Switzerland Launches Criminal Investigation into Addax Petroleum Operations in Nigeria

Ejiofor Alike with agency reports
A criminal investigation has been
launched by the Geneva
Prosecutor’s Office into the
operations of the Geneva-based
Addax Petroleum Limited in
Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of
Addax Petroleum Geneva Office,
Zhang Yi, and the Legal Director
were also reportedly arrested in
connection with the criminal
investigation.
Confirming the launch of the
criminal investigation, the
company said saturday in an
emailed statement to THISDAY
that it was taking the matter
seriously and would be
responding appropriately to the
investigation.
The company’s official response,
which was silent on the
allegation that its CEO had been
arrested, however admitted that
the criminal investigation was in
respect of the company’s
operation in Nigeria.
“Addax Petroleum confirms that
a criminal investigation is being
conducted by the Geneva
Prosecutor’s Office in relation to
allegations focusing primarily on
the Company’s business in
Nigeria. Addax Petroleum is
taking this matter very seriously
and will be responding
appropriately to the
investigation,” said the
statement.
“As this matter is the subject of
an ongoing investigation, we are
unable to comment further at
present,” the statement added.
However, Reuters reported that
the chief executive officer and
legal director of Addax
Petroleum, Geneva, had both
been arrested in Geneva and
charged with suspected bribery
of foreign officials.
The spokesman for Canton’s
Prosecutor, Henri della Casa, had
told Reuters that a criminal
procedure had also been opened
against the company — bought
by China’s state-owned Sinopec,
Asia’s largest oil refiner in 2009.
“I can confirm that the Geneva
prosecutor has opened a
criminal investigation into
bribery of foreign officials and
that the company, Addax and its
director-general and legal
director are the subject of it,’’
della Casa said.
A Swiss daily, Le Temps quoted
a Geneva lawyer, Saverio Lembo
as saying: “My client vigorously
contests the charges against
him. He plans to defend himself.
For the rest, we will not comment
on the procedure under way.”
There was no response from the
company’s press office to an
emailed inquiry and phone calls.
A lawyer for Addax confirmed to
Reuters reporters in Le Temps
that the investigation was linked
to activity in Nigeria, but would
not comment further.
Addax Petroleum, which is one of
the international oil companies
(IOCs) operating in Nigeria, is a
subsidiary of the Sinopec Group,
one of the largest oil and gas
producers in China, the biggest
oil refiner in Asia and the third
largest worldwide.
The company was formerly a
Canadian firm until 2009 when
Sinopec Group launched China’s
biggest-ever foreign oil
acquisition where it bought
Addax Petroleum Corporation for
about C$8.27 billion (Canadian
dollar or about $7.24 billion US
dollar) to secure the company’s
high-potential oil blocks in West
Africa and Iraq.
Addax, which is listed in London
and Toronto Stock Exchanges, is
an international oil and gas,
exploration and production
company that is focused on
Africa, Middle East and North Sea
The company operates primarily
Production Sharing Contracts
(PSCs) with the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),
as opposed to the joint venture
arrangement between the
corporation and other IOCs.

Switzerland Launches Criminal Investigation into Addax Petroleum Operations in Nigeria Switzerland
Launches Criminal
Investigation into
Addax Petroleum
Operations in
Nigeria Reviewed by AkmnaijaTv on 25 March Rating: 5

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