EFCC frees Halliburton staff as probe continues

Nigeria’s anti-corruption police said on Monday employees of U.S. oilfield services group Halliburton arrested last week in a bribery case have been freed, but must stay in the country pending further investigations. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained 10 Nigerian and expatriate Halliburton staff for questioning as well as one senior employee each from oil firms Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd and Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd. The arrests relate to a bribery case involving the U.S. firm’s former unit KBR. The companies split in 2007 and Halliburton has said it is not connected with the case. A spokesman for the EFCC said the detainees, taken into custody on Thursday, had been released because under law they could not be held for more than two days, but said they would remain in Nigeria until investigations had been completed.

“We can’t keep them for more than 48 hours. Their travel documents have been detained pending the investigation … they cannot leave the country,” EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said.