Petrofac chief Marwan Chedid suspended amid fraud probe

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Oil services firm Petrofac has suspended its chief operating officer, Marwan Chedid, following a corruption and bribery probe by Britain's fraud squad.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced earlier this month that it is investigating the firm's activities under suspicion of "bribery, corruption and money laundering" in relation to oil contractor Unaoil.

As a result, Petrofac said on Thursday that Mr Chedid and chief executive Ayman Asfari had been arrested by the SFO and later released without charge.

Mr Chedid has now been suspended and, as a consequence, resigned from the board.

Mr Asfari will continue in his role, although he will not be involved in any matters connected to the investigation and will have "no role or responsibilities for engaging with or liaising with agents and consultants", Petrofac said.

Chairman Rijnhard van Tets said: "These decisions signal the board's determination to co-operate fully with the SFO and its investigation, whilst ensuring Petrofac continues to deliver for its clients."

Petrofac has also formed a committee to engage with the SFO and has mandated an "external specialist" to oversee the company's management of and response to the investigation.