In a fresh round of raids today, Brazilian prosecutors resumed their clampdown on possible suspects believed to be involved in bribery paid by oil giant Petrobras to shipbuilders Keppel FELS, the Brazil unit of Singapore’s oil rig builder Keppel Corporation and Sete Brasil.
Namely, the prosecutors have launched a series of arrests, raids and seizures of assets within the corruption probe involving tax evasion and money laundering allegations related to Petrobras. The raids have taken place at Odebrecht offices as well, an engineering company based in Brasil.
Among the targeted suspects by today’s raid was also Joao Santana, manager of election campaigns of President Dilma Rousseff and his predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
In addition, the criminal charges lead to a certain Zwi Skornicki, an employee of Eagle do Brasil, a financial operator of Keppel FELS, who is being investigated over bribes to senior officials of Petrobras and Sete Brazil. Between 2003 and 2013, he is said to had paid more than ten million dollars in bribes, according to the prosecutors. As informed, payments were made for the benefit of multi-million contracts between the trio.
Earlier this month, Keppel FELS refuted allegations over its involvement in the scandal surrounding Petrobras.
“We would like to emphasise that Keppel Group has a Code of Conduct which prohibits, among others, bribery and corruption.”
With respect to Skornicki Keppel said: “Keppel FELS had conducted due diligence review of Eagle do Brasil and Zwi Skornicki.
“Further, the Agency Agreement with Eagle do Brasil categorically states that Eagle do Brasil and Zwi Skornicki shall not make, either directly or indirectly, any improper payment of money or anything of value to an official in connection with the contract. In addition, Eagle do Brasil’s services are not exclusive to Keppel FELS, and it is also an agent to other reputable multi-national companies.”
World Maritime News Staff