Oil Exploration Firm in Namibia Misled Investors - Whistleblower

ReconAfrica, a Canadian company exploring for oil and gas upstream of one of Africa's most lush and wildlife-rich habitats, may have fraudulently misled investors by misrepresenting its work on the project, according to several experts and allegations in a whistleblower complaint filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The whistleblower, who acknowledged having submitted the report confidentially to avoid retribution and harassment, allowed National Geographic to review the 44-page confidential complaint which alleges that, to drive up its stockprice, ReconAfrica has violated securities laws by failing to disclose crucial information about its plans to look for oil and gas deposits across 13,200 square miles (21,243 km) of sensitive wilderness in Namibia and Botswana, a region that includes part of the watershed of the world-famous Okavango Delta and six community-run wildlife reserves. The company's value increased from U.S.$191 million at the start of the year to more than a billion U.S. dollars in mid-May. The company has dismissed the allegations as false and defamatory.

In January 2021, ReconAfrica began exploratory drilling and has been bullish in its claims that the Kavango Basin could contain up to 31 billion barrels of crude oil. The Namibian government approved the drilling of three test wells. However, locals said they were not properly consulted about the drilling, and environmentalists fear an oil boom could threaten the Okavango Delta. Due to its unique climate, the Okavango Delta is home to some of the world's most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. It is also home to huge populations of elephants and hippos.

InFocus

Due to its unique climate, the Okavango Delta is home to some of the world's most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. It is also home to huge populations of elephant and hippo.

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