Revealed: Addax to pay $32m to settle Swiss bribery charges

Addax Petroleum had agreed to pay 31 million Swiss francs ($32m) to settle charges of suspected bribery of foreign officials, the Geneva prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

Prosecutors for the Swiss canton of Geneva investigated the company, whose chief executive officer and legal director were also charged, over several tens of millions of dollars payments to a company and several lawyers in Nigeria.

A four-month investigation found 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, according to Reuters.

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

With this settlement, the cases against the CEO and legal director had also been closed, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

Addax, which struck its first oil in Nigeria in 1998, was bought by China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner, in 2009.

Addax said in an emailed statement its CEO had resumed his duties while its chief legal officer retired on June 30.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Reuters reported in March that the company’s CEO and legal director of Addax Petroleum in Geneva were both arrested and charged with suspected bribery of foreign officials.

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