Family of Petrofac co-founder denies posthumous bribery allegations
The family of Maroun Semaan, who co-founded Petrofac, issued a statement denying posthumous accusations of bribery
The family of Maroun Semaan, the co-founder of Petrofac, has issued a statement denying his involvement in bribery. He was named among other Petrofac executives by David Lufkin, who admitted in early February to 11 counts of bribery as part of the UK Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) wider investigation into the company.
The statement by Semaan's family followed media reports which claimed that Semaan was accused of bribery by the SFO, which a family spokesperson said was incorrect, based upon a confidential SFO document which named Semaan, among others, despite there being no charges of conspiracy against Lufkin. Semaan's family noted that Lufkin was charged with bribery, but he "has not been charged with conspiracy, yet he has named a number of Petrofac executives."
The statement by Semaan’s family, released by disputes and crisis counsel Pagefield Global, is written as follows:
“Following media inquiries, the family of deceased Petrofac International co-founder Maroun Semaan has expressed deep concern that individuals implicated in a bribery scandal may be seeking to shift blame to him.
A confidential document purportedly from the SFO was drawn up after former Petrofac senior manager David Lufkin indicated he would plead guilty. Lufkin has not been charged with conspiracy yet he has named a number of Petrofac executives.
Maroun Semaan was not charged with any offence and is one of a number of names mentioned in this document.
The family believe that the media are focusing on the one man who cannot refute allegations or sue for defamation because he is deceased.
They are concerned that others seeking to exonerate themselves or mitigate blame may claim the late Mr Semaan was responsible.
Maroun was always concerned to give back during his lifetime and use his good fortune to help others.
His philanthropic endeavours were respected across the Middle East and the Semaan Foundation has helped educate thousands of aspiring professionals.”
This follows the early February announcement by SFO that former Petrofac head of global sales David Lufkin admitted to 11 counts of bribery for projects in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Petrofac released a statement responding to the SFO announcement, noting that no current board member of Petrofac Limited is alleged to have been involved.
"The SFO has chosen to bring charges against a former employee of a subsidiary company," René Médori, chairman of Petrofac, said. "It has deliberately not chosen to charge any Group company or any other officer or employee. In the absence of any charge or credible evidence, Petrofac intends as a matter of policy to stand by its employees."
“Petrofac has policies and procedures in place designed to ensure that we operate at the highest levels of compliance and ethics,” the statement continued.