NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen 'corruption case' oil firm Abbot Group to pay £5.6m

An Aberdeen-based oil and gas company has agreed to hand over £5.6m after it admitted benefiting from corrupt payments.

Abbot Group reported itself to the Crown Office after doubts were raised about the legality of an overseas deal.

The £5.6m payment to the Civil Recovery Unit represents the profits made during the deal.

Abbot Group, which has since changed ownership, investigated itself and then reported the findings to prosecutors.

Ruaraidh Macniven, head of the Civil Recovery Unit, said: "Abbot is the first company to have met the strict criteria of the self-reporting initiative since it was introduced in 2011."

Louise Andrew, general counsel at Abbot Group, said: "None of the personnel who were involved in those payments remain with the group.

"We are deeply disappointed this improper payment took place.

"KCA Deutag (the trading name of Abbot Group Limited) is committed to anti-bribery compliance and creating a corporate culture in which bribery has no place."

The money will now be invested in the Scottish government's CashBack for Communities Programme helping sporting, cultural and community projects for young people.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said it was the second largest Civil Recovery Unit success in Scotland.

The largest was the Anatoly Kazachkov case, in which £6.5m was recovered in 2010.

The Moscow-based businessman was connected to a suspicious bank transfer of $10m from an account in Hungary to a Scottish bank in 2004.

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