Police forces confirm documents in Tullow Oil bribery case were forged


Two police forces have confirmed that documents used to support claims that Irish exploration group Tullow Oil bribed Ugandan government ministers and officials were forged, and the allegations themselves are baseless.

Last year, Ugandan politician Gerald Karuhanga presented documents to the country’s parliament claiming that Tullow paid millions of dollars in bribes to government ministers Amama Mbabazi, Sam Kutesa and Hillary Onek, in exchange for oil concessions.

Yesterday, at a meeting of a Ugandan parliamentary committee, Tullow produced statements from both the Maltese and London Metropolitan police forces saying that the allegations were without foundation.

Their inquiries also found the documents used were not authentic. Tullow has always maintained the papers were forgeries.

Originally it was claimed that Tullow paid millions of dollars to the three ministers and a company called East Africa Development Ltd through accounts in the Bank of Valletta in Malta, EFG Private Bank in London and a branch of Bank of New York Mellon.

A sworn letter from Insp Maurice Curni of Malta confirmed that Tullow has no accounts with the Bank of Valletta. A letter from Det Sgt George Simpson of the London Metropolitan police confirmed that EFG Bank in Britain had no accounts relevant to the investigation. BARRY O’HALLORAN