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Former Afren CEO Osman Shahenshah. Image courtesy of Afren.

The board of directors of London-listed Afren has temporarily suspended CEO Osman Shahenshah and COO Shahid Ullah while they investigate the receipt of unauthorized payments, the company said in a news release Thursday.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher will conduct an independent review on behalf of the board into the potential need for disclosing previous transactions to the market.

Evidence of the receipt of unauthorized payments potentially for the benefit of the CEO and COO have been identified, the release said.

These payments were not made by the company.

The investigation has not found any evidence that any other board members were involved.

No conclusive findings have yet been reached and the investigation is ongoing, according to the company.

The board has appointed Toby Hayward, senior independent director, as interim CEO while the investigation continues.

The board has notified the relevant regulatory authorities that the review is taking place.