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UK construction firm MW Kellogg admits bribery charge

A UK construction firm last week confessed to committing bribery by paying Nigerian Government officials for contracts worth more than $6bn (£3.4bn).

The former chief executive officer of London-based MW Kellogg Albert "Jack" Stanley pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a decade-long scheme to bribe officials to award contracts to a four company joint venture (JV) to design and build liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The Nigerian Government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was the largest shareholder of Nigeria LNG, which awarded four different contracts between 1995 and 2004 to a JV that included MW Kellogg and later on its US parent firm KBR (formerly know as Kellogg Brown & Root).

Stanley admitted that the JV paid agents over £100M which he intended would partly be used to bribe the officials in exchange for the contracts. He now faces up to seven years in prison and a £6.1M restitution payment.

In the UK the Serious Fraud Office said its investigations, working with the City of London police, into related bribery and corruption allegations against Kellogg, Brown & Root were ongoing.

Meanwhile, in other corruption allegations, the Office of Fair Trading confirmed that it is still looking into cover pricing accusations against 112 England construction firms following one of its largest ever Competition Act investigations.

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