Bribe admission

By Chris Sleight27 February 2008

A former executive with US pipeline contractor Willbros Group has pleaded guilty to charges of corruption. Jason Steph admitted to a court in Texas, US that he was involved in paying bribes of more than US$ 6 million to help win work in Nigeria.

Mr Steph, who faces up to five years in jail and a US$ 0.25 million fine said he and two other consultants working for Willbros, along with two employees of an unnamed German company agreed to pay the bribes in 2003. The recipients were employees of Nigeria's state–owned National Petroleum Corporation and a Nigerian government official.

The payments were designed to secure the contract to build a major gas pipeline. Willbros has since sold the business to Ascot Offshore.

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