A Dutch court seized 7 billion euro (US$ 10 billion) worth of property
of Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol, after being requested so by
the company of a Dutch oil engineer that was convicted in Bogotá for
laundering drug money for paramilitaries, the company’s Dutch lawyer said.
Llanos Oil, the Dutchman’s company, claims Ecopetrol illegitimately ended a concession to drill for oil in the north eastern department of César.
Ecopetrol terminated the agreement because Llanos oil allegedly hadn’t met the conditions in the contract.
Llanos oil says the contract was terminated because Ecopetrol found out the Dutch-British company had stumbled upon a “golden egg”, consisting of large quantities of oil and gas supplies. “Through a web of corruption” the consession was then granted to U.S. company Drummond.
Llanos oil claims the government then tried to silence the Dutch-british enterprise by arresting director Henk van Bilderbeek and two employees.
The company hopes the seizure of assets will persuade Ecopetrol and the Colombian government to talk about restitution about the breach, lawyer Ferry van Schoonhoven said. “And it’s important that Henk will receive a fair trial,” he added.
Van Bilderbeek Monday was sentenced to twenty years in jail for whitewashing money for the AUC’s centaurus bloc.