AfDB charges Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. US $5.7 million in monetary sanction for corrupt practices
Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. admits to corrupt practices from 1995 until 2004 by affiliated companies in relation to the award of AfDB-financed services contracts for liquefied natural gas production plants on Bonny Island, Nigeria.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on May 28, 2014, announced the conclusion of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement with Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. following the company’s acceptance of the charge of corrupt practices by affiliated companies in an AfDB-financed project. As part of the Negotiated Resolution Agreement, the Bank’s Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department (IACD) levies a financial penalty of US $5.7 million against the company. The funds will flow into AfDB projects preventing and combating corruption in the Bank’s Member Countries on the African continent. In total, the AfDB has collected US $22.7 million in fines from four companies, including Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., involved in bribe payments in connection with the liquefied natural gas production plants project on Bonny Island, Nigeria.
In addition to the payment of a monetary sanction, the Negotiated Resolution Agreement foresees the debarment for a period of three years of TSKJ – Serviços de Engenharia Lda; TSKJ II – Construções Internacionais Sociedade Unipessola Lda; and LNG – Serviços and Gestão de Projetos Lda., based in Madeira, Portugal. These companies are eligible for cross-debarment under the April 2010 Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions entered into by the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The Portuguese entities affiliated to Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. played an active role in funneling bribes to public officials.
“Only about US $200 million in monetary sanctions imposed on companies found to have engaged in bribing foreign public officials have ever been returned to the affected region. By reinvesting the fines in programs supporting our Regional Member Countries’ efforts to improve the performance of anti-corruption agencies, IACD contributes to redressing this situation in line with the AfDB’s strategic focus on good governance,” says Anna Bossman, Director of IACD. “The financial penalties totaling US $22.7 million levied by IACD in relation to this case are among the highest ever imposed by any multinational development bank and send out a credible signal that the AfDB will not tolerate corrupt practices in any of its projects.”
In 1990, Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. formed the above companies as joint ventures together with three other multinational engineering services providers for the purposes of bidding for engineering, procurement and construction services contracts for liquefied natural gas production plants on Bonny Island in Nigeria. From 1995 to 2004, the joint-venture companies made improper payments totaling US $180 million in return for the award of these services contracts. The African Development Bank Group had contributed US $100 million in financing to the overall contract volume of US $6 billion.