Britain's fraud office questions Petrofac bosses over Unaoil

Chief Executive of Petrofac, Ayman Asfari, gestures as he speaks at the Offshore Europe Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, September 9, 2009. REUTERS/David Moir/File Photo

(Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Petrofac Ltd PFC.L said on Friday that its chief executive and chief operating officer have been questioned by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in connection with the ongoing investigation into Monaco-based Unaoil.

Petrofac shares fell nearly 13 percent on the news as the SFO confirmed, later on Friday, that it had launched an investigation into the activities of Petrofac and its subsidiaries, their officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering.

Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari and COO Marwan Chedidhave were questioned under caution by the SFO, the company said in a statement, adding that it was cooperating with authorities.

The SFO last year launched a criminal investigation into oil and gas services firm Unaoil, its officers, employees and agents in connection with suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering in the global oil industry.

Petrofac said on Friday that it engaged Unaoil for the provision of consultancy services in Kazakhstan between 2002 and 2009.

Petrofac shares fell on Friday to their lowest level since June 28, 2016 and were the top loser on the pan-European Stoxx 600 .STOXX by 1352 GMT and the biggest drag on Britain's FTSE Mid Cap .FTMC index, which was down 0.2 percent.

Reporting by Rahul B and Tenzin Pema in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Thomas and Susan Fenton