Business Julius Berger Bags N5.1bn Fine for Bribing Corrupt Nigerian Officials

The United States Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have confirmed that Julius Berger and its foreign affiliate, Bilfinger SE have agreed to pay a fine N5.1 billion ($32m) for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), by bribing corrupt Nigerian officials to obtain and retain contracts.

The US justice department had filed a three-count criminal information in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas charging Bilfinger with violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.

Court documents revealed that from late 2003 through June 2005, Bilfinger conspired with Willbros Group Inc. and others to make payments totaling more than $6 million to corrupt Nigerian government officials to assist in obtaining and retaining contracts related to the Eastern Gas Gathering System (EGGS) project. The EGGS project is valued at $387 million.

In a bid to quietly resolve the corruption charges filed against it, Bilfinger entered into an agreement with the US Justice department. They agreed to resolve the charges by entering into a deferred prosecution agreement for a term of three years, they also agreed to the monetary penalty plus Bilfinger agreed to implement rigorous internal controls, continue cooperating fully with the department, and retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for at least 18 months.

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