On the day of Soco’s AGM, international NGO, Global Witness have released shocking evidence expanding upon allegations made in Academy award nominated documentary, Virunga:The Movie.
The new evidence released appears to show that four cheques, amounting to over $40,000, were paid to a Major Feruzi over a two week period in Spring of last year, despite the oil company having been made aware of his links to acts of bribery and corruption by undercover footage featured in ‘Virunga'.
This further evidence adds to our deep-rooted concern that Soco has failed to adequately deal with the numerous allegations of bribery, corruption and human rights abuse first brought to public attention in our documentary, and subsequently expanded upon in independent investigations by Human Rights Watch, The Telegraph, BBC News and Global Witness.
Today’s news has provided additional proof that Soco International not only operated with a serious lack of oversight, but has been unclear in it’s communications to the media and shareholders initially denying it had ever paid military personnel.
“It’s exactly one year since Soco tried to pull the wool over people's eyes in creating a greenwash deal with the WWF. Since then, they have still not made a firm and unconditional commitment to respect the existing boundaries of the park, nor have they taken adequate measures to investigate these serious allegations which continue to mount” says Joanna Natasegara, Producer of ‘Virunga’, “UK companies working in fragile locations must be held to the highest standards of legal, moral and financial obligation and Soco is no exception to that rule.”
This release comes four months after Soco shareholder, the Church of England, threatened to divest £3 million worth of investments in an unprecedented move following findings that Soco's attempts to investigate allegations put before them were not conducted to a high enough standard.
To read a full report on the evidence released today by Global Witness, please read here.
To join #TeamVirunga and #TakeAction, please visit: virungamovie.com/#takeaction