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SINGAPORE – Olam Group on Wednesday said its Nigerian unit posted a bond for its director to “secure (his) continued cooperation… with any legitimate requests from relevant Nigerian authorities for information or assistance”.

This was in reference to a Sept 11 article published in Daily Nigerian, which reported that Olam Nigeria paid a “huge” and “humongous” bail bond of one billion nairas (S$1.9 million) to secure the release of Prakash Kanth from being held by the country’s State Security Service (SSS).

Citing a payment slip seen by Daily Nigerian, the newspaper said the money was paid into a special recovery account operated by SSS.

It also claimed the payment was made by an Olam subsidiary, Micro Feed Nigeria, in connection with an ongoing investigation of money laundering involving Kanth.

Mr Kanth, who is director of corporate affairs and legal at Olam Nigeria, was reported by the newspaper to have spent days in the SSS detention facility in Abuja.

While Olam’s announcement confirms that a bond was posted for Mr Kanth, the group did not mention the amount paid.

“The company continues to cooperate fully with the relevant authorities and will update our shareholders and the investing public on any material developments in accordance with the requirements of the SGX-ST listing rules,” it said.

The update comes after Olam on Monday released a statement refuting allegations made through media reports – including an earlier article by Daily Nigerian – that the group and its subsidiaries were embroiled in alleged fraud involving over US$50 billion.

While Olam highlighted and addressed several statements which it claimed to be inaccurate, baseless and inflammatory, the group’s board has ordered a review of the matter.

Shares of Olam were down 10 cents or 8.7 per cent at $1.05 as at 10.13 am on Wednesday, after its latest announcement. THE BUSINESS TIMES Olam confirms bond posted for director of Nigerian unit amid police probe

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