Horizon Oil has suspended its CEO and appointed an independent investigator amid claims the company bribed PNG officials in the course of an exploration deal.
CEO Michael Sheridan has been suspended with pay as Horizon gets to the bottom of claims – first aired in the AFR – that it sent $15 million to an unknown shell company shortly after it was given a development licence from then Minister for Commerce and Industry William Duma.
Non-executive director Chris Hodge will serve as acting CEO during the suspension. Horizon has also engaged Herbert Smith Freehills and Deloitte to conduct the investigation, and said that it will co-operate “should any investigation into these matters be conducted by the Australian Federal Police”.
“The AFP can confirm it has received a quantity of material containing information relating to this allegation from an anonymous sender,” an AFP spokesperson told Investor Daily.
“The information is being assessed at the current time. The AFP takes all allegations of foreign bribery offences by Australian entities and citizens seriously, and is committed to combating this insidious crime type.”