It’s one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the oil sector – and this is the biggest development so far.
Damning new evidence shows oil giant Shell took part in a vast bribery scheme that robbed the Nigerian people of over a billion dollars.
ternal Shell emails seen by Finance Uncovered and Global Witness show how the world’s fifth biggest company took part in a scheme which deprived Nigeria and its people of $1.1 billion in a murky deal for access to one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks, known as OPL 245.
For years, Shell has denied it did anything wrong, but today’s emails show they knew the money would be diverted to private hands, and they went ahead with the deal anyway.
This is devastating for the people of Nigeria. Right now five million of them face starvation. The money paid for the block equates to one and a half times what the UN says is needed to respond to the current famine crisis. But the Nigerian people saw none of the benefits.
WHAT THE LEAKED EMAILS SHOW
The emails we have published today show senior executives knew the massive payment for the oil block would go to Dan Etete – a convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister. He spent some of it on a private jet, armoured cars, and shotguns.
The emails also show Shell’s top brass were told that money was likely to flow to some of the most powerful people in the country, including then President Goodluck Jonathan.
He spoke to Mrs E this morning. She says E claims he will only get 300m we offering—rest goes in paying people off.
– Shell Executive and former MI6 agent John Copleston in a leaked email to Shell Africa executives. “E” is understood to be Dan Etete.
Shell portrays itself as an oil company that does good. Yet our investigation reveals a story of hypocrisy and deception, and finds the company’s most senior bosses bosses depriving Nigeria of life-saving funds by going ahead with a dodgy deal that they knew was a vast bribery scheme.
For the full story of Shell, the convicted money launderer, and Nigeria’s missing billions.