Italian authorities have disclosed that an investigation into Royal Dutch Shell‘s $1.3 Billion deal with Malabu Oil and Gas in relation to an oil bloc has been opened.
Milan’s Office of Public Prosecution will begin an investigation into claims of ‘international corruption’ relating to Shell’s controversial acquisition of OPL 245 oil bloc reputed to be one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocs.
Malabu Oil and Gas is owned by a former Nigerian Minister, Dan Etete, who is also under investigation for money laundering after Malabu acquired OPL 245 for the sum of $20 million in 1998, far below its estimated worth. Malabu sold OPL 245 in 2011 to Shell and ENi for $1.1 billion, a deal the Nigerian government helped broker.
No part of the fund was remitted to the Nigerian government.
ENi is also under investigation in Milan in what is likely to be the biggest corruption scandal involving a major oil company in years.