In what the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is calling a first, a £4.4 million recovery from a corruption case will be returned overseas. The SFO prevailed in a trial before the UK High Court and recovered the money from Chadian diplomats, including the wife of the former Deputy Chief of the Chadian Embassy to the United States who was received the money in the form of discounted shares of a Canadian oil company. The company also paid “consultancy fees” to diplomats through a front company called “Chad Oil” set up five days before the agreements with the diplomats. In exchange for the payments, the company received exclusive development rights in Chad.
The case has continued for some time—the company paid a C$10 million criminal fine in Canada in 2013. After the company was taken over by a UK corporation, the U.S. DOJ filed an In Rem. complaint and later requested SFO assistance.
This recovery will be “transferred to the Department for International Development who will identify key projects to invest in that will benefit the poorest in Chad.”