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Page added on October 26, 2012

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Exxon Mobile Oil boss gunned down in Belgium

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Mystery and some confusion today surrounded the murder of a senior British oil executive outside a restaurant near Brussels.

Nicholas Mockford, 60, an executive dealing with clean fuels for the US oil giant Exxon Mobil, was shot three times before his wife on a street in a quiet suburban town north of Brussels on 14 October. Belgian police originally thought the attack was a failed car-jacking and the murder received only local publicity.

One police source was reported yesterday as saying that the murder was a “very strange case” which had been passed from local to national investigators. Family members spoke of a possible targeted killing but Belgian authorities said that all lines of inquiry – including an attempted robbery – remained open.

It was initially reported that Belgian authorities had imposed a news “blackout” but the murder, and Mr Mockford’s name, have received limited coverage in the national and local Belgian press over the last 12 days.

Mr Mockford, a father of three, was  shot as he left an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek with his Belgian wife, Mary.  He was shot three times, including once as he lay in the street. His wife, though badly beaten, called for help but  he died on the way to hospital.

According to one report in the Belgian press, the couple were walking toward their Lexus car when two men tried to grab Mrs Mockford’s hand-bag.  One of the men was said to be holding a motorcycle helmet.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil said  that the company was “shocked by this very tragic death.” Mockford had a long career with ExxonMobile, the spokesman said.

Mr Mockford is believed to have worked for ExxonMobil for nearly 40 years. He was the head of marketing in Europe for new technolologies allowing greener types of fuel.

He was brought up in Leicestershire but moved to Belgium after marrying a second time 15 years ago. He has three grown-up children living in Britain from his first marriage.

A witness told the Belgian Dutch-language TV channel VTM:  “I heard a noise, ‘tack tack’. , I thought that was bizarre and went outside to look…There was a woman lying on the floor on the pavement on the other side of the road. She was crying ‘help, help’. There was also a man lying on the street, next to a car. ”

UK Independent

3 Comments on "Exxon Mobile Oil boss gunned down in Belgium"

  1. BillT on Fri, 26th Oct 2012 1:50 pm 

    And the beat goes on…

  2. DC on Fri, 26th Oct 2012 2:29 pm 

    Is adding the so-called ‘green-fuels’ into this story an attempt to make Exxon-mobil and this fellow in particular more saintly than they really are? Exxon is not working on ‘greener’ fuels because there is no such thing from an oilco.I dont see how its relevant to this story even if such thing were possible, or even being worked on.

  3. Others on Fri, 26th Oct 2012 5:55 pm 

    Exxon did work on green fuels and has a process called MTG (Methanol To Gasolene).

    It is supposed to use Bio Methane as the feedstock, but now, its turning to Shale Methane (Natgas from Shale). This guys should have opposed Exxon’s decision and they must have killed him.

    Remember, they took us to Iraq.

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