Petrofac To Cooperate With SFO Investigation; Suspends COO Marwan Chedid

The SFO is probing Petrofac's business conducted with Unaoil, a Monaco-based consultancy company now under investigation by the SFO and several other agencies in connection with suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering.

The Unaoil scandal which has engulfed London's listed oil-services firms deepened today as Petrofac suspended one of its executives and was accused of not co-operating with investigators.

Petrofac Ltd. (POFCF.PK, POFCY.PK, PFC.L) announced a Committee of the Board has been established to be exclusively responsible for the company's engagement with the SFO and to oversee the company's response to their investigation.

Petrofac said Mr Chedid had been arrested by the SFO earlier this month and later released without charge.

Citing the "scale of the investigation", it has also called in an external specialist to oversee the firm's response to the probe.

It followed an internal investigation by Petrofac whose findings have been rejected by the SFO.

Petrofac insisted his suspension did "not in any way seek to pre-judge the outcome of the SFO's investigation".

Unaoil has denied the allegations. The investigation is linked to an ongoing probe of bribes paid by Monaco oil contractor Unaoil SAM for government contracts around the world.

Petrofac also said that it "is devoting very significant resources in its current engagement with the SFO".

The Daily Telegraph reported that a circular published to disclose details of Wood Group's acquisition of its energy support services rival reveals that Amec is also co-operating with the SFO over its criminal investigation into potential bribery corruption and money laundering.

Ken Odeluga, a market analyst at spread betting broker City Index, said: "Wood Group and Amec investors are likely to be wary that investigations may turn up new information that is material enough to delay or perhaps even suspend the tie-up for a lengthy period".

  • Zachary Reyes