Petrofac suspends COO amidst fraud investigation
Petrofac, the international oil and gas facilities service provider, has suspended its chief operating office, Marwan Chedid, until further notice following Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the company related to Unaoil and other agents.
Marwan Chedid has resigned from the board as a consequence of the suspension.
The company’s board made a number of decisions to ensure Petrofac can retain its focus on its operations and clients, whilst also ensuring the company is able to continue to engage with the SFO’s investigation.
A committee of the board has been established to be solely responsible for the company’s engagement with the SFO and to oversee the company’s response to their investigation.
Petrofac added in its statement that Ayman Asfari will continue as chief executive officer, however, to ensure full separation of operational duties and the investigation, he will not be involved in any matters connected to the investigation, and will have no role or responsibilities for engaging with or liaising with agents and consultants.
On May 12, 2017 the SFO confirmed that it is investigating the activities of Petrofac, its subsidiaries, and their officers, employees and agents.
The investigation is related to the SFO’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil. Ayman Asfari and Marwan Chedid were arrested, questioned under caution by the SFO, and were released without charge, Petrofac’s statement reads.
During 2016 the Board of Petrofac commissioned an independent investigation, with the support of external advisors, into allegations in the media in relation to Unaoil, sharing its findings with the SFO. However, SFO informed Petrofac it does not accept those findings.