Two former heads of the British oil and gas company Afren PLC were found guilty of fraud and money laundering. In General, two former top managers of the company received personal profits in excess of $ 17 million, the court found.
According to the decision of the British court, Osman Shahenshah, former Executive Director of Afren, and Shahid Ulla, former chief operating officer of The company, concluded a side deal with a business partner in Nigeria,which allowed them to receive payments in the amount of about 45 million dollars, according to the Wall Street Journal.
” Instead of acting in the best interests of their company, they used Afren as a personal Bank account to Finance the illegal transaction, without taking into account the consequences, ” SFO Director Lisa Osofsky said in a statement.
Afren, an African exploration and production company, was part of the FTSE 250 group of companies, and reported revenues of $ 1.6 billion in 2013.
The company joined the administration in July 2015 after its financial position was shaken by lower oil prices, impairment of reserves in Iraqi Kurdistan and disclosure in 2014 of unauthorized payments by some of its executives and Directors.
Osman Shahenshah was a member of the Board of Directors of Afren and of the various branches of the company from the date of the founding of the company since 2004. He left the post of CEO in late 2014. Shahid Ulla was appointed to the Board of Directors of Afren in 2008 and resigned in October 2014.
Shahenshah Osman Shaheed, Ulloa recommended by the Board of Afren trades $300 million with Oriental energy resources Ltd.”SFO, the company’s oil partner in Nigeria, said.
The Board of Directors did not know that the pair had made a deal with Oriental, in which they would receive 15% of the total value of the deal. The money was paid to a shell company controlled by the defendant. The Prosecutor said they bought houses in Mustica and The British virgin Islands on the proceeds of fraud.
The SFO launched an investigation against Afren executives in June 2015, after the company disclosed an internal investigation report that revealed suspicious transactions.