Oilmen jailed for corruption

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LONDON (Reuter) - A former executive of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and another from the British contractor Amec were yesterday sentenced to 12 months in prison for corruption over a North Sea oil rig contract.

Francis Hemsworth, a former Shell procurement manager, and John Napier, business development manager at the Amec subsidiary Matthew Hall, pleaded guilty to two counts of taking and offering bribes for confidential information on a contract.

The case is the fourth in a series brought after a two-and- a-half-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into corruption in the North Sea and other sectors of industry.

'Corruption in commercial life is very serious,' Judge Roderick Adams told the men at Southwark Crown Court.

'If corruption takes a hold in this country, commercial life will be undermined. It is a serious matter and it is vital the courts take a firm view.'