North Atlantic Drilling removes director amid corruption probe

North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., a provider of harsh-environment offshore drilling rigs, has removed a director from its board due to his potential involvement in a corruption scandal.

In a statement issued Thursday night, the company said it was informed that Jo Lunder, Director of the company, is under investigation by Norwegian prosecuting authorities in relation to charges of corruption in VimpelCom Ltd, his former employer.

“The investigations are unrelated to North Atlantic Drilling. After consultation with Mr. Lunder, it has been agreed that he will step down as Director of North Atlantic Drilling,” North Atlantic Drilling said.

Lunder is the CEO of Fredriksen Group, a majority owner of one of the world’s largest drilling contractors Seadrill, which in turn controls North Atlantic Drilling.

The Norwegian police have arrested Lunder, putting him under investigation for a potential bribery case stemming from the period when  he was the CEO of the Russian telecom company VimpelCom. According to allegations, the arrest is part of an investigation under which there are indications VimpelCom executives paid millions in bribes for wireless licences in Uzbekistan, Russia Today has reported.

According to Reuters, Fredriksen Group, the company managing finances and assets of John Fredriksen, a shipping and drilling magnate, has put Lunder on leave from his CEO position until further notice. Lunder has held the CEO position in Fredriksen Group since May 2015. Prior to this, he was chief executive officer VimpelCom.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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