Oil field services company Halliburton is to pay nearly $30 million to resolve allegations of bribery in Angola.
Former Halliburton vice president Jeannot Lorenz also agreed to pay a $75,000 fine for falsifying the company's books and circumventing internal controls, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced.
Lorenz directed $13 million in contracts to a company owned by a former Halliburton employee who was linked to an official at the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol. The official then approved lucrative contracts for Halliburton, bringing in profits of $14 million for the Houston-based company, the SEC said.
Halliburton said the investigation began in late 2010 when the company received information anonymously. It said, in a statement, that it reported the allegation to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), conducted a thorough internal investigation and cooperated with investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DOJ
Halliburton has agreed to hire an outside consultant to oversee the company's anti-corruption practices in Africa.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said the case indicated both the dangers of bribery and the need to prevent it.
He added: “Companies that trade in parts of the world that have been publicised as high-risk when it comes to bribery by anti-corruption organisations need to be extra vigilant regarding all aspects of their business.
“The fact that Halliburton only became aware of the problem due to an anonymous tip off indicates shortcomings in its efforts to prevent bribery. Such efforts have to be tighter in areas where there is a recognised risk of bribery.’’
Read our article: THE HUGE COSTS OF BRIBERY