Afren suspends CEO, COO over corruption allegations

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Afren plc has announced that its Board has temporarily suspended the CEO, Osman Shahenshah and the COO, Shahid Ullah over corruption allegations.

Afren says that the two have been identified as having received unauthorized payments potentially for their own benefit.

“In the course of an independent review on the Board’s behalf by Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP of the potential need for disclosure of certain previous transactions to the market, evidence has been identified of the receipt of unauthorized payments potentially for the benefit of the CEO and COO. These payments were not made by the Company.” Read a statement from the company.

The investigations according to the company have however found no evidence that any other Board members were involved.

“No conclusive findings have yet been reached and the investigation is ongoing.”

Following the suspension of Osman and Shahid senior Independent Director Egbert Imomoh has been appointed as the interim CEO as the investigations continue.

The board of Afren has also postponed the publication of the Company’s Half Year Results due on 4th August 2014 even as it insist that this will negatively affect the Company’s stated financial and operational position.

The company now says it will announce in due course a new date for the half year results, which will be no later than the end of August.

The Board adds that it has notified the relevant regulatory authorities that the review is taking place and will update the market as appropriate.

Afren has operations in 10 African countries and the Middle East. In Eastern Africa the company has operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles.

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