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Shell and Eni face one of the biggest corruption cases in corporate history over $1.3bn Nigerian oil field

Time running out for prosecutors to obtain potentially crucial documents seized in Geneva apartment raid

Ben Chapman: @b_c_chapman

Giant oil companies, offshore accounts, ex-MI6 agents, champagne lunches, a former Nigerian president and allegations of one of the biggest bribes ever paid – the corruption case against Shell and Italy’s Eni filed by prosecutors in Milan over a shady $1.3bn deal for a vast African oil field has could have been lifted from the pages of an espionage thriller.

The latest developments thicken the plot further with a cache of documents seized in a raid on a Swiss financier’s apartment that could be crucial to the case, leaving prosecutors in a race against time to get them to Milan as trial hearings get underway this week.

The Geneva raid uncovered a briefcase belonging to Emeka Obi, a middleman who received millions of dollars from the deal and is in the dock along with several senior Shell and Eni executives.

Inside the briefcase, Swiss prosecutors found a laptop, two Nigerian passports, five sim cards and a hard drive containing 41,000 documents that prosecutors believe could be crucial to the trial playing out on the other side of the Alps. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Leaked Emails Reveal Shell’s Lies In 2012 About OPL 245

In evidence to the Committee, Shell stated that neither Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) nor Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) “is or was at any point in the past involved in OPL 245”. But a cache of leaked internal Shell emails tells a very different story. Far from being “uninvolved”, RDS — the London-registered company at the pinnacle of the Shell group — appears to have the controlling mind behind the important decisions relating to Shell’s involvement in OPL 245.

BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK, SEP 11, 2018

Anti-corruption groups are calling for an urgent inquiry into what would appear to be highly misleading statements made by Shell in evidence to an investigation by the 2012 Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives into the corrupt OPL 245 oil bloc deal.

In evidence to the Committee, Shell stated that that neither Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) nor Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) “is or was at any point in the past involved in OPL 245”.

But a cache of leaked internal Shell emails tells a very different story. Far from being “uninvolved”, RDS — the London-registered company at the pinnacle of the Shell group — appears to have the controlling mind behind the important decisions relating to Shell’s involvement in OPL 245. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Insider Information Leaks to John Donovan

John Donovan in 1999

Extracts from the ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare” (now available on Amazon websites globally)

Extracts from pages 155 to 164 inclusive

We receive insider information about Shell from a number of different sources.

The first is from Shell itself.

Shell has supplied Shell internal documents and internal emails directly to me in compliance with a series of SAR applications.

The internal documents revealed that Shell secretly set up a counter-measures team and mounted a global spying operation in a determined, but unsuccessful bid to stop the flow of Shell insider information to me.

Another source is from disgruntled Shell employees who have supplied insider information and Shell internal documents and internal emails. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

The Disappearing $1.1 Billion Behind Shell, Eni Trial: QuickTake

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA are going to trial in Italy over bribery charges involving an oil field in Nigeria. Two things are unusual about the case. One is the sheer scale of the sum involved — $1.1 billion. The other is that the defendants include Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi, the company’s former CEO and a former top executive at Shell. The trial begins Monday in Milan.

1. What was the $1.1 billion for?

It was paid by the companies to the Nigerian government in 2011 for a license to drill in deep waters off the Nigerian coast. The license had been in dispute for years. It had originally been awarded in 1998 by the country’s military dictator, Sani Abacha, to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd., a Lagos-based company connected to then-Petroleum Minister Dan Etete. Under successive governments, the license was canceled, awarded to Shell, and then awarded to Malabu again before the 2011 deal. Shell and Eni also paid the government about $200 million as a signature bonus — a onetime fee charged by some oil-producing nations. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

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

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell and top managers are being prosecuted

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service is also investigating whether Shell and four (former) directors, including the current chairman of the board, Ben van Beurden, will be prosecuted for this corruption case. According to Professor of Business Ethics Wim Dubbink, the argument that corruption is inevitable in some countries is “morally and legally an invalid argument”.

Translated from an article published in Dutch language on 21 Dec 2017 by nrc.nl

Corruption

The lawsuit in Milan is about paying over one billion euros for a Nigerian oilfield by Shell and the Italian Eni.

  • Hester van Santen
  • Erik van der Walle
21 December 2017

Justice in Italy took a historic decision on Wednesday. Never before have a company with the size of Shell and such senior managers been sued by corruption. In addition to Shell, the Italian oil company Eni is being prosecuted for bribery in the purchase of an oil field in Nigeria six years ago.

Also (former) top executives of Eni and Shell are prosecuted in the case, including the current CEO of the Italian oil company Eni, Claudio Descalzi. Four former employees of Shell are also suspects, including former British board member Malcolm Brinded. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

How Royal Dutch Shell/ENI Cheated Nigeria: Shell Emails Reveal Malabu’s OPL 245 Was Awarded For One-third of Company Estimates

Shell and Eni’s acquisition of Nigeria’s infamous OPL 245 oil block in Nigeria is now mired in an international corruption investigation that has spread to the United States, sources say, with a huge leak of documents of the companies revealing the deal was a financial disaster for the people of Nigeria from the beginning.  They also indicate that some of the money ended up in the hands of top politicians that include former President Goodluck Jonathan.  

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK DEC 04, 2017

Shell and Eni’s acquisition of Nigeria’s infamous OPL 245 oil block in Nigeria is now mired in an international corruption investigation that has spread to the United States, sources say, with a huge leak of documents of the companies revealing the deal was a financial disaster for the people of Nigeria from the beginning.

They also indicate that some of the money ended up in the hands of top politicians that include former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The companies, and several of their senior managers in Nigeria and Italy are already facing charges. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

RESTRICTED: Not to be circulated outside Shell

 

EMAIL SENT BY JOHN DONOVAN TO SHELL 13 NOVEMBER 2017

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: LEAKED ICO QUARTERLY COMPETITIVE REVIEW: Q3 2017
Date: 13 November 2017 at 12:43:37 GMT
To: [email protected]
Cc: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Hello Ms Asselin

I am in possession of a leaked 19 page document published by Shell yesterday 12 November 2017 entitled ICO QUARTERLY COMPETITIVE REVIEW: Q3 2017.

I note that it bears the warning:
“RESTRICTED: Not to be circulated outside Shell.

Your name appears as the lead contact. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

John Donovan 2017, still Shell’s nightmare

John Donovan in 2009. On its website, this former adman has posted more than 25,000 items on oil giant Shell. Reuters

My website royaldutchshellplc.com has been described by the FT as an open wound for Shell. That remains the case five years after the article extracts featured above and below. We still publish and feed to the mainstream media information leaked to us by Shell insiders. Most recently, an 88 page consultative document containing nothing less than Shell’s Global Transformation plans. We also regularly publish legal documents involving Shell that would otherwise be hidden was from preying eyes behind a paywall. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

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

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

How Shell, Eni Got Enmeshed in $1 Billion Scandal

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA have become entangled in a $1.1 billion bribery scandal involving a field in Nigeria that could potentially hold enough crude to meet three months of the world’s demand. At least three countries are probing the companies, and Italian prosecutors have named Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi and Shell’s former head of exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded, among people who could be prosecuted. Nigeria’s anti-graft agency also filed charges against the companies in March. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

OPL 245: Bernardus Cornelis Adriana Margriet Van Beurden

Extracts from Milan Prosecutors letter relating to Royal Dutch Shell and its current/former executives and employees.

Notification of completion of preliminary investigations Art. 415-bis of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure The Public Prosecutor, having regard to the above criminal proceedings against

Royal Dutch Shell PLC with registered office in The Hague (Netherlands), at Carel Van Bylandtlaan, 30 legal representative pro tempore: Bernardus Cornelis Adriana Margriet Van Beurden, born in Roosendaal en Nispen on 23 April 1958 Defended by the lawyer Bruno Lorenzo Cova of the Court of Turin, and by the lawyer Francesca Petronio of the Court of Milan, with chambers at in Milan, Via Rovello, 1 With address for service at the Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP law firm in Milan, at Via Rovello, 1 for the crimes and administrative offences listed below: read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Keith Ruddock and the OPL 245 scandal

A few days ago, more than $43m (£34m) in cash (above) – proceeds of unidentified unlawful activity – was seized by the Nigerian anti-corruption authorities from a flat in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos. Is the find connected to OPL 245?

By John Donovan

The name of former Shell General Counsel Keith Ruddock (right) has popped up in leaked Shell internal emails relating to the OPL 245 corruption scandal. 

I note in this regard a comment by Mr Ruddock in an interview by GC Magazine: read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Spectacular falling out of ‘Security Professionals’ at the top of Shell

By John Donovan

Former FBI Special Agent Crockett Oaks III joined Shell in 2003 and until recently was paid over $325,000 per year as head of Shell Security in the Americas. He has a military background currently holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Oaks had a Top Secret U.S. Government Security Clearance through the military connection that afforded him the opportunity to attend classified U.S. federal governmental security briefings for the private sector (his employer Shell). read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

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

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

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

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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