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Former Afren execs to face fraud charges

Afren scandals deepen.
Afren

The former executives of collapsed oil firm Afren are facing money laundering and fraud charges following a two-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Former chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah will appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday over payments they received through secret companies that were linked to 400 million (£298 million) worth of Nigerian business deals.

It is being claimed that the alleged fraud led to the collapse of the FTSE 250 firm in 2015, which failed amid an oil price crash that saw the cost of crude tumble more than 60%.

Mr Shahenshah – who was sacked alongside three other directors over gross misconduct back in 2014 – and Mr Ullah will be charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, and two separate counts of money laundering.

It follows a two-year investigation by the SFO, which was launched after the company fell into administration.

The SFO said that Afren’s administrators AlixPartners are seeking damages worth more than 500 million (£373 million) from Mr Shahenshah, Mr Ullah and one of their Nigerian associates, in related civil claims.

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