Petrofac suspended its group chief operating officer amid UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations related to its dealings with Unaoil, the company said on Thursday.
Marwan Chedid was suspended until further notice, leading to his resignation from the board, a statement on Petrofac’s website said. The suspension does not reflect any assumptions on the outcome of an investigation by SFO, the petroleum company said, without stating an alternative reason for the suspension.
Unaoil is a Monaco-based family business, providing industrial solutions to the oil and gas industry in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, is under criminal investigations by SFO. In July last year, reports in an Australian newspaper The Age, suggested Unaoil was used by a number of companies to secure contracts around the world. Unaoil has called the allegations against it “malicious and damaging”.
Petrofac’s CEO Ayman Asfari will continue in its role but not be involved in any matters connected to the investigation and will have no role or responsibilities for engaging with or liaising with agents and consultants, it said.
Petrofac also said it would establish a committee on its board to deal with the SFO and manage the company’s response to the investigation. It will be made up of the chairman, non-executive directors and the chief finance officer.
Chairman Rijnhard van Tets said: “These decisions signal the Board’s determination to cooperate fully with the SFO and its investigation, whilst ensuring Petrofac continues to deliver for its clients.”
Earlier in May, SFO told Petrofac it is investigating the companies’ activities and officers, employees and agents related to the office’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil.