Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Company to Pay Fine for Halliburton Bribe in Nigeria

Another company to pay fine for Halliburton bribe

June 28, 2010 10:53PM

Technip, one of the companies involved in the Halliburton bribery scandal, has agreed to pay a fine of $338million to the United States for bribing Nigerian government officials.

The international company based in France had partnered with Kellogg Brown and Roots, formerly of Halliburton, an American firm; Snamprogheti, an Italian firm; and JGC, a Japanese firm, to form a consortium called TSKJ. Within a period of 10years, TSKJ got liquefied natural gas contracts worth $6bilion from Nigeria; but only after paying about $180million in bribes to Nigerian public officials.

NEXT in previous stories detailed how senior Nigerian government officials including three successive heads of state, former heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, staff of the petroleum ministry, and the ruling People's Democratic Party, benefitted from the bribe payments.

While the Nigerian anti-corruption agencies continue to dilly-dally in their investigation cum prosecution of Nigerians who benefitted from the Halliburton bribery scandal, Technip agreed to pay $98million to the Security and Exchange Commission in the US, and $240million to the US Department of Justice for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of the United States.

The law prevents companies operating in the US from getting involved in bribery and corruption cases in foreign countries. Halliburton last year paid $579 million for the same bribery offence.

After NEXT's story and continuous public pressure, President Yar'Adua through the former attorney general, Michael Aondoakaa, set up a five-man committee to investigate and prosecute all the Nigerians who benefitted from the bribe payments.

However, 14 months after the committee, which is chaired by the Inspector General of Police and also includes Farida Waziri, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was set up, it is yet to submit its report.

No Nigerian has been prosecuted for the bribery.

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