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Petrofac sinks as former executive awaits sentencing for bribery

Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) shares slipped on Monday as its former head of global sales, David Lufkin, headed to court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to bribery offences in January.

According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which has been investigating Petrofac since 2017, the offences relate to corrupt offers and payments made between 2012 and 2018 to influence the award of contracts to Petrofac in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Saudi Arabia totalling around US$7.5bn.

READ: Petrofac swings into full-year loss, says market conditions remain challenging

However, a Guardian report on Sunday said details examined by the SFO indicated that the alleged payments made by Petrofac may have been wider the previously known, covering contracts awarded to the firm across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Other payments being scrutinised, according to documents and sources close to the matter, include those relating to contracts awarded to Petrofac in Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Kazakhstan.

Petrofac’s woes are also threatening to embroil several members of the UK’s Conservative Party, with former Prime Minister David Cameron having promoted Petrofac to the Bahraini royal family after he left Downing Street in 2016. His successor, Theresa May, also reportedly advocated for the firm in a meeting with the same royals that same year, although Petrofac denies it has received any preferential treatment from the UK government.

Petrofac’s founder and former chief executive, Ayman Asfari, is also a large donor to the Tory party, having donated over £800,000 to the Conservative’s in a personal capacity alongside his wife.

Asfari was arrested and interviewed by the SFO as part of its investigation into Petrofac, however, he was released without charge after being question under caution in 2017.

Shares in Petrofac slumped 3.7% to 120p in early deals.

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