Saudi Aramco investigates Tyco valve contracts after bribery charges

By SUMMER SAID

DUBAI -- State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco is investigating contracts it awarded to a subsidiary of Tyco International after an announcement last week that the Switzerland-based company agreed to pay more than $26 million to settle foreign bribery charges brought by the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, a person familiar with the matter said.

Saudi Aramco has suspended further dealings with Tyco Valves & Controls Middle East, a Tyco International subsidiary, while it looks into contracts it signed with the firm between 2003 and 2006, according to the person, who requested anonymity.

Tyco Valves & Controls, which markets valves and other industrial equipment throughout the Middle East, pleaded guilty last week in a US court to paying bribes to officials employed by Saudi Aramco in order to obtain contracts with the Saudi government-controlled oil and gas company.

As part of its internal probe, Saudi Aramco will ask Tyco to provide it with the names of any of its employees who were involved in receiving the bribes, the person familiar with the matter said.

Saudi Aramco is fully owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world with activities in exploration, production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing.


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