The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating oil services company Petrofac for suspected “bribery, corruption and money laundering”.
The independent government watchdog has confirmed that the firm, its subsidiaries, and their officers, employees and agents are now under investigation.
Petrofac said it is aware of the new investigation, which is in connection with a historic probe into dealings at the Ahsani family run Unaoil.
Petrofac engaged Unaoil, a Monaco based company, for the provision of local consultancy services primarily in Kazakhstan between 2002 and 2009.
Ayman Asfari, chief executive officer, and Marwan Chedid, chief operating officer, of Petrofac have been questioned under caution by the SFO. The company said it is cooperating with the authorities.
A statement from the SFO said: “The SFO confirms that it is investigating the activities of Petrofac plc, its subsidiaries, and their officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering.
“This investigation is related to the SFO’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil.”
In August last year Petrofac claimed an internal investigation into its board relating to historical provision of services by Unaoil found no wrongdoing of any director.
In a statement released at the time the firm said no evidence was found that directors were aware of alleged misconduct.
No evidence was found in the independent investigation at the time confirming any payment of bribes.
The investigation was carried out by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with the support of forensic accountants from KPMG.
The findings were to be shared with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and other relevant authorities.