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Whispers of corruption in Norwegian company

Iranian connections are becoming a real pain in the neck for the Norwegian companies Statoil and Umoe Schat-Harding. Statoil has sent two top leaders on their way because of a scandal, and Umoe Schat-Harding is now accused of corruption by a financial editor.

Jens Ulltveit-Moe, the president of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), was allegedly informed by the Iran situation affecting his company Umoe Schat-Harding back in 1998, something he flat out denies.

According to the paper VG, Ulltveit-Moe was informed by Jarle Roth, chief executive in Umoe Schat-Harding, that there were problems connected to the Iran case where lifeboats were sold to Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company (IOEC). The lifeboats were damaged during the shipping and the receiver refused to pay for them.

However, a settlement of almost USD 976.000 was sent from Iran, but then USD 175.000 was returned as a so called “return commission”. In order to receive the money for the lifeboats the Norwegian company hired a consultant company, the very same used by Statoil, a company headed by an exile Iranian Mehdi Hashemi, who just happen to be the son of the former president of Iran, Rafsanjanis.

“Of course, it is not okay to pay millions to straiten things out, but this was a question of returning money because the lifeboats were damaged. As far as I am concerned, this is just fine,” Ulltveit-Moe stated.

To NRK, a Norwegian television channel, Ulltveit-Moe stated that he had no intention of withdrawing as president of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO).

Corruption

Trygve Hegnar, editor of the financial magazine Kapital, screams corruption.

“I’m shocked by what I have been reading in VG. It appears as if they have bribed someone to get the money back. This appears to be a clear case of corruption, and to be a little blunt, I now understand his odd statements regarding the Statoil case a lot better,” Hegnar said.

Ulltveit-Moe stated in September to TV 2 Nettavisen that he gave his full support to Statoil CEO Olav Fjell, and at the same time noted that the definition of corruption not necessarily is the same abroad as it is in Norway.

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