NEWS – Global Witness and Finance Uncovered – Biggest corruption scandal ever brought to trial
In a historic court case, two of the world’s largest oil companies are on trial: Shell and the Italian oil and gas company Eni. They are required to answer charges of bribery and corruption relating to a 1.3 billion dollar oil deal in Nigeria. Reporting by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered published in 2017 revealed that Shell knew it was paying into a vast bribery scheme. The court case started on 15 May 2018 in Milan.
Research by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered brought damning new details to light in a dubious deal involving alleged bribery of Nigerian public officials. Oil giants Shell and Eni paid 1.3 billion dollars in 2011 for one of the largest oil fields in West Africa. The companies acquired the oil field from Malabu Oil & Gas, a Nigerian shell company owned by the former oil minister, Dan Etete. Over 800 million dollars was transferred to Malabu. This money was then swiftly passed on to various shell companies, hiding what prosecutors allege were massive bribe payments. Only 210 million dollars were ultimately paid to the Nigerian treasury.
The magnitude of the sum embezzled and the fact that top executives at Shell and Eni have been charged personally make this court case unique. It stands as testament to the quality of the investigation and determination of the Milan Public prosecutor’s Office, which began its investigation, following the submission of a complaint by Global Witness and its colleagues, the Italian NGO, Re:Common, the UK NGO, The Corner House, and Nigerian anti-corruption campaigner, Dotun Oloko.
Adessium Foundation supports Global Witness & Finance Uncovered because of our belief in the importance of a society in which parties and institutions act responsibly, transparently and with integrity. As a well-developed campaign organization in the field of environmental protection and human rights, Global Witness works to put an end to corruption scandals. Journalism organization Finance Uncovered focuses on preventing and exposing illegal financing structures.