Dutch law firm seeks criminal case against Shell and its CEO over OPL 245

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A Dutch law firm has asked the public prosecutor in the Netherlands to file a case against Royal Dutch Shell, its CEO and former executives over what it says were criminal actions relating to a 2011 oilfield purchase of oil prospecting licence (OPL) 245 in Nigeria, Reuters reports.

The Dutch authorities are already investigating the oilfield deal, alongside Italian prosecutors, who want to take Shell and Italy’s Eni to trial over alleged corruption on the same oilfield. Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing. Shell said on Tuesday it did not believe there was any basis to prosecute the company or any current or former employee.

Prakken d‘Oliveira, a law firm specialising in human rights cases, filed its request in September on behalf of Global Witness and other clients, asking the prosecutor to charge Shell, as well as its Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden, former CEO Peter Voser and former Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry.