Saturday 25 September 2021 8:55 am

Petrofac cuts plea deal with UK's serious fraud watchdog

Oil services group Petrofac has cut a plea deal with the UK’s fraud watchdog in a bid to bring a close to a long-standing inquiry.

The London-listed group has been at the centre of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) inquiry into suspected bribery, money laundering and corruption.

Petrofac plead guilty to seven separate charges of failing to prevent bribery in the Middle East, the SFO said in a statement.

The oil services group awaits its next hearing on Monday at Southark Crown Court.  

In January, the group’s former global head of sales David Lufkin pleaded guilty to another three counts of bribery in charges brought against him by SFO.

Lufkin offered and paid bribes of around $30m between 2012 and 2018 to steer contracts toward his employer Petrofac in the United Arab Emirates worth approximately $3.3bn, Westminster Magnistrates Court heard.

The charges earlier this year were in addition to eleven charges of bribery already brought by the SFO, to which Lufkin pleaded guilty in February 2019. 

They also related to bribes offered or paid to steer the award of contracts to Petrofac in Iraq worth in excess of $730m and in Saudi Arabia worth in excess of $3.5bn.