SBM Offshore Denies USD 1.7 Bln Settlement Claims

Dutch supplier of floating oil platforms SBM Offshore dismissed claims of the Brazilian media on a settlement with Brazilian authorities over corruption allegations.

” SBM Offshore has not agreed to a USD 1.7 billion settlement. Discussions with Brazilian authorities are at an early stage and no numbers have been agreed upon,” the company said in a statement.

The Dutch company signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian authorities in March this year, agreeing to cooperate in the investigation of companies for corrupt contracts with state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA. The MoU lays the groundwork for the two parties to reach a settlement on the case, as explained by SBM Offshore.

SBM is being investigated for alleged bribing of public officials to gain advantage in Petrobras projects.

Should the settlement fail to be reached the company could be barred from making deals with the Brazilian government in the future. The ban is imposed at the moment due to the ongoing investigation.

SBM Offshore reached a USD 240 million settlement with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office in November last year over the inquiry into alleged payments of bribes to sales agents in Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Brazil in the period from 2007 through 2011.

The internal investigation revealed that the company paid approximately USD 200 million in commissions to agents during that period of which the majority relate to three countries: USD 18.8 million to Equatorial Guinea, USD 22.7 million to Angola and USD 139.1 million to Brazil.

The United States Department of Justice closed its inquiry into the matter last year and said it would not be prosecuting the company.

World Maritime News Staff

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