UK oil services firm Petrofac PLC said it launched an investigation into allegations of bribery to win contracts Kazakhstan and the Middle East.
Australia’s Fairfax Media and the Huffington Post reported that Monaco-based Unaoil was a middleman for bribes, according to leaked emails the news outlets said they viewed.
The reports said Unaoil may have paid bribes on behalf of Petrofac for work in Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Iraq, and Syria.
Petrofac said it hadn’t found evidence of bribery.
It hired Freshfields and KPMG LLP for the investigation.
Petrofac has about 19,000 employees in 31 offices worldwide.
It’s listed on FTSE 250 Index and trades under the symbol PFC
The firm designs and builds oil and gas infrastructure projects. It also manages assets and trains personnel in the oil and gas sector.
Police in Monaco raided Unaoil’s offices and the homes of its directors.
The raids reportedly came after the UK Serious Fraud Office asked for help.
Monaco police questioned Unaoil directors for two days.
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Petrofac’s April 7 statement said,
Petrofac confirms that an internal investigation is underway into media reports alleging a breach of the Group’s Code of Conduct. We take any allegations of activities that may contravene our strict anti-bribery and corruption standards very seriously.
Whilst to date we have not identified any evidence of wrongdoing, we have appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and KPMG LLP to assist us in conducting a full investigation, the findings of which will be reported directly to the Petrofac Limited Board. We aspire to the highest standards of ethical behaviour and we are determined to investigate these allegations to the fullest extent possible.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.