Italian Prosecutors Want JPMorgan Files in Eni, Shell Nigeria Bribery Case


Italian prosecutors asked a Milan Court on Wednesday for documents sourced from U.S. bank JPMorgan to be filed as part of a corruption trial over the acquisition of an oilfield in Nigeria by Eni and Shell.

The long-running graft case revolves around the purchase of the Nigerian OPL 245 offshore oil field in 2011 for about $1.3 billion. Prosecutors allege that about $1.1 billion of that was siphoned off to politicians and middlemen.

At a public hearing, prosecutors asked the court to accept two emails sent to Italy by UK authorities. The emails originate from a separate London court case launched by the Nigerian government against JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in the disputed oilfield deal.

The first is an email sent by former Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello to JPMorgan from the email address of a company owned by Aliyu Abubakar - a Nigerian oilman whom prosecutors allege paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.

In this email, seen by Reuters, Adoke sent the bank copies of the resolution agreement regarding the oilfield acquisition.

The prosecutors said they considered it relevant to establish the relationship between Adoke and Abubakar.

Adoke was charged last year for allegedly receiving bribes to facilitate the deal, and he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Abubakar's trial will start in coming weeks in Milan. He denies any wrongdoing.

The second email, also seen by Reuters, is between two JPMorgan officials expressing doubts about transferring $1.1 billion to two accounts at Nigerian banks.

Milan magistrates said at Wednesday's hearing they considered the email significant as it shows there were doubts within the bank over the transfer, which a Swiss and a Lebanese lender had previously refused to carry out.

The Milan court will decide on Feb. 3 whether to admit the two documents in the case.

JPMorgan declined to comment. It is not part of the Milan case.

The companies and defendants involved in the Milan case, including Eni's current CEO Claudio Descalzi, have all denied any wrongdoing.

Milan prosecutors have asked for jail sentences for all the defendants and fines for the two oil giants.

On Wednesday lawyers for Eni and Shell asked for the companies to be acquitted.

The verdict is expected at the end of March.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Alfredo Faieta, editing by Stephen Jewkes, Kirsten Donovan)

No comments

More Popular Posts

About Crude Oil Brokers Ltd

Crude Oil Brokers Ltd is a dedicated global broker and facilitator of crude oil buying and selling. We work directly with crude oil buyers and crude oil sellers worldwide. We are a United Kingdom and Nigerian based firm, privately owned and devoted to the brokering of crude oil and other petroleum products buying and selling.

We have buyers and sellers of;

1. Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil, BLCO

2. D2 Diesel Fuel, JP54 Jet Fuel, Mazut etc.

3. Saudi Light Crude Oil, SLCO

4. Iraqi Light Crude Oil

If you are a buyer or seller of crude oil or other petroleum products or have mandate to buy or sell any of the above oil products, do contact us because we could be of help.

To contact Crude Oil Brokers, click here ». To learn more about Crude Oil Brokers Ltd, click here

Crude Oil Brokers