The African Development Bank Group last week levied $5.7 million in financial penalties against engineering services provider Snamprogetti in a bribery case.
According to the charges, Snamprogetti, together with three other companies, funneled $180 million in bribes from 1995 to 2004 to government officials in Nigeria as part of a multinational joint venture to develop a liquefied natural gas plant in the country.
The Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department (IACD) of the African Development Bank levied the fine against Snamprogetti on May 28, bringing the total in financial fines to $22.7 million. As Compliance Week previously reported, the IACD on March 21 fined Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) $6.5 million; Technip, $5.3 million; and JGC $5.2 million.
“The financial penalties totaling $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,” Anna Bossman, director of IACD, said in a prepared statement.
The African Development Bank said it will debar for three years the following three companies:
- TSKJ—Serviços de Engenharia;
- TSKJ II—Construções Internacionais Sociedade Unipessola; and
- LNG—Serviços and Gestão de Projetos, 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.
Related FCPA Case
All four companies previously settled similar charges with the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. KBR pleaded guilty in February 2009 to FCPA-related charges for its participation in the scheme, and was ordered to pay a $402 million fine.
In related a criminal case, the Justice Department entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Technip in June 2010 and agreed to pay a $240 million criminal penalty, in addition to the $98 million civil fine to the SEC. One month later, Snamprogetti also entered into a DPA and paid a $240 million criminal penalty, in addition to $125 million to settle SEC charges. JGC reached a DPA in April 2011 and agreed to a $218.8 million criminal penalty.