France Launches Probe into Total Contract

French judges have reportedly opened a corruption probe into French oil group Total's activities in Libya during the Gaddafi regime.

According to Expatica France, a September 2009 payment of $9.8 million that Total made to the Liechtenstein-based North Global Oil and Gas Company (NGOC) was a first downpayment on what was planned as a much bigger kickback to one or more officials.

Investigators believe that NGOC was controlled by Ziad Takieddine, a Franco-Lebanese businessman who, it is claimed, had close links to the regime.

At the time of the payment, Total was attempting to secure the rights to a major gasfield. The negotiations were never concluded and finally abandoned in 2011 due to the revolution.

(Source: Expatica France)

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