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Chilling similarities between the OPL 245 and Ogoni 9 litigation

Esther Kiobel and John Donovan, 28 April 2019, days before a Dutch court ruled in favour of Esther and her co-plaintiffs in an action against Shell allowing their case to proceed

By John Donovan

In 1996, Shell used the sinister specialist services of what could be described as an in-house spying resource set up by former MI6 officers, Hakluyt & Company Limited with titled Shell directors acting as the ultimate spymasters.

At that time, Sir William Purves was Chairman of Hakluyt & Company Limited and Sir Peter Holmes, a former Chairman of Shell, was President of the Hakluyt Foundation. Both were also major shareholders in the corporate spy outfit, while also being Shell directors.

Hakluyt was allegedly set up to carry out “deniable” corporate espionage operations.

A German-born secret service agent Manfred Schlickenrieder working undercover for Hakluyt was sent to Nigeria on a mission relating to allegations of environmental damage caused by Shell’s oil drilling in Ogoniland.

Extracts from a related front-page article published by The Sunday Times in 2001 under the headline MI6 ‘Firm’ Spied on Green Groups:

Schlickenrieder sometimes posed as a left-wing sympathizer and documentary filmmaker.

He also tried to dupe Anita Roddick’s Body Shop group to pass on information about its opposition to Shell drilling for oil in a Nigerian tribal land.

His company was a one-man band with a video camera making rarely seen documentaries.

He made a film on Shell in Nigeria called Business as Usual: the Arrogance of Power, during which he interviewed friends of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nobel prize nominee, who was hanged by the military regime in 1995 after leading a campaign against oil exploration. Schlickenrieder sent a letter to a Body Shop executive saying he had been researching the activities of Shell in Nigeria…

Fouad Hamdan, communications director of Greenpeace Germany, said: “The bastard was good, I have to admit. “He got information about our planned Atlantic Frontier campaign…”  He added: “Manfred filmed and interviewed all the time…”

The Sunday Times article is short on dates and information about what Shell’s undercover agent was up to in Nigeria, but it was at a time when litigation was being contemplated against Shell by relatives of Ken Saro Wiwi and Ogoni Nine widows.

Perhaps information about the purpose and timing of his spying mission in Nigeria will be contained in the confidential Shell internal documents the Dutch Court has ordered to be handed over to Esther Kiobel and her co-plaintiffs. Sight of his briefing by Shell/Hakluyt could be very revealing.

Part of the Kiobel & Co Dutch case against Shell relates to alleged Shell bribing of witnesses in the Ogoni Nine trial, which ended with the hanging of all nine individuals, including Ken Saro-Wiwi and the beloved husband of Esther Kiobel, Dr Barinem Kiobel.

Salient extracts from the Wikipedia article “Ogoni Nine”

The executions provoked international condemnation and led to the increasing treatment of Nigeria as a pariah state

At least two witnesses who testified that Saro-Wiwa was involved in the murders of the Ogoni elders later recanted, stating that they had been bribed with money and offers of jobs with Shell to give false testimony – in the presence of Shell’s lawyer.

Shell’s close association with former MI6 people has continued through the years. They always seem to be lurking in the shadows.

I am in possession of irrefutable evidence that an ex MI6 man Ian Forbes McCredie,  hired by Shell to be head of Shell Global Security, was also part of Hakluyt & Company.

More recently, Ben van Beurden, the current Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc mentioned in a telephone conversation that Shell had hired former MI6 people in connection with the OPL 245 oil deal. He did not know that the conversation was being covertly recorded by OPL 245 investigative authorities.

Two of the defendants in the current OPL 245 criminal $1.3bn  corruption trial against Shell in Italy are indeed former MI6 agents; namely John Copleston and Guy Colegate.

Would someone kindly explain how any of this sinister and unscrupulous activity is compatible with Shell’s claimed core business principles, including honesty, integrity and transparency?

ARTICLE ENDS

Disclosure by the author of this article: The lead claimant Esther Kiobel, her lawyer Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira representing the widows, and the acclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International, have all acknowledged the involvement of John Donovan in bringing *this case. (*See Writ of Summons in English and Dutch served on Shell 28 June 2017 – copy obtained from US Pacer public electronic court records) As Esther generously said on 28 April 2019, the Dutch case would not have happened without the help of John Donovan.  read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

CNN: Shell’s stand on LGBT rights under scrutiny over Brunei’s anti-gay laws

Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT) April 26, 2019

London (CNN Business)Royal Dutch Shell’s stand on LGBT rights has come under scrutiny following the introduction of laws that punish gay sex with death in Brunei.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is the largest foreign business operating in the small southeast Asian kingdom, which brought in laws earlier this month that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

FT: Shell faces pressure on gay rights over Brunei venture

and in London: 25 April 2019

Eumedion, a Dutch corporate governance group backed by 60 institutional investors, will push Shell to use what influence it has with the Brunei government to press for the improvement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Eumedion counts large Shell shareholders including BlackRock, Standard Life Aberdeen and Capital Group among its members.

Talks with Shell could take place as early as next week… read more

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THE TIMES: Shell gets some ethical advice on oil rig menus

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

CITY PEOPLE: APRIL

It’s not always much fun on a North Sea oil rig: shifts as long as three weeks with no grog allowed and restrictions on smoking. At least homesick platform workers can seek solace this Easter in roast lamb and apple crumble with cream. But for how much longer? Carys Bennett of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has written to Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, urging him to ban meat and dairy products from its rigs to offset environmental damage by the oil company. “In addition to offsetting some of your gigantic carbon footprint, providing vegan meals would help workers eat with a clear conscience,” she wrote. No response yet from Shell. Too busy preparing the mint sauce perhaps.

Want to read more?

 RELATED ARTICLE

Aberdeen EveningExpress

Animal rights group calls for Shell to provide vegan-only meals on North Sea platforms

19/04/2019, 12:00 pmAn animal rights group has called on an energy giant to only provide vegan meals on North Sea platforms.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has called for Shell to switch to vegan meals permanently. The group wants the change to be made in honour of Earth Day on Monday – and then to keep it going, saying the move would offset environmental damage done while drilling for oil.

Currently both vegetarian and vegan meals are widely available offshore. PETA said it feels the move could be plausible for North Sea oil rigs – or any organisation. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

When Shell Caved on Climate Change

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

By Kelly Gilblom: 11 April 2019, 10:00 BST

A group of Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives sat in a conference room in the company’s Hague headquarters in November. On the other side of the table were representatives for two small shareholders: the pensions board of the Church of England and Dutch fund manager Robeco Institutional Asset Management BV. The leaders of Europe’s largest energy company realized that after months of argument, they’d lost. read more

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Brunei, the corrupt ‘Shellfare state’

FROM NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE BELOW HEADLINED:

The Sultan of Brunei: Opulence, Power and Hard-Line Islam

EXTRACT:

Powered by the oil company Brunei Shell Petroleum — Brunei was nicknamed the “Shellfare state” for its entitlement programs — the country of about 430,000 people remained relatively secluded compared with its neighbors.

RELATED:

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden audience with corrupt despot, the Sultan of Brunei

Corrupt Sultan of Brunei introduces tough Islamic penal code

By Alan Yuhas: April 4, 2019

When Brunei put harsh new laws in place this week that made adultery and gay sex punishable by stoning, it focused international attention on the country’s sovereign, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, whose vast wealth and family spending have landed his name in the tabloids for decades.

The sultan, as the main enforcer of religion in the Southeast Asian country, has in recent decades advocated a hard-line vision of Islam that is at odds with the royal family’s opulent lifestyle. Here is a look at his powers, his background and the international condemnation of Brunei’s new laws. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell sued in Dutch court over Climate Change

April 5, 2019

Environmental activists take Shell to court on Friday to try to stop the Anglo-Dutch oil giant drilling for gas and oil, and to ensure it meets climate change targets.

Some 17,000 people and six organisations have signed up to Milieudefensie’s call for co-defendants in the case, which the green group hopes will lead to a judge ‘forcing Shell to stop being a major cause of climate change.’

The 2015 Paris agreement on climate change included a commitment to leave oil, gas and coal in the grounds as much as possible, the lobby group says. ‘These three fuels are major causes of global warning and this is why we have to stop our dependence on them as soon as possible. ‘ read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Royal Dutch Shell News 2 April 2019: 3 Articles

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royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden wiretapped by Dutch Public Prosecutors

English translation of an article published by Dutch newspaper ncr.nl on 26 March 2019. The extensive parts of the article relating to Ben van Burden and Shell are in bold print. 

Are top managers being bugged?

White collar, dirty hands? You don’t have to be a suspect of cocaine smuggling in the Netherlands to be overheard by the judiciary. In recent years, the telephones of at least two board chairmen have been tapped. Maybe even more. They never put such information in an annual report.

The first was Theo Bruijninckx, chairman of the board of the then already financially weakened construction company Ballast Nedam. In the spring of 2012, he was intercepted on various telephones (home, mobile, at the office). He was not a suspect, but justice was looking for information about an older bribery case. Ballast Nedam was taken over by the Turkish conglomerate Rönesans after a series of losses in 2015. read more

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Russia Could Be World’s Largest Natural Gas Producer – Shell CEO

Royal Dutch Shell Fat Cat CEO Ben van Beurden gives a subservient bow to Russian Dictator Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Article source:sputniknews.com Published: 2019/3/19 18:16:45

Russia could become the largest natural gas producer in the world, Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, wrote in an article for RIA Novosti. “The world needs more natural gas to meet rising energy demand, to complement renewables and to replace coal in power generation. And the opportunity for Russia is huge. It is already the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and it enjoys the world’s largest commercial gas reserves. It is the second largest producer of natural gas. It could be the largest,” van Beurden said. The Shell CEO recalled that Russia “has done so much with natural gas in very little time.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Chief executives can’t expect huge rewards just for being lucky

Last week it emerged that Ben van Beurden received more than €20 million as Royal Dutch Shell boss for 2018. This prompted howls of outrage from the usual sources.

G

Napoleon Bonaparte and Dwight Eisenhower said they wanted lucky generals rather than great ones. FTSE chairmen, however, seem to have little interest in luck when it comes to their chief executives.

That is one conclusion to draw from the debate about executive pay that is reigniting as we enter AGM season. Last week it emerged that Ben van Beurden received more than €20 million as Royal Dutch Shell boss for 2018. This prompted howls of outrage from the usual sources. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Oil fat cat Shell CEO Ben van Beurden cashes in

Ben Van Beurden’s total pay package soared by 126% last year: Last year, over a quarter of Shell’s investors voted against Mr van Beurden’s pay at the energy giant’s annual meeting

The boss of oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell received a 126 per cent pay rise last year.

Chief executive Ben Van Beurden pocketed over £17million, including a long-term incentive plan linked sum of £12.8million, up from £7.6million, and a £2.5million bonus.

In its latest results, the group said: ‘As a consequence of the LTIP vesting in particular, the single figure of remuneration for the CEO is significantly higher this year than in previous years.’ read more

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Outrage over Shell CEO monster pay package

Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden bows to Russian Leader Putin: Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Yesterday the Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad published a truly devastating article Shell gas leaks, fires and accidents about Shell playing fast and loose with the health and lives of its employees. Today there is mass coverage of the outrage over the £17m pay package awarded to Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. The revulsion also has to be seen against the damaging litigation engulfing the energy giant, including OPL 245 corruption charges and a related raid on Shell HQ involving BvB and his then CFO, Simon Henry. Both were embarrassed by a wiretapped conversation between them discussing obstructing the investigation and the revelation by BvB that Shell had hired hapless former MI6 “people” who had been cavalier with Shell’s OPL 245 secrets. Why is Shell rewarding such behaviour, which is completely at odds with Shell’s claimed business principles?  

Shell chief’s pay doubles to 143 times average UK employee’s

The chief executive of oil-company Shell saw his pay more than double last year to more than €20m (£17m). Ben van Beurden’s total salary in 2017, which was approximately €9m, prompted a shareholder revolt. The raise comes as the company increased its annual profits by almost $10bn and is largely down to long-term incentives kicking in. Dutchman Mr van Beurden’s pay is now 143 times larger than the average Shell employee in the UK. read more

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Dutch FT: Retired Shell chief safety officer warns of major Prelude risks

In brief

*The number of accidents per man-hour worked has risen again for the first time in a long time last year.

*A series of incidents, criminal investigations and warnings from regulators are damaging Shell’s safety image.

*Shell CEO Van Beurden himself is also not satisfied and wants to do more to guarantee safety.

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele Dagblad.

Beeld: Getty Images/ bewerking: FD Studio

Shells gas leaks, fires and accidents

Bert van Dijk: 13 March 2019

Last year the number of accidents per hour worked increased at the oil company. Supervisors warn that Shell needs to do more about safety.

In December 2017, during regular maintenance work, a lifeboat suddenly came loose on the Shell platform Brent Alpha in the North Sea. The lifeboat fell into the sea and was recovered a day later. Although no one is injured, it was not the first time. In 2008, it was discovered that two lifeboats on another nearby Shell platform, Brent Bravo, were technically in such poor condition that they had to be replaced. And in 2007 a rescue boat on another Shell platform broke loose and collapsed into the sea. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

OPL 245: Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in the firing line

In September 2017, four foreign NGOs filed a declaration in the Netherlands against Shell, Van Beurden and three (former) directors. According to lawyer Barbara van Straaten of the law firm Prakken d’Oliveira, this declaration was added to the current investigation by the Public Prosecution Service.: Almost a year ago, Shell itself filed a statement against former director Peter Robinson. According to the group, the Australian would have been guilty of corruption in Nigeria. Robinson is one of the four former Shell employees who stand trial in Milan. Justice in the US and stock market watchdog SEC were also informed.

English translation of a Dutch article published today by ncr.nl

The question is: did Shell know that the money ended up with the politicians?

Corruption The bulk of the purchase price for the Nigerian oil field OPL 245 ended up in the pockets of politicians. Justice thinks it has enough evidence to prosecute Shell.

Hester van SantenErik van der Walle: 1 March 2019 at 1:00

Shell is being prosecuted in the Netherlands because of possible corruption in Nigeria. The oil and gas company announced on Friday morning that it has been informed about this by the Public Prosecution Service (OM). According to a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service, “offences” have been committed and there is “enough to prosecute”. The spokesman states that the investigation has almost been completed. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell accused of complicity in Nigerian murders

Esther Kiobel poses with a picture of her late husband, one of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military government after a peaceful uprising against Shell in 1995. Photograph: Amnesty International

By John Donovan

I heard from a major news organisation that Esther Kiobel brought up my name several times during an interview at the Dutch court hearing yesterday, kindly expressing her thanks for my help.

Esther approached me after the US Supreme Court decision that thwarted on jurisdiction grounds her attempts to sue Shell in the USA for complicity in the murder of her husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel. It took over a decade of litigation to arrive at that decision. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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