Royal Dutch Shell Group .com



1 June 04


Dear Sirs


Mr Jonathan Dinmore of The Office of Fair Trading suggested in an email to me today that I could report certain matters about Shell to the Companies Investigation Branch of the DTI.


Can you therefore kindly pass this communication on to the appropriate individual at the CIB responsible for dealing with Corporate Law and Governance issues? If you would please take a few minutes of your time to glance through the content, you will appreciate the importance of this communication.


In my experience Shell directors believe that truth is a precious commodity to be used as a last resort. It has to be squeezed out of them. They prefer to deceive, make empty pledges (Shell’s code of ethics), intimidate, hide information from their own shareholders, and retreat behind their army of lawyers whenever there is a prospect that management misdeeds will be exposed. 


I have documentary evidence to prove what I say. For example irrefutable evidence of how they deliberately undermined an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority. I also have documents which prove that they have in the past conspired to prevent important information from being disclosed to Shell shareholders at the Shell Transport AGM. Shell also entered into a truly bizarre contract which was deliberately kept secret from shareholders. This was because many shareholders would have considered its unique terms to be improper and entirely counter to their best interests. Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman is on record as describing the contract as being "bananas". But it was instigated by Shell senior management including Sir Mark Moody-Stuart.


With regards to the current Shell controversy, it is a matter of record that I forewarned Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands of a deeply ingrained corporate culture of deceit and cover-up at Shell.  This was of course exactly the type of misbehaviour which led to the reserves debacle now being investigated by the FSA and other authorities, including the US Justice Department.


As a Shell shareholder of long-standing, I am well aware of the campaigning efforts by PIRC (UK Pensions & Investment Research Consultants) in regards to improving corporate governance at Shell. It seems (from my experience) that their efforts were not entirely successful.


I have now warned PIRC that it is possible and even likely that PIRC was the subject of covert operations by a sinister organisation hired by Shell to act against NGO’s, including for example Greenpeace and The Body Shop. It would be entirely in keeping with covert defensive/offensive operations mounted on behalf of Shell. 


I know this because my son and I founded a Shell shareholder pressure group and Shell subsequently admitted in writing (as did their solicitors Kendall Freeman) hiring undercover agents on our case. Even though the undercover activities of one such Shell spy were exposed, Shell was so arrogant that it openly used the threat of other undercover operatives to deliberately intimidate my family and me. This happened in 1998/9 but new information has only recently come to light.


I do not wish to be overdramatic, but I wrote to hundreds of UK MP’s a few days ago partly as a precaution so that if anything happens to me or my family, the Police will know where to commence an investigation. I wanted our lawmakers to be aware that there is an extremely dark side to the Royal Dutch Shell Group. None of the recent or current senior management at Shell has been prepared to deal with the question of the sinister activities to which I refer in my letter to MP’s. This is despite all of the claims about trying to restore Shell’s reputation after it was torn to pieces by the lies and cover-ups at the highest levels of management in relation to the oil reserves scandal.


Do you think it likely that Shell would allow me to continue to distribute such information and publish it globally if what I am saying is untrue? 




I am an 87 year old partly disabled war pensioner.


I am not one of your constituents but I want to bring to your attention a matter of public concern to everyone interested in the fundamental right of a UK citizen to a fair trial, free of witness intimidation by corporate sponsored undercover agents.


I have supplied the Lord Chancellor with evidence that all of our key witnesses in a legal action against Shell UK Limited were undermined and/or neutralised by undercover investigators some of whom Shell has admitted hiring.  In a systematic fashion every one of our witnesses was intimidated. That is fundamentally wrong. The same tactics were used against us. My letter to Lord Falconer is published on my website  see:


My email address is


It seems that multinational corporations use undercover agents supplied by firms such as Hakluyt because it makes them once removed from direct responsibility for any unpleasant/illegal actions which might subsequently be exposed. In other words, scope for plausible denial with blame being attached to the intelligence firm, rather than the sponsoring client. This may explain the use of so-called “private contractors” in the interrogation of American held prisoners in Iraq. One such private intelligence firm involved, Titan Corporation, is the American equivalent to Hakluyt.


I first wrote to every MP in 1998 warning of a sinister aspect to Shell UK and a corporate culture of cover-up and deceit deeply ingrained at the highest levels of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Therefore news reports of cover-up, deception and intrigue at Shell regarding the shortfall in oil and gas reserves hold no surprises to me. What I have to tell you involves the same Shell senior management figures named in the recent class action law suits alleging fraud and deceit. (Shell has just downgraded its oil reserves for the fourth time in as many months).


Shell internal emails reveal a conspiracy to mislead investors including numerous pension funds. The deception involved the top management at Shell some of whom still remain in their highly paid jobs. There is even talk of sending a £1m payoff cheque to Sir Philip Watts, the recently sacked Group Chairman. Presumably to secure his cooperation in the pending multibillion dollar law suits. It is all reminiscent of the Mad Hatters Tea Party.


I am a long term Shell shareholder. In 1998 I also wrote to every Shell Transport director bringing to their attention sinister undercover activity against my family in relation to a lawsuit my son had brought against Shell. I recently discovered to my horror that I was in fact communicating directly with the then spymasters of “Hakluyt”, a shadowy organisation closely linked with MI6, specialising in undercover operations for corporate clients, including Shell.  I understand that many MP’s believe that Hakluyt is the commercial arm of MI6.


Directors/shareholders in Shell Transport were simultaneously directors/shareholders in Hakluyt. In fact Shell directors including a former Royal Dutch/Shell Group Chairman were at the helm of Hakluyt as its President and Chairman. Shell has admitted using Hakluyt in widespread undercover activities against its perceived enemies (Sunday Times article 17/6/01).


How could Shell promise in its “Statement of General Business Principles” transparency, integrity and honesty in all its dealings and yet be part and parcel of a sinister spying organisation whose stock in trade is deception and trickery? There is a huge credibility gap between these two extremes. Even Shell’s Code of Ethics is not what it seems. Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman has confirmed in writing that Shell’s promises of integrity have no legal standing. Like a bet with a bookmaker they are binding in honour only. They are intended to create an image of a highly principled multinational but in reality are worthless; a sham.


My family, our witnesses and our solicitor were besieged and intimidated by undercover agents in the run up to the High Court trial. Burglaries occurred at the residences of a key witness, my son’s solicitor, and at our own house. Our privileged documents were examined. Shell Legal Director Richard Wiseman admitted in writing the activities of one undercover agent who was caught red-handed illegally checking our mail during an intelligence gathering mission. Kendall Freeman, the solicitors acting for Shell made the same written admission but warned us in a letter that other agents were also being used against us. This was also meant to intimidate us.


In addition to the covert operations against us and various NGO’s including Greenpeace and Body Shop, Shell simultaneously set up and paid for a private army of 1400 Police spies supporting the then murderous regime in Nigeria ( Mail on Sunday article 4 April 04)


The preparation and prosecution of my sons High Court Trial against Shell was completely undermined by the “no holds barred” tactics used against us. One key witness, a former Shell manager of long standing was too frightened to give evidence. The Police carried out enquiries but Shell obviously did not disclose its shameful expertise via Hakluyt in using the very tactics being investigated; tactics which in a UK setting, amounted to a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. 


This is why I have written to the Lord Chancellor seeking a police investigation. I have also sought assurances about the impartiality of the trial judge who has declined to answer a straightforward question about a possible professional/personal connection with the son of Shell’s Group Chairman at the time of the trial, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. The judge is a man of the very highest integrity but I see no reason why he and others involved refuse to answer a legitimate question. I would be grateful if you could support my request to Lord Falconer for an investigation.  


Please visit to read my sworn Affidavit concerning these matters. You will also find the world’s most comprehensive news portal website covering the Royal Dutch/Shell Group (on which my correspondence with Shell is being published).


Yours sincerely

Alfred Donovan


cc Malcolm Brinded Group MD Royal Dutch Shell Group

    Jeroen van der Veer, Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell Group

    Richard Wiseman, General Counsel Shell International Limited

    Chip Cummins, Oil & Gasoline Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

    Georgina Davies, BBC TV 


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