The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened an investigation into the activities of the U.S. engineering firm KBR’s UK subsidiaries for suspected offences of bribery and corruption related to an ongoing investigation of Unaoil.
The Unaoil probe was launched over a year ago in a case which implicated big multinational oil companies and politicians in a global web of bribery in the Middle East and Africa from 2002 until 2012.
In 2016, KBR disclosed that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are conducting investigations of Unaoil, a Monaco-based company, in relation to international projects involving several global companies, including KBR, whose interactions with Unaoil are a subject of those investigations.
KBR said last Friday that, earlier this month, it received notice from the SFO that they are investigating the same facts and circumstances as the ongoing DOJ and SEC investigation.
KBR noted it was conducting its own internal investigation as well as cooperating with the DOJ, SEC, and the SFO in their investigations.
Following its 2009 guilty plea and settlement with the DOJ and SEC over the legacy TSKJ matter, KBR was under a DOJ-approved monitorship during which its compliance program was “significantly enhanced.”
“We conducted a thorough review of all international business relationships at the time of the monitorship and only continued with those parties, including Unaoil, that passed our rigorous review and agreed to adhere to all applicable anti-corruption laws,” the company stated.