Keppel refutes latest bribery allegations in Brazil

Singapore’s offshore rig builder Keppel has refuted bribery allegations in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation against oil company Petrobras in Brazil. 

In a filing to Singapore exchange (SGX) on Sunday, Keppel denied the company’s involvement in a massive corruption scandal involving the Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras that is part of an ongoing investigation named Lava Jato, which is Portuguese for “Car Wash”.

These allegations were given in a testimony by Zwi Skornicki, an employee of Eagle do Brasil which was the agent of Keppel FELS in Brazil, on July 21, 2016.

According to Agência Brasil, the national public news agency, Skornicki testified before the Federal Judge Sérgio Moro that Keppel FELS and Technip made political donations for the 2010 electoral campaign of Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT).

Referring to Skornicki’s testimony in connection with the ongoing Lava Jato investigations, Keppel said: “We refute the allegations made by Mr Skornicki regarding Keppel’s involvement in the illegal payments made by Mr Skornicki.”

In the filing, Keppel reiterated its zero-tolerance stance against any form of illegal activity, including bribery and corruption, involving its employees or associates, and said it will take all necessary steps to eradicate such conduct if discovered.

“We are unable to comment further in view of the ongoing investigations,” Keppel added.

Earlier in 2016, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that Keppel and Jurong (a subsidiary of Sembcorp) had bribed Petrobras and Sete Brasil officials in order to obtain drilling rig construction contracts. The allegations had been made by Petrobras’ former engineering manager Pedro Jose Barusco who, according to O Globo, singled out Zwi Skornicki as a person responsible for paying the bribes on behalf of Keppel.

Keppel refuted the allegations and denied its involvement in the scandal surrounding Petrobras noting that the company “has a Code of Conduct which prohibits, among others, bribery and corruption”.

Keppel had since put the agency relationship with Skornicki on hold pending determination by the relevant authorities into the allegations made on the matter.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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