Shell Confirms U.S. Bribery Probe

Investigation is for violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Royal Dutch Shell said on March 17 that U.S. regulatory authorities had launched a bribery probe into its activities.

"Shell is currently under investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) for violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," the group said in its 2008 annual report.

"In July 2007, Shell's US subsidiary, Shell Oil, was contacted by the US DoJ regarding Shell's use of the freight forwarding firm Panalpina, Inc and potential violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as a result of such use.

"Shell has an ongoing internal investigation and is co-operating with the US DoJ and the US SEC investigations. While these U.S. investigations are ongoing, Shell may face fines and additional costs."

The company gave no further details about the nature of the probe in the report.

"It is looking at certain payments that were made by this company Panalpina to customs officials in Nigeria," a Shell spokesman said, adding that it had already disclosed the DoJ approach last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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