Oil majors Eni and Royal Dutch Shell were aware that most of the money they spent to buy a Nigerian oilfield in 2011 would go in corrupt payments to politicians and officials, a prosecutor said on Thursday.
“They were kickbacks. And Eni and Shell knew it,” Sergio Spadaro told judges in Milan, summing up the prosecutors’ case in what is one of the industry’s largest corruption scandals ever.
Italy’s Eni and Shell, who deny any wrongdoing, bought the OPL 245 offshore field in 2011 for about $1.3 billion from Malabu, a company owned by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete.
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