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Eni says audit proves no Algeria bribes

Italian state-owned oil giant Eni SpA said a forensic audit proved the company didn’t pay any bribes in Algeria.

Italian and Algerian government investigators have been examining allegations that officials from Saipem SpA, owned 43% by Eni, paid bribes for contracts in Algeria worth billions of dollars.

Eni said forensic audits carried out by its representatives revealed no evidence “of illegal or corrupt conducts at Eni nor the existence of intermediary contracts between Eni and the third parties under investigation,” industry news site Oil Patch Asia reported.

The company said it will provide the audit results to investigators.

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni was named in a corruption investigation last year by Milan prosecutors. He hasn’t been formally charged and denies wrongdoing.

In August last year, Algeria issued an international arrest warrent for the country's former energy minister for alleged corruption following accusations of bribery involving Eni. Chekib Khelil, 74, along with eight others including his wife and two sons, are wanted for ‘corruption, abuse of authority and belonging to an international criminal network,’ Algeria's public prosecutor said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.