[Ed. note: Mary provides some background on what may be up with Nigeria’s announced plan to charge Dick Cheney.]
… ready to sue your Vice President. Please send 130 Million Dollars by reply mail to …”
After the news about charges against Dick Cheney relating to the Nigerian bribery scandal it may be worthwhile to sip some coffee and swap clues on what the heck might (or might not) be going on. Let’s start with a little background on one sliver of a very complicated matter.
In 1995-2004, KBR was involved in a joint venture in Nigeria that included KBR/Halliburton; a Dutch subsidiary Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V/Italian parent ENI S.p.A. (aka Snamprogetti, ENI), a Paris-based oilfield engineering company Technip S.A., and a Japanese company, JGC. The joint venture set up some special purpose corporations (not that unusual when companies joint venture) in Portugal (okay, maybe they don’t always use Portugal). The business entities and structures are pretty much oversimplified here, but since these pretty much track the pleas deals the Department of Justice worked out, let’s not make it more complicated.
This joint venture wanted to split up some liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts in Nigeria that were going to be worth around $6 billion to them. Those kinds of big contract almost always get split up, for various (and some actually pretty darn good) reasons. When the “TSKJ” group was trying to get the liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts, their bidding rival was another consortium, BCSA (Bechtel, Chiyoda, Spibat, Ansaldo).
Not to jump around, but for context, you need to know how the Nigeria scandal (arrangements to bribe Nigerian officials to get the LNG contract) was “exposed.” A former “Director General” of Technip, Georges Krammer, was accused of wrongdoing in a different deal (involving France’s Elf) and argued that he was just following company policy. Supposedly, Technip hung him out to dry and he decided to return the favor by offering up info against Technip, regarding deals that included the Nigerian LNG bribes. .
When the French began investigating, the Swiss and US and Nigeria also started investigations. If, by investigation, you mean the thing that happens when you throw a hunk of raw meat into a pen of well fed dogs and see which one grabs it and growls loudest, whether it plans on doing anything much with it or not. Read more