An Italian judge found on Monday that oil groups Eni and Royal Dutch Shell were fully aware that their 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield would result in corrupt payments to Nigerian politicians and officials.
Italy’s Eni and Shell bought the OPL 245 offshore field for about $1.3 billion (1.03 billion pounds) in a deal that spawned one of the industry’s largest corruption scandals. It is alleged that about $1.1 billion of the total was siphoned to agents and middlemen.
The Milan judge made the comment in giving her written reasons for the September conviction of Nigerian Emeka Obi and Italian Gianluca Di Nardo, both middlemen in the OPL 245 deal, for corruption. The pair were jailed for four years.