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Oil services firm admits making corruption payments

Drilling operations in Kazakhstan

An oil services firm has admitted making corrupt payments to secure contracts in Kazakhstan.

Aberdeen-based International Tubular Services (ITS) benefited from bribes made by a former employee to procure work from a customer in the oil-rich central Asian country, prosecutors said.

The corruption was uncovered when the engineering company was being sold last year and the Crown Office said today its civil recovery unit had seized £172,000 under proceeds of crime laws.

US firm Parker Drilling acquired ITS in a £82 million deal in April 2013.

ITS itself reported the illegal payments to the Crown Office in November that year and has since implemented “comprehensive anti-bribery policies and training”, prosecutors said.

The cash recovered represents the total profit made under the corrupt contract in Kazakhstan and will go to the Scottish Government for public spending.

Linda Hamilton, head of the civil recovery unit at the Crown Office, said: “Bribery and corruption undermines legitimate businesses and can harm economic development, and we are committed to tackling it wherever it is found.

“In appropriate circumstances, the self-reporting initiative allows for companies to accept their involvement in corrupt practices, put in place effective systems to prevent it from recurring, and repay the illegitimate profits.

“In this case, we have recovered over £170,000 from ITS, which will be transferred to the Scottish Government to be reinvested back into Scottish communities.”

The self-reporting scheme was launched in July 2011 when the Bribery Act 2010 came into force.

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