Addax confirms payment of N11.5bn to settle bribery charges

Addax Petroleum

The Addax Petroleum Ltd., on Thursday said it had reached an agreement to pay a 31 million Swiss francs (about N11.5 billion) fine in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Public Relations Officer, Geneva, Switzerland Branch of the company, Douglas Chene-Bougeries, confirmed this in a statement made available in Lagos.

Chene-Bougeries said that the fine was a settlement on the bribery charges allegedly levelled against some officials in Nigeria.

He said that Addax Petroleum had also agreed to the terms set out in the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office’s order dated July 5, 2017.

According to him, this is relating to case number P/3851/2017, containing the prosecutor’s decision to close the investigation against the company and its employees, following a thorough review of the allegations.

“Addax Petroleum is committed to conducting its business with the highest level of integrity and in full compliance with applicable laws, regulations and industry standards,’’ Chene-Bougeries said in the statement.

On March 24, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, in its Geneva Office, Zhang Yi, and the Legal Director were arrested and charged with alleged millions of dollars payments to an unnamed company and some lawyers in Nigeria.

Henri della Casa, the spokesman of the prosecutors for the Swiss canton of Geneva, had in a statement said that investigation was carried out on Addax Petroleum company, its chief executive officer and legal director.

“A four-month investigation found that the payments were not sufficiently documented and doubts remained on their legality, but no criminal intent was established,’’ the Geneva Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

It said that Addax acknowledged possible organisational shortcomings and had taken measures to improve internal anti-corruption procedures.

“With this settlement, the cases against the company chief executive officer and legal director have also been closed,’’ the spokesman for the prosecutor, was quoted as saying.

Addax was bought by China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner in 2009.