London, UK | – Afren plc an international independent exploration and production company has fired its chief executive officer Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah for gross misconduct after an independent review found they had received unauthorised payments.
The oil explorer has started legal proceedings against both men.
The FTSE 250 company has also rid its board of associate directors Iain Wright and Galib Virani, who, in addition to a further seven current and former employees, also received unauthorised payments.
Afren is planning to take legal action to recover the missing sums, although said they had not resulted in a material loss for the group.
Egbert Imomoh, the executive chairman of Afren, said: “The decisive and comprehensive actions we have set out today should leave no-one in any doubt about how seriously Afren takes the issues uncovered in July and our commitment to rebuild the confidence of shareholders, partners, staff and our other stakeholders.
“Our focus is now on delivering the significant opportunities we have before us with an open and transparent approach to our business based upon mutual respect, the highest standards of ethics, governance and business conduct.”
The company has notified the financial conduct authority about its discoveries and has begun disciplinary action against the other employees found to have received payments.
It is now looking to strengthen its board and take steps to enhance the effectiveness of its internal reporting and controls, it said.