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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: US SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION CEASE AND DESIST ORDER 

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Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.04.33By John Donovan: 1 April 2016

There is nothing new about Royal Dutch Shell violating the anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Nigeria.

Ben van Beurden, the current Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell is fully conversant with a Cease and Desist Order issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  

The Cease and Desist Order is genuine. 

HERE IS A SUMMARY

This matter concerns violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by Respondent SIEP and the record keeping and internal controls provisions of the FCPA by Respondent Shell. From September 2002 through November 2005, SIEP, on behalf of Shell, authorized the reimbursement or continued use of services provided by a company acting as a customs broker that involved suspicious payments of approximately $3.5 million to officials of the Nigerian Customs Service in order to obtain preferential treatment during the customs process for the purpose of assisting Shell in obtaining or retaining business in Nigeria on Shell’s Bonga Project. As a result of these payments, Shell profited in the amount of approximately $14 million. None of the improper payments was accurately reflected in Shell’s books and records, nor was Shell’s system of internal accounting controls adequate at the time to detect and prevent these suspicious payments.

The Order was issued on 4 November 2010. Links to related news articles are provided below.

Is is not remarkable that six years later Shell is still mired in Nigerian corruption, this time in relation to OPL 245 and with much larger sums involved.

This may be seen as a weak attempt at an April Fools Joke but unfortunately, it isn’t a joke, it’s all true.

None of the current news reports have mentioned Shell’s prior convictions for corruption in Nigeria. 

Related New Reports From 2010.

On 4 November 2010, the Telegraph reported in a related article that Royal Dutch Shell: admitted they “approved of or condoned the payment of bribes on their behalf in Nigeria and falsely recorded the bribe payments made on their behalf as legitimate business expenses in their corporate books, records and accounts”.

Extract from a related article in The Wall Street Journal:

Royal Dutch Shell PLC agreed to pay a disgorgement of $18.15 million and a $30 million criminal fine after being charged by the SEC with conspiring to violate the anti-bribery and books provisions of the FCPA for using a customs broker to pay officials to get preferential treatment related to a project in Nigeria. It entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department.

Shell to pay $48m Nigerian bribe fine: Daily Telegraph 4 November 2010

Extract

These companies, including Shell, admitted they “approved of or condoned the payment of bribes on their behalf in Nigeria and falsely recorded the bribe payments made on their behalf as legitimate business expenses in their corporate books, records and accounts”.

SHELL IN BRIBERY FINE: Daily Express 6 November 2010

Extract

Shell must pay a $30million “criminal penalty” over charges it paid $2million to a sub-contractor “with the knowledge that some or all of the money” would be used to bribe Nigerian officials to allow equipment into the country without paying duty. Shell, which has not admitted guilt, must pay a further $18million to repay profits and interests.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Cease and Desist Order: Shell Corruption in Nigeria

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