US alleges more South America oil corruption. This time in Colombia. (UPDATED)

Bloomberg has the story.

Two former co-chief executive officers of PetroTiger Ltd. paid bribes to an official atEcopetrol SA (ECOPETL), Colombia’s state-controlled oil company, for a $39.6 million oil-service contract, the U.S. charged.

The co-CEOs funneled payments through the wife of an official at Ecopetrol, Latin America’s second-largest oil company by market value, authorities said.

Plenty more where that came from.

And here, yours for no extra fee (since I already paid the fee and I believe in the freedom), the prosecution description of the cases against:
Gregory Weisman
Joseph Seligman
Knut Hammarskjold

As usual, innocent until proved guilty, and I’ll update the tale as more info arrives.

Now let’s see if the allegedly corrupt Colombian official takes any heat. Because if he took one bribe to approve a contract, it’s hard to believe it was the only time that happened. I bet he has some interesting e-mails laying about.

Update at midnight: W Radio cites our friends at Primera Página in this long story explaining what it thinks went down, in detail, in Spanish.

2 thoughts on “US alleges more South America oil corruption. This time in Colombia. (UPDATED)

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      I suspect you’re right. Here’s what I think, without any special information. It sounds as though the investors in PetroTiger figured out that the executives were ripping them off, agreeing to an excessive price for the purchase of an asset and then taking some of that money as personal kickbacks. I think the investors reported the executives to US authorities, who then got a warrant for e-mails. The e-mails, in turn, showed this additional bribery issue. That’s just my guess.

      What’s tantalizing here is that it appears to show that the Ecopetrol official in charge of approving this sort of deal is able to accept bribes without any consequences in Colombia. That’s very interesting, as most of the foreign companies operating in Colombia are Canadian, Venezuelan, Argentine — that is, they come from podunk countries that never prosecute overseas corruption. It would be terribly interesting if Colombian authorities were to get a similar e-mail warrant on that official. But that’s not likely to happen.

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