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Shell in money-laundering scandal

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Shell has faced allegations that the oil firm knew money being paid to the Nigerian government for a $1.3bn (£1.1bn) project would go to a money-launderer and could have also paid political bribes.

This claim surrounds a deal which was made by Shell and a former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete.

Etete’s company Malabu bought the nine-billion-barrel OPL 245 field which is situated off the coast of the African country for $2m. This was during a time when he held a government post.

However, Etete denies any wrongdoing.

Later on Shell and Italian rival ENI then made the decision to buy the field from the Nigerian government in the 2011, the firms bought it for $1.3bn.

More than $1bn of takings were then passed onto a company controlled by Etete, who was then convicted of money-laundering in a separate case.

Now emails obtained by anti-corruption charities Global Witness and Finance Uncovered, seen by the BBC, show that the emails apparently reveal that Shell’s executives were in talks with Etete for a year before the deal was completed.

An email from a Shell employee in 2010 shows that the firm knew Etete would seek benefits from the deal, the email read: “Etete can smell the money.”




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