Niko Resources agrees to $9.5 million fine for bribery

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 27 -- Niko Resources Ltd. has agreed to pay nearly $9.5 million as punishment for bribing a Bangladeshi government official in 2005, an act referred to as a "dark stain" on Calgary’s reputation as a leader of Canada's oil industry.

"The fact that a Calgary-headquartered oil and gas company bribed a foreign government official is a dark stain on Calgary's proud reputation as an energy capital of Canada," said Justice Scott Brooker as he upheld a plea agreement between Niko and the Crown.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Niko pleaded guilty to one count of bribery under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

The agreed statement of facts includes a recommendation on sentencing, which was accepted by the Court. The sentence includes a fine of $8.26 million and an additional 15% victim fine surcharge.

In addition, the sentence includes a probation order, which puts Niko under the Court’s supervision for the next 3 years to ensure audits are done to ensure Niko’s compliance with the CFPOA. The costs of compliance with the probation order will be borne by Niko.

The charge refers to two specific incidents in 2005: the provision of a vehicle for the personal use of the then-Bangladeshi energy minister, valued at $190,984; and the provision of travel costs to the same minister to attend an Energy Expo in Calgary and a subsequent personal trip to New York, valued at $5,000.

“What happened was wrong. We acknowledge this. We accept responsibility, and we appreciate the seriousness of the actions,” said Niko Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Sampson.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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