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SFO To Investigate BP-Related Payments, According To Report

The Telegraph said oil giant BP may face an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office ‘over bribery allegations relating to engineering projects’ in Azerbaijan.

One of BP’s contractors, still unnamed, self-reported bribery allegations to the SFO last year, the Telegraph said. ‘Although there is no suggestion bribes were paid by BP employees, the oil major could be liable if the contractor is found to be culpable,’ according to the report.

The story was reported last weekend by Jonathan Russell, the Telegraph’s assistant city editor, and journalist Emily Gosden.

The U.K. Bribery Act became law on July 1 last year. It includes an offense for failing to prevent bribery. The Telegraph said ‘both BP and the contractor could be prosecuted under the Bribery Act.’

Neither the SFO nor BP commented on the report.

The Telegraph said the SFO investigation doesn’t involve the $25 billion Shah Deniz development in Azerbaijan, one of the biggest pipeline projects in the world, but ‘previous oil and gas pipeline engineering work BP has undertaken in Azerbaijan.’

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