• MySTV

Drilling firm to pay £5m after benefiting from 'corrupt' payments

Aberdeen-based Abbot Group Limited admitted it benefited from 'unlawful conduct'.

Rig: Drilling company not to blame for scaffolder's death

An Aberdeen-based drilling company is to pay out more than £5m under proceeds of crime laws after it accepted it had benefited from "unlawful conduct", the Crown Office said.

Abbot Group Limited admitted it benefited from corrupt payments made in relation to a contract entered into by one of its overseas subsidiaries and an overseas oil and gas company.

The contract was entered into in 2006 and the payments were made in 2007.

The Crown Office said the corrupt payments were brought to light last year following inquiries by an overseas tax authority which resulted in an investigation by a firm of solicitors and a firm of accountants instructed by Abbot itself.

None of the people involved in the payments remain with the group, which said it was "deeply disappointed" over what took place.

Abbot reported the results of the investigation to the Crown Office in July this year under a "self-reporting initiative". It is the first company to enter into such a civil settlement since the initiative was introduced last year.

The £5.6m to be handed over will be paid in three stages by the end of March 2015.

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC said: "Bribery and corruption cause worldwide damage to business and economic development. The self-reporting initiative creates a mechanism for businesses to recognise their corporate responsibility and take a rigorous approach to the investigation and elimination of such practices.

"While consideration must first be given to prosecution of appropriate cases, I am pleased that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Civil Recovery Unit are committed to taking effective steps to ensure that businesses face up to their responsibilities and relinquish any unlawfully obtained profits."

Louise Andrew, general counsel at Abbot Group, said: "Abbot Group has self-reported to the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service that it uncovered that, in 2007, improper payments were paid in connection with an overseas transaction.

"The payments were made to an overseas company. The self report has led to today's civil settlement agreement with the Civil Recovery Unit in the sum of £5.6m which represents the profit on the contract.

"None of the personnel who were involved in those payments remain with the group. The settlement also means there will be no criminal investigation of Abbot or subsidiaries. Unfortunately, in view of any criminal investigation of others that may follow, it is not possible to provide any further details.

"We are deeply disappointed this improper payment took place. We believe in conducting business legally and ethically and do not tolerate bribery in any form.

"The Crown Office applies very strict criteria in determining whether a case is suitable for a civil settlement. Civil settlement is only offered if Crown Office is satisfied that the company operates transparently, has sound anti bribery systems in place and is fully committed to compliance.

"KCA Deutag (the trading name of Abbot Group Limited) is committed to anti-bribery compliance and creating a corporate culture in which bribery has no place. The board of directors believe that self-reporting was the right thing to do and demonstrates an absolute commitment to acting legally, ethically and transparently."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.