Addax Petroleum executives face criminal investigation

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The management of Addax Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. on Saturday confirmed that Geneva Prosecutor’s Office was conducting a criminal investigation into allegations focusing primarily on the company’s business in Nigeria.

The company’s Communications Officer, Mr Michael Owhoko, confirmed the development in a statement in Lagos that the Chief Executive Office of its Geneva Office, Zhang Yi and the legal director were currently under arrest.

According to the statement, Addax Petroleum is taking this matter seriously and will be responding appropriately to the investigation.

“This matter is the subject of an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further at present,’’ it said.

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The chief executive officer and legal director of Addax Petroleum, Geneva, have both been arrested in Geneva and charged with suspected bribery of foreign officials.

The spokesman for Canton’s Prosecutor had told Reuters on Friday that a criminal procedure has also been opened against the company — bought by China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner in 2009 — prosecutor’s spokesman Henri della Casa said.

“I can confirm that the Geneva prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into bribery of foreign officials and that the company, Addax and its director-general and legal director are the subject of it,’’ della Casa said.