Shell Knew. How it robbed Nigerians of $1.1billion



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.

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.

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  1. I was in Nigeria recently and what is sad is that this sort of news hardly makes it onto TV or print and when it does people just shrug and say “Oh well that is just how politicians are.”

    In Norway they have a sovereign wealth funds that re-invests the proceeds of their oil – thanks to this funds careful management it has become the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world – the fund is bigger than the GDP of Switzerland, it is as big as the combined market cap of Exxon, Shell and Chevron!

    What happened to the struggle for Social Democracy in Africa?

    Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba dreamt of an Africa who’s wealth benefited all – what happened? One group of elites replaced another.

    1. And the European thieves. Both the land and wealth thieves and the AFrican leaders involved in this corruption must be held to account.

  2. Compare to how Norway’s citizenry vs Nigeria,Angola etc. and even Scotland have benefitted from oil. Why do you think that is?

  3. Wow. Raping Africa continues unabated. I do hope the current regime under President Bhuhari will kick Shell out of their country for ever. The others like Chevron should also be investigated. Richest continent in the world being dumped into poverty by the Europeans. What a shame.

    1. Just makes my blood boil Jannie. It is a never ending story of the rape of our continent. And these will be the same people who will tell us of Africa being the lost continent – of corruption, war and nothing good.

      The African leaders who have succumbed to this corruption must together with their corruptors be held accountable.



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