Geneva Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the Chief Executive Officer of Addax Petroleum, Geneva operations, Zhang Yi, over allegations of crime in the company’s business in Nigeria, it was learnt.

Although the details of his offense are being kept secret by the company, the management of Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited confirmed he was being investigated.

According to Reuters report, a criminal procedure has also been opened against the company – bought by China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner in 2009 – prosecutor’s spokesman Henri della Casa said.

It said the chief executive officer and legal director of Addax Petroleum in Geneva have both been arrested and charged with suspected bribery of foreign officials, the spokesman for the canton’s prosecutor said.

“I can confirm that the Geneva prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into bribery of foreign officials and that the company Addax and its director-general and legal director are the subject of it,” della Casa said.

“Le Temps quoted Saverio Lembo, a Geneva lawyer for Addax CEO Zhang Yi, as saying: “My client vigorously contests the charges against him. He plans to defend himself. For the rest, we will not comment on the procedure under way,” Reuters said.

The Communications Representative, Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Mr. Michael Owhoko ‘who confirmed the story in a statement yesterday said’ Addax Petroleum confirms that a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office in relation to allegations focusing primarily on the Company’s business in Nigeria. Addax Petroleum is taking this matter very seriously and will be responding appropriately to the investigation.”

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