The Niko Resources Ltd. pleaded guilty to charges of bribing a public official in Bangladesh, under Canada's Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”). The company operates in natural gas and oil exploration and development in a number of regions, including India, Bangladesh, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Pakistan.
In January 2009, the company was notified by Canadian authorities that they were the subject of a formal investigation into allegations of improper payments for the provision of a vehicle for the personal use of the then-Bangladeshi Energy Minister, valued at $190,000; and payments covering travel costs of the same minister to attend an Energy Expo in Calgary and a subsequent personal trip to New York, valued at $5,000.
The company cooperated with the investigation, and pleaded guilty to one count of bribery under the CFPOA. The sentence included a fine of $9.5 million and a probation order, which put the company under court supervision for the next three years to ensure compliance audits are completed.