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Halliburton: How Govt Officials Were Bribed With $182m - Politics - Nairaland

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Halliburton: How Govt Officials Were Bribed With $182m by columbus71(m): 9:45pm On Sep 06, 2008
The last has not been heard of the N2.5billion Halliburton bribe scandal as the sacked chief executive of one of the oil firm’s foreign subsidiaries, Mr. Albert "Jack" Stanley has pleaded guilty to serially bribing some unnamed Federal Government officials during the military era with the sum of $182million (about N2.5billion).

The bribes were given, through two agents, to win some contracts related to the $6billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Bonny, Rivers State.

The work involved constructing a facility to cool natural gas until it turns into liquid which can then be transported in "trains," or thermoslike tankers.

Under a plea agreement entered on Wednesday in a Houston, United States (US) federal court, Mr. Stanley faces seven years in prison and a $10.8 million restitution payment.

His lawyer, Lee Kaplan, said, "We’re hopeful the government finds his cooperation merits" a reduction in his prison sentence.

Anti-graft campaigners in the US are already of the view that Stanley’s agreement to cooperate could breathe new life into the five-year federal investigation, and additional charges on executives are possible.

Various current and former executives of Kellogg Brown and Root(KBR), once a unit of Halliburton but now an independent company, have been subpoenaed, as have other companies involved in the LNG deals.

According to the plea, government prosecutors said bribes began in 1995, during the late Gen. Sani Abacha regime while Mr. Stanley worked for M.W. Kellogg, then part of a company called Dresser Industries Inc. Halliburton acquired Dresser in 1998 and merged M.W. Kellogg into an engineering and construction unit of Halliburton called Kellogg Brown & Root, or KBR.

According to Mr. Stanley’s plea, a construction consortium that included Kellogg and later KBR paid a combined $182 million, to bribe Nigerian officials in a scheme to win a series of contracts.

Mr. Stanley, 65, said he and others met with Nigerian officials to ask how the illegal payment should be handled.

Mr. Stanley also pleaded guilty to taking $10.8 million in kickbacks from an agent of the construction firms. In 2004, Halliburton dismissed Mr. Stanley for taking "improper" payments from a British lawyer, Jeffrey Tesler. Mr. Tesler, who has denied wrongdoing in the past, is suspected by investigators of helping funnel money from the consortium to the Nigerian officials.

The liquefied-natural-gas trade was beginning to boom in 1995, when what was then M.W. Kellogg first submitted a bid, along with three other companies. Mr. Stanley was Kellogg’s representative on the consortium’s steering committee and helped hire agents who would later bribe Nigerian officials to win engineering and construction contracts.

source: http://thenationonlineng.com/dynamicpage.asp?id=61730

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