at the end of the afternoon so they were going through things…
3:20 SH OK, I do know [unclear] apparently, a lot of papers. There’s nothing on OPL245 that I’m aware of. They’d be better off looking through electronic records.
3:33 BVB Yeah. And I think they were going to go to Chad’s office [Holliday, Shell chairman], which of course used to be Malcolm’s [Brinded, Shell Executive Director, Upstream International] office. And according to Souli [Bouchla] there is [unclear] there is a whole stack of Malcolm’s stuff in there…
3:48 SH Really? Mmm…
3:50 BVB …so I have no idea what it is, what that could be, yeah.
3:54 SH [Chuckles] Probably more interesting.
3:57 BVB [Chuckles] Yes. Er, you are aware of the sort of, not status, er, Donny [Ling] and the legal team have been up to in terms of the OPL245 forensic investigation that we doing ourselves?
4:16 SH I spoke to Donny [Ling] a couple of weeks ago… But I’m… Not in a forensic sense, to say where are you, what have you found, is there anything to be concerned about…? I didn’t have that kind of conversation with him. You may have had more, particularly if you spoke to him today.
4:375:00

5:30

BVB Yeah, well, they have gone through all the old email exchanges etc. I think the… I’ve been briefed a few times, verbally. They’ve given me a briefing the day before the audit committee because they were going to give a verbal update to the audit committee… So I take it you have [SH: Yes] heard the verbal update so you are probably also up to date with everything. But, er, to the extent that they may not have shared sort of the very latest… I don’t think they have found anything that was clearly incriminating or that sort of suggested thst we were colluding or doing anything inappropriate. But there was apparently some loose chatter between people from the team, particularly the people that we hired from MI6 who, er, must have said things like, “Well, yeah, you know, I wonder who gets a pay-off here and whatever”, so it’s unhelpful email exchanges. It’s, it’s … I haven’t seen them but apparently they were judged to be, you know, just pub talk in emails which was stupid. But nevertheless it’s there, so it, er…
5:57 SH And that was from the time of … the ENI payment, or from a subsequent investigation by us using people with that background?
6:076:30

7:00

7:30

8:00

BVB No, no, no. This is from the time of the ENI payment where, you know, it all was sort of figured out how to do this, and whatever. Apparently there was some really unhelpful emails in there, which then subsequently needed to be followed up with interviews to say, well, what do these emails mean? Well, we’re never going to get a good answer out of that, of course, but they had a list of people that they were going to interview. They have done a few like Anne Pickard [Shell Executive Vice President: Arctic; formerly Vice-President: sub-Saharan Africa] and a few others who still work for us. But they were also going to interview Peter Robinson [formerly Shell Vice-President: Africa]. I’m not sure whether they in the end managed to speak to him, because of course he can decline to be interviewed, he doesn’t work for us anymore. And they were going to interview Malcolm [Brinded] and they were going to interview Peter Voser [formerly Shell Chief Executive]. So, I’m not sure whether they were going to interview you but if you haven’t been approached then they’re probably not going to. It, er. So it’s, yeah, the whole… I got a briefing at some point from them… [unclear]… the law firm, who said, yeah, we don’t think we, we have, there is anything troublesome here but, yeah, at some point in time when it’s all done we have to make up our mind whether we just say “Well, that’s it, we’ve investigated everything that could be investigated and we conclude there is nothing wrong and we will put it to rest”. Or whether we just say, “Well, you know, there’s a few funny things here and maybe we should just disclose it to the DoJ.” Because it all happened at a time we were of course under deferred prosecution agreement, so, we should have maybe at the time been a more open with the DoJ than we now find we have been. Anyway we were not at that point of clarity or conclusion, so, in that sense… this dawn raid is, I won’t say premature, but it’s, we were not, we hadn’t concluded our own work.
8:27 SH I saw DoJ referenced. You mention that… I don’t think there for a moment that with the Dutch side with the possible Italian connection, that do we know definitely it’s definitely DoJ, then, in the US?
8:42 BVB Sorry, say that again. You were…?
8:45 SH I only saw from the, when I spoke to Ronan [Cassidy], plus early messages from Mikhail [Brandjes], that it was the Dutch director of public prosecution and essentially found the Italian link, but did it pick up anything formally, like the DoJ and the Americans?
9:039:30

10:00

10:30

11:00

BVB No, no. It didn’t. When I spoke with Michiel [Brandjes] this morning, and Donny [Ling], it… at some point in time they said that the DoJ was involved and that it was coordinated with the DoJ etc. And then when I spoke with them this afternoon that story had been clarified and they said no there was no DoJ involvement. And the crisis team met at 1 o’clock and, er, sort of went over who do we need to inform. So do we need to inform the DoJ, do we need to inform the Serious Fraud Office, do we need to inform the SEC? And they were going to reflect on that. And so I thought, spoke with Ronan [Cassidy] and said OK let the team properly reflect on that legally and everything and else. For what it’s worth my view on it would be: the DoJ, yes, because we have been asked to collaborate earlier on in an investigation that they were doing in ENI, so it would only be logical we would inform them and most probably they are informed anyway so it doesn’t really matter too much. The Serious Fraud Office, same thing, I would think. Inform them: it’s probably better anyway. [SH: Yes, I agree]. The SEC, I don’t know, to be perfectly honest. So I asked them to contact Joe Babits [Shell Associate Counsel (US Securities)] to get a view on this, whether it was necessary or appropriate or desirable, or whatever. Because the last thing you want of course is some sort of request to issue a stock exchange release when there is nothing to be said other than that we are being asked to provide information. So I said let Joe [Babits] take a view on it. I know that Joe [Babits] has been informed and involved in all this in the lead up to the prospectus issuance, so he will be sensitised to it all, it will not get him cold.
11:13 SH My instinct would be the same. The SFO because, ultimately, they are following [unclear] in to Etete, in the UK, where Etete is, I think they’re trying to extradite him. And, er, in the US the DoJ … The FCPA is a DoJ issue, not the SEC.
11:38 BVB Yeah, exactly. So it’s er, the SEC has no jurisdiction here. It’s more, you know, is there anything that is share-price sensitive. Well, yeah I guess, depending on how you look at it there is – but everything is share-price sensitive if you’re not very careful, huh.
11:56 SH [Laughs] At this particular point in time, that seems to be the case…
12:00 BVB Sorry?
12:02 SH OK… At this point in time, everything seems to be share price sensitive [chuckles].
12:05 BVB [Chuckles] Exactly, exactly. Anyway, so, I just wanted to touch base with you, see whether you, whether you had any reflections [SH: Well, thanks], you were alright, etc. If you are in the office, I’m in France, so, let’s see whether there’s a need to, or, why don’t we just check in tomorrow with each other and see how things are going?
12:25 SH I will go in because if I don’t it will look odd because [unclear] I was due to go in just for a couple of hours, well, four hours, tomorrow morning at least. And [unclear] because she stayed with them until they had finished. She wasn’t clear if they were coming back, I don’t think they were clear if they were coming back [laughs]. And if they are there, then we’ll just deal with it…
12:53 BVB Sorry, say that again?
12:55 SH If they are there, then we’ll just deal with it in a professional manner.
12:59 BVB Yeah, yeah. You probably … know this, so don’t, don’t volunteer any information that is not requested. So it, er… And we just… I think probably they have gone through everything that they need to go through. They may just request your PC and your phone to be imaged. But it, er…
13:24 SH I wonder if [unclear] anyway, of course, do it [tonight/offline?].
13:28 BVB Offline, yeah.
13:29 SH Offline.
13:30 BVB Yeah.
13:31 SH OK.
13:32 BVB OK, very good.
13:34 SH Thanks for the follow up, then. I’ll let you know if anything happens tomorrow [chuckles].
13:38 BVB Yeah, yeah. Well, we’ll talk.
13:40 SH Hopefully nothing tomorrow. I suspect nothing happens for quite a while, but let’s see…
13:46 BVB Yeah. OK, thanks Simon. You have a good evening, then. Bye.
13:50 SH Thanks, mate. Take care. You too. Bye.

Can Shell CEO Ben van Beurden Survive OPL 245?

Amazing that after that experience, his reaction was to opt for the same cover-up culture/mentality of Shell senior management which led to Watts being escorted from Shell Centre in London by security staff.

By John Donovan

Ben van Beurden had no involvement in the $1.3bn OPL 245 corruption scandal until after he became Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He was not involved in the shady negotiations or the eventual deal.

Based on what he said in the surreptitiously recorded telephone conversation with his then-subordinate Simon Henry, the then Chief Executive of the company, he is, however, guilty of cover-up tactics and gross hypocrisy.

The intercepted call took place on the day that Shell’s Netherlands HQ was raided. The police spent hours searching his office and removed a folder of documents. read more

Headline selection on Shell OPL 245 debacle

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

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.

Shell dealt with money-launderer to ‘resolve impasse’: EveningStandard

Only 24 hours after claiming it had no knowledge of “improper payments” to a convicted money-launderer over a $1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) oil field acquisition in Nigeria, Shell has admitted it had known it was dealing with the controversial figure but doing so was “the only way to resolve [an] impasse”. read more

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