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Brazil police raids probe Keppel’s offshore contracts, investigations ongoing

Brazil police raids probe Keppel’s offshore contracts, investigations ongoing
The Federal Police of Brazil carried out sweeping raids on Monday over corruption probe into Brazil’s state-owned firms including Petrobras, and arrested an agent linked to alleged corrupted deals involving Singapore’s Keppel Corp.

The raids, codenamed Operation Carwash, focused on the suspected use of offshore companies and real estate transactions to launder money from bribery, graft and other offenses, media reports cited the police statement.

The Brazilian federal police said nearly 300 officers launched 51 warrants including 38 search and eight arrest warrants in three states, and arrested Zwi Skornicki, an agent for Keppel Corp in Brazil working on contracts between certain Keppel entities and Petrobras and its subsidiary Sete Brasil.

Keppel Corp releasted a statement on Tuesday maintaining that the group does not tolerant any forms of corruption by its employees or associates.

Singapore-listed Keppel Corp announced last month that it has taken a $160m provision on its $4.9bn rig orders from Sete Brasil and stopped all work on the six semi-submersible rig newbuildings for the rig contractor.

Back in February 2015, allegations were made by Petrobras’ former engineering manager Pedro Jose Baruso that illegal payments were made by the agent Skornicki in connection with contracts between certain Keppel entities and Petrobras and/or Sete Brasil.

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

News of the bribery allegations surfaced when Brazilian media Veja reported that Keppel Fels Brasil and Sembmarine’s Jurong Aracruz shipyard paid more than $6m in bribes to officials of Petrobras and directors of Sete Brasil, to win contracts.