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Halliburton Probing Angola & Iraq Operations

Source: The Wall Street Journal 7/30/2012, Location: Middle East

Halliburton Co. said that it had opened internal investigations into its Angola and Iraq operations’ compliance with a U.S. foreign bribery law and its own code of conduct.

Halliburton previously disclosed that it was probing its Angola operations over possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to dealings with a third-party vendor in Angola. The FCPA prohibits bribes to foreign officials to win business and is jointly enforced by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Friday’s disclosure was the first acknowledgement by Halliburton that it was investigating other payments in Angola as well as its operations in Iraq.

“During the second quarter of 2012… we advised the DOJ and the SEC that we were initiating unrelated, internal investigations into payments made to a third-party agent relating to certain customs matters in Angola and to third-party agents relating to certain customs and visa matters in Iraq,” Halliburton said in its quarterly report.

A Halliburton spokeswoman declined to comment as did spokeswomen for the Justice Department and the SEC. The Houston-based company opened an internal investigation in Angola last year after it received an anonymous email alleging violations related to an outside vendor there, according to regulatory filings. In February, it disclosed it had received a subpoena from the SEC relating to the Angolan probe.

“We understand that one of our employees has also received a subpoena from the SEC regarding this matter,” Halliburton said at the time.

Halliburton said Friday it was cooperating with U.S. authorities in relation to all of the internal investigations. The company also said it had hired outside lawyers and accountants to assist it with the probes.

It isn’t the first time Halliburton has faced problems with the FCPA.

The company and its former subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., agreed in February 2009 to pay the U.S. $579 million to resolve violations of the FCPA in connection with a four-company joint-venture project, dubbed TSKJ, to get $6 billion in contracts for liquefied natural gas facilities at Bonny Island, Nigeria.

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