Still on Tompolo’s warships: We hear 2 Brits & 1 Norwegian have been arrested

by Iyobosa Omoregie

Two British businessmen have been reportedly arrested on suspicion of bribing a Norwegian official alleged to have been involved in the controversial sale of the former naval vessels to a private security firm belonging to ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemuplo, better known as Tompolo.

A joint investigation by the City of London’s Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit (OACU) and their counterparts in Norway, Okokrim, sought to ascertain how the former warships, including missile-torpedo boats (MTBs), ended up under the control Tompolo.

Okokrim, Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, was given the responsibility of investigating how the sale of the vessels was fast-tracked to a UK-registered company but ended up in the fleet owned by Tompolo.

It is believed that the Norwegian authorities assumed that the MTBs, after being sold, would be converted to unarmed vessels and operate under European laws.

In the course of the investigation into the sale, detectives from the OACU arrested a man in his early 40s at his home in Alfreton, Derbyshire, and a man in his late 50s at an address in East Molesey, Surrey.

The pair are alleged to have made payments to a Norwegian civil servant totalling more than $150,000. The money, which was paid in two separate transactions, is alleged to have been paid directly into the official’s personal bank account.

The cash is alleged to have helped secure the sale of the decommissioned Norwegian Navy ships by disguising the eventual destination of the warships.

Authorities in Norway revealed that the arrested men are connected to a UK firm specialising in maritime services, CAS Global, which has its headquarters in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Meanwhile, Police in Norway have arrested a third man in Tonsberg on the country’s south west coast.

DCI Danny Medlycott, head of the OACU, while speaking on the operation, described it as a “great example” of how his unit was working closely with other international enforcement partners “to combat bribery and corruption.”

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