MONITOR wire services--
oil company, once operated by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, admitted May 9 that one of its foreign subsidiaries paid $2.4 million in bribes to a Nigerian government official to secure tax breaks.
Texas-based Halliburton said it has "terminated several employees" and that it plans "to take further action to ensure [its] foreign subsidiary [Kellogg Brown and Root] pays all taxes owed in Nigeria, which may be as much as an additional $5 million."
Kellogg Brown and Root is building a liquified natural gas plant and an offshore oil and gas facility in Nigeria.
Bribes were made in 2001 and 2002. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000, when he left to join George W. Bush's White House campaign.
The firm says that while it was auditing Kellogg Brown and Root, it discovered the subsidiary had made the "improper payments" to an official who claimed to be a tax consultant but actually worked for a local tax authority.
Halliburton said its code of business conduct and internal control procedures were "essential" to the way it ran its business.
The Security and Exchange Commission is also examining how Halliburton booked and disclosed cost overruns on construction contracts beginning in 1998, when Dick Cheney was head of the company. Cheney has not been contacted by the SEC, according to wire services.
May 15, 2003 (http://www.albionmonitor.net) All Rights Reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use in any format.
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