27 February 2009 | Andy Allen
US engineering firm Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) has agreed to pay a fine of $402 million (£282 million), as well as civil penalties, after admitting bribing officials to win a $6 billion (£4.2 billion) contract in Nigeria.
KBR participated in a decade-long scheme to obtain engineering procurement and construction contracts for a liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny Island, Nigeria.
The engineering firm must pay a civil penalty of $177 million (£124.6 million) jointly with its former parent company - oil services giant Halliburton - which relates to profits made as a result of the bribery.
This fine is the second biggest ever imposed for bribery, after last year's
$800 million (£563 million) US settlement by Siemens for a long-running corruption and bribery scandal.
KBR was part of a joint venture with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that was awarded four contracts between 1995 and 2004.
Payments of $132 million (£93 million) and $50 million (£35 million), which KBR admitted were intended in part to be used as bribes, had been made through intermediaries located in Gibraltar
KBR agreed to hire an independent auditor for a three-year period to design and monitor a programme to help make sure the company complied with anti-corruption laws.
Describing the case as "unfortunate and regrettable" KBR stressed no current employees had been involved.