Quick read: The Afren scandal and the banks that let it happen
Euromoney, is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024
Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Quick read: The Afren scandal and the banks that let it happen

A recent criminal trial in London has revealed how banking negligence enabled a multi-million dollar fraud at the now defunct oil company Afren. Read on for a guide to Olivier Holmey’s feature in the February issue of Euromoney examining the errors made and what the financial sector can learn from them.

1. Avenues to greater wealth

Not content with their Afren wages, Osman Shahenshah and Shahid Ullah, the company’s former chief executive and chief operating officer, conceived of two schemes to achieve greater personal wealth. The two men secretly negotiated with the bosses of Afren’s Nigerian business partners, Oriental Energy Resources and Amni International Petroleum, in the hope that either or both of them would add to their fortune. The Oriental scheme eventually delivered millions of dollars in undeclared revenue to Shahenshah and Ullah. Read more… 

2. The search for a bank begins

Sourcing the money was only a first step in the fraud. To retrieve the illicit funds, the oil executives still had to launder them. For that they required the services of an international bank. But finding one was no simple task, as due diligence thwarted their efforts. Read more… 

3. 'Constantly thinking, strategizing, contemplating'

The fraudsters did not give up. They approached more financial institutions and attempted new ways to deceive their counterparties. One person assisting them in their search for a bank complained that the task’s complexity required “constantly thinking, strategizing, contemplating”.

Gift this article