Eni offices searched in Congo Republic corruption probe

FILE PHOTO: Eni's logo is seen in front of its headquarters in San Donato Milanese, near Milan, Italy, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Offices of Italian oil major Eni ENI.MI were searched and documents seized in an investigation by Milan prosecutors into alleged corruption in Congo Republic, the company said on Friday, confirming what two sources had told Reuters.

Prosecutors asked the company on Thursday to hand over documents relating to operations in Congo between 2009 and 2014, an Eni spokesman said by email, adding that Eni had met the request.

The state-controlled major, under investigation in a separate case over alleged corruption in Nigeria, said the offices of two employees at the company had been raided, but gave no names.

Eni said last year it was being investigated by Milan prosecutors for international corruption in the Congo Republic.

The case revolves around agreements signed by Eni’s Congo subsidiary with the country’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons between 2013 and 2015 covering exploration and production permits and the choice of partners in the African country.

The sources said prosecutors were investigating whether certain contracts hid bribes to Congo public officials.

“Eni has absolutely nothing to do with alleged wrongdoing regarding operations that are the object of investigation,” the Eni spokesman said.

Eni, the biggest foreign oil and gas producer in Africa, has worked in the Congo Republic since 1968. In 2016 it produced 98,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the country.

Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Adrian Croft