Zhang Yi, Addax CEO freed as bribery investigation continues

SIG Combibloc

Three weeks after his arrest, Zhang Yi, the Chief Executive Officer at Addax Petroleum has been released on bail.

Zhang Yi was arrested for an alleged bribery incident in Nigeria and the United States.

The allegation was on a USD20 million payments allegedly made to individuals identified as “legal advisers” in Nigeria and the U.S. Swiss authorities said Those transfers made in 2014 and 2015, plus a separate USD80 million paid to an engineering company for Nigerian construction projects.

It would also be recalled that Sinopec disclosed that Addax’s auditor Deloitte LLP has resigned when it could not obtain ‘satisfactory explanations’ for the size or reason for the payments, the firm said in a letter filed in December in the U.K.

Clearing the air, Deloitte said in the letter obtained by Bloomberg that it “received a number of whistleblowing allegations both from within and external to Addax, some of which allege that such payments have been made to bribe foreign government officials and that certain amounts have been embezzled by certain members of management within Addax Petroleum Group.”

In February, Addax said that it “immediately took appropriate action to investigate the matters identified” by Deloitte.

Addax said it had canceled its auditing contract with Deloitte in October and hired new auditors who completed the accounts of its Nigerian and U.K. units “with unqualified audit opinions.”

Sinopec is the parent company of Addax Petroleum.