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Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) starts a criminal case against Shell for bribery in Nigeria

Justice invaded the Shell headquarters in The Hague three years ago. Last March, Shell itself filed a report against the Australian former director Peter Robinson, who may have been guilty of corruption in Nigeria. However, that case is about another oilfield.

English translation of an article published today in Dutch by nrc.nl

‘Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) starts a criminal case against Shell for bribery in Nigeria’

It is a $ 1.3 billion oil deal from 2011, according to Shell. Some of that money would have ended up with high officials.

Steven Musch: March 1, 2019 at 9:58

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service is going to prosecute oil company Shell for illegal activities in Nigeria, reports the oil company on its website.

The Public Prosecution confirms this but does not yet want to say whether and when a summons is issued.

The company has been informed by the judicial authorities that they are working on criminal prosecution and that the investigation has almost been completed.

According to an OM spokesperson, the current investigation has shown that “offences have been committed” and that “there is enough to prosecute”. This does not exclude that there is still a settlement.

Shell is suspected of bribery to acquire the exploitation rights of an oil field off the coast of Nigeria. The case revolves around the oil field OPL 245, which contained more than 9 billion barrels of crude oil off the coast of Nigeria. Shell and the Italian partner Eni paid 1.3 billion dollars in 2011 together. Only 200 million of that amount went into the treasury, 1.1 billion euros would have ended up in the pockets of high Nigerian officials and politicians, including the then oil minister Dan Etete. Through the company Malabu of the oil minister, the money would then be channelled to other politicians.

Bribe

In 2017, four interest groups from Nigeria, the United Kingdom and Italy reported in the Netherlands: Global Witness, Corner House, HEDA Resource Center and Re: Common. The fear existed at these organizations that the Public Prosecution Service would, as in the ING money laundering case, manage a settlement.

Shell and Eni still deny that there was bribery. The question is whether they could have known that the money would disappear into the pockets of politicians. An Italian judge considered that previously already proven. Two ‘intermediaries’ were sentenced to 4 years in prison by the judge in Milan. Justice invaded the Shell headquarters in The Hague three years ago. Last March, Shell itself filed a report against the Australian former director Peter Robinson, who may have been guilty of corruption in Nigeria. However, that case is about another oilfield.

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