Former Afren bosses face fraud charges after collapse

Former Afren chief executive Osman Shahenshah, Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Former CEO Osman Shahenshah, one of two Afren executives facing charges

Two former executives of the collapsed oil firm Afren are facing money laundering and fraud charges.

Former chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

It follows a two-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Afren, once valued on the FTSE 250 index at £2.6bn, collapsed in 2015 after the oil price slump and the failure of an Iraqi Kurdistan project.

The two men face four charges related to payments they received through secret companies that were linked to £298m ($400m) worth of Nigerian business deals.

It is being claimed that the alleged fraud led to the collapse of Afren which is now in administration.

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

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

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