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Eni chief investigated in Algeria bribe case

The CEO of Italian energy giant Eni SpA  is under investigation by Italian authorities for bribes allegedly paid in Algeria by its subsidiary Saipem SpA.

Eni said Paolo Scaroni is a target of the probe.

“Eni acknowledges that the prosecutor has decided to extend the investigation to include Eni and its chief executive officer,” Eni said in a statement through the Italian stock exchange, according to Bloomberg.

In December, Saipem’s CEO Pietro Franco Tali resigned after the company disclosed an investigation into payments to Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned oil company. Saipem is an oil and gas drilling and services contractor.

Eni owns 43 percent of the Saipem.

The COO of Saipem’s engineering and construction unit, Pietro Varone, was suspended in December after being named as a suspect by investigators from the Milan prosecutor’s office.

Bloomberg said ‘Scaroni’s home and office were searched as part of the probe, which focuses on €11 billion ($14.7 billion) of Saipem contracts and €197 million in alleged bribes.’

Scaroni has served as CEO of Eni since 2005.

Eni is also the parent company of Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., another oil and gas services contractor. In 2010, they paid $365 million to resolve FCPA-related charges for Snamprogetti’s role in the TSKJ-Nigeria bribery scheme.

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