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Shell to resume talks on Niger Delta oil spills


guardian.co.uk,June 2013 17.19 BST

Oil company Shell will resume talks next week in London with lawyers representing 15,000 of the poorest people in the world who are claiming millions of pounds’ compensation for oil spills on the Niger delta. But Martyn Day, of Leigh Day law firm which is acting for the communities, said the case could still go to a full high court trial in London in 2014.

The Shell petroleum development company of Nigeria (SPDC) has admitted liability for two spills from a pipeline in the Niger delta in 2008, but the company disputes the quantity of oil that was spilled and the damage that was done to livelihoods and the environment near the coastal village of Bodo in Rivers State. Oil spill experts working for the communities estimate that nearly 500,000 barrels leaked from the company pipeline over several months, Shell claims it was far less.

The legal action, represents the first time Shell or any oil company has faced claims in the UK from a community from the developing world for environmental damage. “We have agreed to negotiate over the next two to three weeks. Probably the talks will go on into the autumn when a deal will become more likely,” said Day.

The legal development came as Netherlands National Contact Point(NCP), which oversees the implementation of OECD guidelines on the human rights and environmental records of multinational companies, broadly backed claims by Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International that Shell’s repeated assertions that sabotage is responsible for most of the oil spilt in Nigeria is based on flawed investigations which rely on information provided by the company itself. The two organisations offered NCP video evidence of “serious flaws” in the system used by Shell for investigating oil spills.

NCP accepted there were problems in the spill investigation system but criticised Shell. “Shell management should have had a more cautious attitude about the percentage of oil spills caused by the sabotage. The data they are based on is not absolute,” it said.

But FoeI and Amnesty said today that NCP should have gone much further in its criticism of Shell. “Sabotage is a problem in Nigeria, but Shell exaggerates this issue to avoid criticism for its failure to prevent oil spills,” said Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International. “The oil companies are liable to pay compensation when spills are found to be their fault but not if the cause is attributed to sabotage – but it is effectively the company that investigates itself. This is clearly a system open to abuse.”

Shell replied that oil companies did not devise the investigation system and that they had acted within the Nigerian law. “Any spill is a serious concern, and SPDC staff and contractors are working hard to eliminate operational spills. Unfortunately the high incidence of oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger delta exacerbates the problem and has a devastating impact on the environment. This criminality is the real tragedy of the Niger delta. SPDC regrets that some NGOs continue to take a campaigning approach rather than focusing on on-the-ground solutions that bring societal benefits,” said the Shell spokesman Jonathan French.

Shell’s 2012 sustainability report states that 95% of the 26,500 barrels of oil spilled from Shell facilities in Nigeria which were as a result of sabotage. Of the 173 oil spills over 1.5 barrels from SPDC facilities, the company said 80% were caused by illegal activity.

via Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

Shell law returns to Broadhaven Bay


Shell safety boat sinks kayak while detaining others on Broadhaven Bay: Almost immediately after entering the bay the kayakers progress was obstructed by six Shell security and safety boats. The security boats, staffed with IRMS, Shell’s security personnel, then proceeded to grab hold of kayakers and their kayaks and detain them against their will.  On some occasions kayakers were dragged by the security boats through the water, sometimes for up to 15 minutes.  In a departure from previous years when Shell carried out work in Broadhaven Bay, no Gardaí were present at the scene

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

Issued by Rossport Solidarity Camp

17/06/13

Yesterday, the 16th June Shell began the operation to lay an umbilical from landfall at Glengad to the Corrib Gas field. At 5pm, six kayakers from Rossport Solidarity Camp entered the waters of Broadhaven Bay, in order to protest against the imposition of the Corrib Gas project on the local community. The protest marks the beginning of two weeks of action against the project.[1]

Almost immediately after entering the bay the kayakers progress was obstructed by six Shell security and safety boats. The security boats, staffed with IRMS, Shell’s security personnel, then proceeded to grab hold of kayakers and their kayaks and detain them against their will. On some occasions kayakers were dragged by the security boats through the water, sometimes for up to 15 minutes. In a departure from previous years when Shell carried out work in Broadhaven Bay, no Gardaí were present at the scene.

At no time during the day was any legal authority cited for the detention of the kayakers besides a “request” by security that the kayakers leave the area. As one kayaker attempted to paddle out to the middle of Broadhaven bay, his hard-shelled kayak was rammed by the Shell safety boat; the Macbel operated by Belcross Enterprises, causing the kayak to capsize. The kayak then filled with water and sank after a short time. The kayaker then swam towards shore until he was picked up by a fellow kayaker. IRMS also temporarily seized paddles and a kayak from the group.

Rossport Solidarity Camp spokesperson Con Coughlan stated “We have seen Shell law operating on Broadhaven bay before however usually the Gardaí were present to implement Shell’s bidding. This year Shell have been allowed to bypass even any pretense that they are operating within the law and are detaining peaceful protesters in public places for as long a they deem fit”.

Con Coughlan continued “In March this year the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders called on the Irish government to promptly and impartially investigate all allegations and reports of intimidation, harassment and surveillance of Corrib campaigners. She also expressed concerns about the lawfulness of certain actions by the private security firm employed by Shell [2]. The government has ignored the UN report and are allowing IRMS to continue to unlawfully detain peaceful protesters.”

ENDS

For verification and comment

Con Coughlan 0851141170

LINKS

[1] http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org/?p=2013

Safe sex in Nigeria -Royal Dutch Shell plc .com


Safe sex in Nigeria By John Donovan

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

 

Tom Mayne of Global Witness, an NGO, has followed the case closely; he believes things were structured this way so that Shell and ENI could obscure their deal with Malabu by inserting a layer between them. Mr Agaev, Malabu’s former fixer, lends weight to this interpretation. It was, he says, structured to be a “safe-sex transaction”, with the government acting as a “condom” between the buyers and seller.

Court documents shed light on the manoeuvrings of Shell and ENI to win a huge Nigerian oil block and on the dilemmas of their industry

DEALS for oilfields can be as opaque as the stuff that is pumped from them. But when partners fall out and go to court, light is sometimes shed on the bargaining process—and what it exposes is not always pretty. That is certainly true in the tangled case of OPL245, a massive Nigerian offshore block with as much as 9 billion barrels of oil—enough to keep all of Africa supplied for seven years.

After years of legal tussles, in 2011 Shell, in partnership with ENI of Italy, paid a total of $1.3 billion for the block. The Nigerian government acted as a conduit for directing most of that money to the block’s original owner, a shadowy local company called Malabu Oil and Gas. Two middlemen hired by Malabu, one Nigerian, one Azerbaijani, then sued the firm separately in London—in the High Court and in an arbitration tribunal, respectively—claiming unpaid fees for brokering the deal.

The resulting testimony and filings make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the uses and abuses of anonymous shell companies, the dilemmas that oil firms face when operating in ill-governed countries and the tactics they feel compelled to employ to obfuscate their dealings with corrupt bigwigs. They also demonstrate the importance of the efforts the G8 countries will pledge to make, at their summit next week, to put a stop to hidden company ownership and to make energy and mining companies disclose more about the payments they make to win concessions. On June 12th the European Parliament voted to make EU-based resources companies disclose all payments of at least €100,000 ($130,000) on any project.

The saga of block OPL245 began in 1998 when Nigeria’s then petroleum minister, Dan Etete, awarded it to Malabu, which had been established just days before and had no employees or assets. The price was a “signature bonus” of $20m (of which Malabu only ever paid $2m).

The firm intended to bring in Shell as a 40% partner, but in 1999 a new government took power and two years later it cried foul and cancelled the deal. The block was put out to bid and Shell won the right to operate it, in a production-sharing contract with the national petroleum company, subject to payment of an enlarged signature bonus of $210m. Shell did not immediately pay this, for reasons it declines to explain, but began spending heavily on exploration in the block.

Malabu then sued the government. After much legal wrangling, they reached a deal in 2006 that reinstated the firm as the block’s owner. This caught Shell unawares, even though it had conducted extensive due diligence and had a keen understanding of the Nigerian operating climate thanks to its long and often bumpy history in the country. It responded by launching various legal actions, including taking the government to the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Malabu ploughed on, hiring Ednan Agaev, a former Soviet diplomat, to find other investors. Rosneft of Russia and Total of France, among others, showed interest but were put off by Malabu’s disputes with Shell and the government. Things moved forward again when Emeka Obi, a Nigerian subcontracted by Mr Agaev, brought in ENI (which already owned a nearby oil block). After further toing and froing—and no end of meetings in swanky European hotels—ENI and Shell agreed in 2011 to pay $1.3 billion for the block. Malabu gave up its rights to OPL245 and Shell dropped its legal actions (see timeline).

The deal was apparently split into two transactions. Shell and ENI paid $1.3 billion to the Nigerian government. Then, once Malabu had signed away its rights to the block, the government clipped off its $210m unpaid signature bonus and transferred just under $1.1 billion to Malabu.

Tom Mayne of Global Witness, an NGO, has followed the case closely; he believes things were structured this way so that Shell and ENI could obscure their deal with Malabu by inserting a layer between them. Mr Agaev, Malabu’s former fixer, lends weight to this interpretation. It was, he says, structured to be a “safe-sex transaction”, with the government acting as a “condom” between the buyers and seller.

It is not hard to see why the oil giants would want to avoid being seen to be dealing directly with Malabu, a shell company with tainted provenance. Its ultimate beneficial owner is widely believed to be Mr Etete, the very minister who had awarded it the block while serving under Sani Abacha, the late, staggeringly corrupt dictator.

In 2007 Mr Etete was found guilty of money-laundering by a French court. His conviction was upheld in 2009. The trial centred on bribes he had allegedly demanded from foreign investors while in government. He used these to buy, among other things, a French mansion and about €1m-worth of Art Deco furniture, according to French court documents.

Then in 2011 Mr Obi, one of the middlemen in the final deal with Shell and ENI, took his claim for unpaid fees to the High Court in London, calling on Mr Etete to give testimony. For unclear reasons, he agreed to do so—but the hearings had to be moved briefly to Paris so that Mr Etete could give evidence, because he had been barred from Britain for failing to disclose his French conviction on entering the country.

Mr Etete claims he has never been more than a consultant to Malabu. If so, he is unusually hands-on. He was the company’s main negotiator and its representative in the High Court, where he admitted to being the sole signatory on its bank accounts. Indeed, there is no evidence of anyone else making decisions for Malabu.

When asked in court about others purportedly linked to the company and its record-keeping, Malabu’s company secretary, Rasky Gbinigie (who describes Mr Etete as a “family friend”), insisted that he had lost the firm’s copy of the register of shareholders and all minutes of meetings, that there was no written correspondence between him, the directors and the shareholders, and that he had no documents to verify who put up the company’s original share capital.

A not-so-secret alias

Last year Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) looked into Malabu after Mohammed Abacha, a son of the former dictator, complained that he had been a founding shareholder but had been illegally cut out. In an interim report later in the year, the commission said that one Kweku Amafegha “stood in” as a nominee director for Mr Etete. In the High Court’s hearing in Paris Mr Etete admitted that he had himself used the surname Amafegha to open accounts in the past. It was, he said, an alias that “I have always used when I go out for secret missions internationally.”

In the same hearing Mr Etete said of OPL245: “I put my blood, I put my life into this oil block”—quite a commitment for a mere consultant. Yet, when asked directly if he was its owner through Malabu, he denied it. When presented with transcripts of a recording in which he supposedly claimed that “It is my block”, he dismissed the transcripts as inaccurate.

Shell and ENI did not respond to The Economist’s questions about whom they believed to be the beneficial owner of Malabu. Whether or not they suspected it to be Mr Etete, their dealings with him were extensive. He met ENI executives repeatedly. High Court testimony indicated that Shell officials had met him as recently as December 2009, after his money-laundering conviction was upheld. In an e-mail that came out in court, a Shell man talked of having had lunch and “lots of iced champagne” with Mr Etete, who had requested figures from Shell on what it was willing to pay Malabu for the block.

ENI says it considered cutting a deal with Malabu directly, until it emerged that the firm might not have full ownership of the oil block because of “existing disputes”, including with Mr Abacha. Mr Obi testified that Shell broke off direct talks with Mr Etete for the same reason, and because he was “an impossible person to deal with”.

But the oil giants were clearly reluctant to throw in the towel. Shell was loth to walk away from a block in which it had already invested tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. (The company will not say how much.) ENI was attracted by the size of the block, the prospect of accompanying tax holidays and a waiver of the usual requirement that production revenues be shared with the national oil company.

Shell and ENI reject the suggestion that their joint purchase was a thinly disguised transaction with a dodgy brass-plate company. Shell says it made payments to the Nigerian government only and that it has acted at all times in accordance with Nigerian law. It previously said it had “not acted in any way that is outside normal global industry practice”. ENI says its payments to the government “were made in a transparent manner through an escrow arrangement with a major international bank”. That bank was JPMorgan Chase. A Lebanese bank had earlier declined to handle the payments, it emerged in court.

The companies’ claim that they bought the block from the state, not Malabu, is disingenuous, says Mr Mayne of Global Witness. It is also contradicted by Nigeria’s attorney-general, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who told a parliamentary committee last July that the companies “agreed to pay Malabu”, with the government acting as an “obligor” and “facilitator.”

The attorney-general was unusually active in helping the deal along. He held meetings with Shell, ENI and Malabu, helped to structure the final agreement and even advised on payments to middlemen, according to Mr Obi. In Nigeria it is highly unusual for an attorney-general to be so involved in a big oil deal. The lead is typically taken by the petroleum ministry, which in this case was said to be livid at being sidelined—particularly when Mr Adoke requested that it extend the deadline it had given Malabu to pay its long-owed signature bonus. Mr Adoke, it was suggested in the High Court, had been lawyer to none other than Mr Etete before serving in government. (Mr Adoke could not be reached for comment.)

Where did the money go?

The attorney-general has rejected as “without basis” claims in the Nigerian press that much of the money the government paid to Malabu in the 2011 deal was “round-tripped” back to bank accounts controlled by public officials. But where that money did end up is shrouded in mystery. Of the $1.1 billion, $800m was paid in two tranches into Malabu accounts. This was then transferred to five Nigerian companies that appear to be shells. One of these, Rocky Top Resources, received $336.5m, some of which seems to have been passed on to unknown “various persons”, according to the EFCC’s report. Some $60m went to an account controlled by Mr Etete, who has said that he received $250m in total for his role in the deal. He said in court that “Malabu shareholders decided to spend their money the way they deemed fit” and that he is investing on their behalf.

Among the listed owners of three of the recipient companies is Abubakar Aliyu, who is reported to have close business ties to a senior politician, Diepreiye Alamiesegha, the former governor of Bayelsa state. Mr Alamiesegha’s skills in escapology would impress Houdini. Detained in Britain on money-laundering charges in 2005, he jumped bail. After returning to Nigeria, he was sentenced in 2007 to two years for each of six corruption-related charges, though he served only a few hours in prison. In March 2013 he received a controversial pardon from Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president. Local press reports have made unsubstantiated allegations linking both the president and Mr Alamiesegha to the Malabu deal.

The EFCC’s report states: “Investigations conducted so far reveal a cloudy scene associated with fraudulent dealings. A prima facie case of conspiracy, breach of trust, theft anmd [sic] money laundering can be established against some real and artificial persons.” Officially, the EFCC’s investigation is still open, but a source familiar with it says that its sleuths have been discouraged by higher-ups from moving forward. However, other countries’ fraudbusters have taken an interest. At least one of the parties involved in the oil-block sale has been contacted by America’s Department of Justice.

As for the legal actions brought in London against Malabu by the middlemen, the High Court is expected to rule soon on Mr Obi’s claim for $200m. Mr Agaev’s separate arbitration case, in which he sought payment of a $65.5m “success fee”, was recently settled behind closed doors.

Shell and ENI now each own half of an attractive oil block. To get it, however, they have had to strike a deal that brings with it reputational and legal risks. They might conceivably face action under their home countries’ anti-corruption laws, if enforcers reject their claim to have dealt only with the Nigerian government, not Malabu. Shell “would obviously have preferred to secure OPL245 without going within a million miles of Malabu and Etete,” says someone who was involved in the negotiations.

Ethical dilemmas

The saga is a striking example of an ethical dilemma that is growing more acute for international oil companies. They are desperate to replace their shrinking reserves with new finds, but many of the most attractive fields are in unstable or poorly governed places. Worse, the industry has to contend with increased resource nationalism in oil-producing countries, making it harder for outsiders to secure reserves, and with greater competition from state-owned firms in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, which may not have to operate to the same ethical standards.

As a result, firms that refuse to touch any deal with the slightest whiff of impropriety risk eventually going out of business, says Peter Hughes, an energy consultant and former BP executive. They may feel that the best they can do, short of walking away, is to put as much distance as possible between them and the source of the bad smell, as Shell and ENI apparently tried to do with their two-part transaction.

How arm’s-length is arm’s-length enough? That depends on the company’s “threshold of ambiguity”, says Cory Harvey of Control Risks, which helps companies to manage political and reputational risk. This will vary from company to company and will be perceived differently by management, regulators and NGOs. Ms Harvey has seen oil-industry clients walk away from deals because of concerns about the reputation of, or lack of reliable information on, a seller or local partner. But energy transactions in difficult places can be “spectacularly complex”, she says, making it hard to gauge the acceptable level of risk. Nigeria is “arguably the most complex environment of all”.

Mr Hughes argues that when foreign companies turn a blind eye to questionable aspects of a deal, it can sometimes benefit developing countries with natural resources. The publicly traded oil majors are, on balance, a force for good, raising overall standards of behaviour by trying to operate as cleanly as possible in most circumstances, he says; better that than leaving the field to less scrupulous operators. Ethically speaking, the industry “has to be viewed in relative, not absolutist, terms,” he argues. Mr Hughes points out that Shell periodically talks of scaling back its Nigerian operations, which he believes to be “part of a political-risk management strategy” to exert pressure on the government to act more cleanly and predictably.

Global Witness prefers to see the OPL245 affair as “a lesson in corruption” that demonstrates how important it is for rich-world governments to press on with transparency initiatives, on two fronts. The first front concerns payments to governments. In the past year America and the EU have begun to require resources firms listed there, and large unlisted firms in the EU, to report, project-by-project, their payments to governments. Had this been in force at the time, it would have picked up the $1.3 billion transaction with Nigeria. This would have prompted public scrutiny of the deal and the subsequent money flows through Malabu, which in the end came to light only because the two middlemen decided to sue.

Shell says it favours greater transparency, if applied globally. It opposes the existing project-by-project initiatives because they omit companies not listed in America or Europe, thereby handing them a competitive advantage.

The second front for improving transparency concerns the use of murky corporate vehicles. Hopes are growing that the G8, which meets next week with Britain’s David Cameron in the chair, will take steps towards ending the use of anonymous shell companies. Had corporate registries been collecting, and making publicly available, information on beneficial owners back in 1998, the identity of Malabu’s owners might have been clear from the start. And it would have been much more difficult to move the proceeds of the sale to Shell and ENI into the corporate equivalent of a black hole, seemingly out of the reach even of Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission.

via Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

SHELL SPONSORED CORRUPTION OF THE IRISH POLICE


Under the circumstances, I wondered if a pilot scheme was underway in Ireland already, with Shell sponsoring the Garda? Was some foolish government official or department conned into believing that Royal Dutch Shell is reputable? If so, I would have thought the sponsorship should flow into state coffers, rather than down the throats of apparently very thirsty police officers.

EMAIL TO JUSTICE MINISTER OF IRELAND, MR ALAN SHATTER TD.

From: John Donovan <john@shellnews.net>
Subject: SHELL SPONSORED CORRUPTION OF THE IRISH POLICE
Date: 1 May 2013 19:55:39 GMT+01:00
To: INFO <info@justice.ie>
Cc: michiel.brandjes@shell.com

Dear Mr Shatter

As you may be aware, your private secretary has kindly acknowledged receipt on your behalf of three emails I have already sent to you regarding the above subject.

I listened with interest to a segment broadcast on BBC Radio 4 “PM” programme this evening of possible brand sponsorship of the UK police.

The following are extracts from a related article published earlier this evening:

Martyn Underhill, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, has held talks with a possible sponsor about an arrangement involving all five PCCs in the south west region. Writing on his blog, Mr Underhill, a former detective chief inspector for Sussex Police, said he could see “huge potential benefit to forming appropriate sponsorship relationships with reputable organisations”.

Under the circumstances, I wondered if a pilot scheme was underway in Ireland already, with Shell sponsoring the Garda?

Was some foolish government official or department conned into believing that Royal Dutch Shell is reputable?

If so, I would have thought the sponsorship should flow into state coffers, rather than down the throats of apparently very thirsty police officers.

And I have not noticed any Shell logo’s displayed on uniforms or on police cars?

Is the Shell branding operation in the pipeline?

An amusing, but unlikely explanation for all the free booze.

Mr Shatter, I have raised legitimate questions, which you have thus far apparently ignored.

Unless you are able to confirm tomorrow that you are looking into this matter, I will bring the scandal (that has wider dimensions than we have thus far revealed), to the attention of every TD. I have their email addresses and will contact them all on Thursday unless I receive something more encouraging from you than a mere acknowledgement.

Note that I am no longer using terms such as “allegations”.

I am stating on the record that Shell has engaged in a major corruption of the Irish Police.

I am astonished that Irish citizens have not yet demanded an immediate independent investigation.

Yours sincerely
John Donovan

Acting on Shell’s instructions, OSSL has distributed gifts (bribes) on Shell’s behalf to parties connected with the controversial Corrib Gas Project. This includes the Irish police force (the Garda) who have been the subject of serious accusations of wrong doing by environmental activists protesting against the project. If this statement of fact, or any of the allegations we have published on this matter since September 2012 are untrue, why have no defamation proceedings been issued against OSSL, or against us? What is the Irish Justice Ministry doing? Why no action by Shell’s Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer? How long can this disgraceful state of affairs continue? The scope of the corruption of the Irish state by Shell has yet to be revealed.

EMAILS SENT BY OSSL ON 1 MAY 2013 TO SENIOR PEOPLE AT SHELL AND SENIOR IRISH POLICE OFFICERS

From: THE OSSL COMPANY <osslbangor@hotmail.com>
Date: 1 May 2013 07:51:37 BST
To: Michael Crothers <m.crothers@shell.com>, Peter Voser <peter.p.voser@shell.com>, Michiel Brandjes <michiel.brandjes@shell.com>, john.egan@shell.com, john.gilligan@garda.ie, patrick.diskin@garda.ie, denise.horan@shell.com, Ann Hamilton <a.hamilton@shell.com>
Subject: Shell threaten small vendor in a Dublin restaurant..

A senior Shell executive from the Corrib Gas project threatened two members of a small supply company in a Dublin restaurant that “if they revealed details of cash payments to householder and supply of alcohol to local police “that he would see to it that they would “never work in the industry again”

Michael Crothers has full details ..but others in Shell say they were not aware of this until now .. Has this information been suppressed ?

CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT JOHN GILLIGAN ARE YOU LISTENING? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMPLY WITH SHELLS WISHES ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THIS SITUATION?

OSSL

Sent from my iPad

SECOND EMAIL – THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE

From: THE OSSL COMPANY <osslbangor@hotmail.com>
Date: 1 May 2013 08:22:24 BST
To: john.gilligan@garda.ie, patrick.diskin@garda.ie, Michael Crothers <m.crothers@shell.com>, john.egan@shell.com, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linda.syzmanski@shell.com
Subject: It’s not the outstanding booze money that matters …

……it’s that the conspiracy of silence has cost decent people their jobs ….if you need to know more just ask …

OSSL

Sent from my iPad

(We have deleted the identity of one recipient)

Posted in: BriberyBusiness PrinciplesCorrib Gas ProjectCorruptionGas,GoogleNewsIrelandRoyal Dutch Shell Plc.
Tagged:  ·  ·  ·  ·  · 

Shell Corrib Gas Scandal: email to Detective Chief Superintendent John Gilligan

Apr 30th, 2013 

by John Donovan

No comments yet

 

(Video: Includes a warning by Superintendent John Gilligan at 4.40 on the dangers of alcohol – amusing presentation glitch at 4.15)

“If I do not receive a response on Monday 29 April, I will assume that you do not wish to comment and I will publish this email on Tuesday. If you need more time to consider the matter, please let me know tomorrow when I can expect a reply. If there is no denial, people will be entitled to draw their own conclusions.”

From: John Donovan <john@shellnews.net>
Subject: Shell Corrib Gas Scandal: email to Detective Superintendent John Gilligan
Date: 28 April 2013 08:10:57 GMT+01:00
To: john.gilligan@garda.ie

Dear Detective Superintendent John Gilligan

As I am sure you are aware, we have over the past several several months published a series of articles (headlines below) relating to the supply by Shell E&P Ireland of free alcohol to the Irish police, on what we have described as being on an industrial scale. We understand that the legitimate retail cost in Ireland for the river of free booze could approach €100,000 euros. So it’s not small beer.

We have copies of related correspondence between Shell’s “Mr Fixit” company in Ireland – OSSL – and yourself. I refer to the letter from OSSL dated 28 February 2011 and a response letter from you dated 5 May, when you effectively declined to comment. You have been on the circulation list of a number of OSSL emails sent subsequently to Shell and other parties. As I am sure you are also well aware, I drew these matters to the attention of Alan Shatter TD, the Irish Minister of Justice early in April. Although I received acknowledgements for receipt of the information supplied, I have not heard anything further. Perhaps an investigation is underway?

The matter is obviously a serious one given the background circumstances, with allegations that the Garda has acted as an offshoot of Shell security in policing protests against the controversial Corrib Gas Project. You will be aware of the serious related accusations against the Garda made by some protestors.

Since OSSL claim that you have had a hand in these matters, and bearing in mind the articles we have published without receiving any comment from involved parties, other than OSSL, I thought it appropriate to offer you the right to reply?

If you wish to take up this invitation, anything you have to say will be published on an unedited basis.

If I do not receive a response on Monday 29 April, I will assume that you do not wish to comment and I will publish this email on Tuesday.

If you need more time to consider the matter, please let me know tomorrow when I can expect a reply.

If there is no denial, people will be entitled to draw their own conclusions.

Yours sincerely

John Donovan

HEADLINES THUS FAR

More allegations about Shell Corrib Gas Project: 19 April 2013

Irish Police corruption, booze and violence sponsored by Shell?: 16 April 2013

Alleged Shell Irish Bribes Scandal: 15 April 2013

Mystery surrounding OSSL alleged Shell Corruption Scandal: 12 April 2013

Shell corruption scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale?: 6 April 2013

Alleged Shell Irish Police Corruption Saga Rumbles On: 5 April 2013

Alleged Shell corruption surrounding Corrib Gas Project: 4 April 2013

ALLEGED CORRUPTION OF THE IRISH POLICE BY SHELL: 31 March 2013

The danger of getting into bed with Shell: 31 March 2013

OSSL, SHELL AND ALLEGED CORRUPTION: 29 March 2013

Shell Accused of Corrupting Irish Police Force: 28 March 2013

Beware of a man in a Shell Hat: 5 March 2013

Shell EP Ireland mired in corruption allegations: 22 February 2013

Shell Corrib Gas Project mired in corruption allegations: 22 Jan 2013

Corrib Gas Project Engulfed in Corruption Allegations: 12 November 2012

Shell Corrib Gas Project Corruption Scandal: 11 October 2012

Shell Corruption Conspiracy in Corrib Gas Project: 8 October 2012

Shell instructed Corrib Gas Project supplier to falsify invoices?: 18 Sept 2012

Irish Supplier Accuses Shell of Bribery, Cover-up and Sinister Threats: 10 Sept 2012

Shell Corrib Gas Project Corruption and Cover-up Allegations: 10 Sept 2012

via Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com.

via Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com.

Shell corruption scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale?


“OSSL management seems to be so disgusted by Shell management that they appear set on a self-destruct mission. The two main possibilities appear to be that they are either responsible for manufacturing forged documents as part of an attempt to put pressure on Shell, or have been drawn by Shell into a corruption conspiracy/scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale.”

JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO PRIVATE SECRETARY OF IRISH JUSTICE MINISTER, MR ALAN SHATTER

From: John Donovan <john@shellnews.net>

Subject: Re: Alleged Corruption of Irish Police Force

Date: 6 April 2013 16:38:12 GMT+01:00

To: INFO <info@justice.ie>

Dear Mr Brennan

I do apologise for sending this further email but OSSL contacted me again this morning. As a result I have supplied three additional items of purported evidence that I have not seen before, that should be brought to the attention of Mr. Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice and Equality.

1. A copy of  a purported testimonial letter about OSSL dated 8 August 2012 purportedly from Mr. Michiel Crothers, Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland Limited.

2. A copy of a purported letter marked “Strictly Private & Confidential” dated 28 February 2011 from The OSSL Company to Garda Superintendent Mr. John Gilligan. The author was purportedly Mr. Desmond Kane. The letter, if authentic, discussed the purchase and delivery of festive gifts to the Garda and claims that the gifts were purchased by OSSL on behalf of Shell E&P Ireland. According to the purported letter: “At Shell’s insistence these gifts came with a high degree of confidentiality, which we have adhered to until this very day.”

3. A purported letter dated 5 May 2011 to Mr. Kane at The OSSL Company from Superintendent John Gilligan, which may be in response to the above OSSL letter.

I pointed out yesterday that although the allegations appear to be outlandish (and may be unfounded), Shell has a track record of giving improper gifts, including alcohol, to federal employees. I supplied the relevant official investigation report by The Office of The inspector General of the US Department of the Interior.

I now recall other corruption scandals involving Royal Dutch Shell.

The first is, in one respect, even closer in nature to the current allegations, in so far as Shell using a sub-contractor to bribe government officials of a host country – in this example, Nigeria.

Shell to pay $48m Nigerian bribe fine: Daily Telegraph 4 November 2010

Extract

These companies, including Shell, admitted they “approved of or condoned the payment of bribes on their behalf in Nigeria and falsely recorded the bribe payments made on their behalf as legitimate business expenses in their corporate books, records and accounts”.

SHELL IN BRIBERY FINE: Daily Express 6 November 2010

Extract

Shell must pay a $30million “criminal penalty” over charges it paid $2million to a sub-contractor “with the knowledge that some or all of the money” would be used to bribe Nigerian officials to allow equipment into the country without paying duty. Shell, which has not admitted guilt, must pay a further $18million to repay profits and interests.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Cease and Desist Order: Shell Corruption in Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell fulfilled a money-laundering role in the Al-Yamamah “oil for arm” corruption scandal that was being investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office until Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped in and terminated the investigation on spurious grounds of national security.

Executive Intelligence Review: Scandal of the Century Rocks British Crown and the City: June 22, 2007

The al-Yamamah deal: The Guardian: 7 June 2007

BAE lands arms deal for a new generation: The Telegraph: 19 August 2006

BAE rejects calls for fresh Saudi investigation: The Telegraph 3 February 2013

Shell’s involvement in the cited corruption scandals obviously does not mean that it is guilty of the allegations made by OSSL.

It does however mean that Shell has prior form.

The new alleged evidence can be viewed here (See Below)

OSSL management seems to be so disgusted by Shell management that they appear set on a self-destruct mission. The two main possibilities appear to be that they are either responsible for manufacturing forged documents as part of an attempt to put pressure on Shell, or have been drawn by Shell into a corruption conspiracy/scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale.

Shell’s partners in the Corrib Gas Project must be concerned that the lead partner, Shell, has allowed this matter to drag on.

Yours sincerely

John Donovan

via Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com.

via Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com.

UN Special Rapporteur calls for full investigation of Corrib Human Rights issues


In a report submitted to the UN Human Right Council last Monday (4th March), the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sekaggya, called on the Irish Government to “Investigate all allegation and reports of intimidation, harassment and surveillance in the context of the Corrib Gas dispute in a prompt and impartial manner”.  [1] 

Mrs Margaret Sekaggya visited Ireland last November to assess the situation for Human Rights Defenders in Ireland. On the 21st of November she met with a delegation from Shell to Sea.[2]

The report stated that evidence that Mrs Sekaggya received indicated “the existence of a pattern of intimidation, harassment, surveillance and criminalization of those peacefully opposing the Corrib Gas project…. The information received seemed to indicate that the policing of the protests had been, in some instances, disproportionate. Moreover, there have also been serious concerns about the lawfulness of certain actions by the private security firm employed by Shell.”

The Special Rapporteur also noted the use of the Public Order Act in a manner which could, in her opinion, “undermine the right to protest”.

Commenting on the report Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated “All reports to date have consistently found failings in the policing of Corrib.  We welcome Mrs Sekaggya’s call for an impartial investigation, which we believe can only be satisfied by competent people outside the State”

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway commented “None of the complaints that have been submitted to the Garda Ombudsman have been properly addressed.  This means that Gardaí are still not being held accountable for their actions.  We believe that the Garda Ombudsman should be disbanded, and a proper oversight body be established.”

NOTES:

[1]  Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya – Mission to Ireland

[2] Shell to Sea meet UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.

http://www.shelltosea.com/content/shell-sea-meet-un-special-rapporteur-human-rights-defenders

via UN Special Rapporteur calls for full investigation of Corrib Human Rights issues | Shell to Sea.

via UN Special Rapporteur calls for full investigation of Corrib Human Rights issues | Shell to Sea.

Shell Environmental Crimes in Brazil


Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-16.28.57

We were recently contacted by an association representing former workers at a Shell/Basf Chemicals factory in Brazil.

Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-17.09.18

 

The factory was built in 1977 by Shell. Dozens of former employees of the plant have been diagnosed with prostate, thyroid and other types of cancer, circulatory, liver and intestinal illnesses, as well as infertility and sexual impotence.

 

In August 2010, the two companies were ordered to pay a total of 490 million euros in fines and damages for the workers exposure to toxic substances. The defendant companies have appealed to successively higher courts, initially trying to get the verdict overturned and after that failed, are seeking to have the awarded sum reduced.  This process is dragging on with no end in sight. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants have influence in high places.

 

The workers cannot afford to travel to the Shell AGM to make their case and would like to know if any sympathetic, articulate Shell shareholder of high principle, would kindly offer to raise the matter on their behalf.  One person in particular comes to mind as a candidate.

 

We have now received a PowerPoint presentation for which a non-professional translation of several pages has been kindly provided:

Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-17.20.41

Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-17.06.35

Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-17.11.46

Screen-Shot-2012-04-28-at-16.28.57

Shell Environmental Crimes in Brazil | Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

via Shell Environmental Crimes in Brazil | Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

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