Peter Robinson, Shell’s former vice-president for commercial ­activities in sub-Saharan Africa, is accused of taking “kickbacks” from a multimillion-dollar oil field sale

Royal Dutch Shell has filed a criminal complaint against a former senior executive over suspicions he may have received bribes in Nigeria.

Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, told staff he was “stunned and outraged” after the Anglo-Dutch energy group discovered evidence suggesting that Peter Robinson had received “kickbacks” from the $585 million sale of an oil licence in the Niger Delta.

Shell has told Dutch prosecutors it believes a crime may have been committed against it by Mr Robinson, who was vice-president for commercial activities in sub-Saharan Africa at the time of the sale of the OML 42 block to Neconde Energy in 2011.

Shell struck Nigeria’s first oil in 1956. It has significant operations in the country, which have long attracted controversy amid…