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Corruption in Nigeria:ENI SpA to pay $240M fine

To settle bribery charges related to $6 billion in contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities in Nigeria, ENI SpA, the former parent company of Snamprogetti Netherlands BV, a Dutch company, has agreed to pay $240 million in fines.

Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., was charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in a scheme that prosecutors say included handing over briefcases filled with cash and vehicles to Nigerian government officials to get them to award engineering and construction contracts, to a joint venture that included Snamprogetti, for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island in Nigeria.

Snamprogetti Netherlands BV, was part of a joint venture that included Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a former subsidiary of Halliburton Co. and France’s Technip SA which is alleged to have paid over $180 million to the agents for bribes to Nigerian government officials. The SEC states that Nigeria LNG awarded the joint venture companies a $2.2 billion LNG-related construction contract in December 1995.

Snamprogetti Netherlands BV and ENI SpA, also agreed to jointly pay $125 million to settle a civil complaint by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. Combined, this amounts to $365 million to be paid by ENI and Snamprogetti and the total of sanctions against companies involved in the scheme to bribe Nigerian officials not totals over $1.28 billion.

Technip, KBR, and Halliburton also agreed to pay a total of $917 million to settle charges related to this scheme.