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Former Bertling unit and six men convicted in Angola bribery case
September 26, 2017 / 2:11 PM / 23 days ago

Former Bertling unit and six men convicted in Angola bribery case

LONDON (Reuters) - A former UK division of German logistics and freight company Bertling and six former employees have been convicted by a London court of bribing an agent of Sonangol, the Angolan state oil group.

The six former senior managers and employees of F.H. Bertling Ltd have pleaded guilty to bribery in Angola between January 2005 and December 2006, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Tuesday.

Jose Morreale, Stephen Emler, Jorg Blumberg, Dirk Jurgensen, Marc Schweiger, who are aged between 46 and 71, will be sentenced later. Ralf Petersen, who also pleaded guilty, is now deceased.

Reporting restrictions were lifted after 78-year-old Peter Ferdinand was acquitted by a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court last Thursday, the SFO said.

The SFO in May also charged F.H. Bertling Ltd and four people with bribery in relation to contracts to supply freight forwarding services relating to a North Sea oil exploration project known as Jasmine between January 2010 and May 2013.

F.H. Bertling Ltd (UK), once part of 150-year-old, Hamburg-based Bertling Group, was sold and deconsolidated in January.

In a statement on the Angolan convictions, the Bertling Logistics division said F.H. Bertling Ltd and former staff had pleaded guilty to one count of bribery involving $250,000 to enable release of a payment for work contractually done.

It declined to comment on the North Sea oil case.

Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by David Goodman

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