Malaysian oilfield services contractor Deleum has sought to distance itself from its four employees embroiled in a corruption probe relating to oil services and maintenance contracts for national upstream company Petronas Carigali.

Deleum on Monday said the company “does not have and has never had a business strategy involving the use of alleged slush funds” and had no knowledge of the illegal scheme carried out by four employees of subsidiary Deleum Primera.

“The four employees of Deleum Primera have gone on a frolic of their own to use the alleged slush funds to pay external parties and themselves, which was never authorised by the Deleum group,” the parent informed Bursa Malaysia (Malaysia stock exchange).

“Deleum Primera is the victim of the illegal scheme and suffered loss as a result of the illegal scheme.”

The alleged corruption was uncovered in a forensic investigation by PwC Consulting Associates, after it had noticed Deleum Primera’s “poor performance in a contract with Petronas Carigali and the unsatisfactory and suspicious explanations” given.

Deleum earlier confirmed that two senior executives of the company had been interviewed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in relation to its probe into the alleging wrongdoing and the relevant senior executives are assisting MACC with its investigation.

Meanwhile, the four implicated Deleum Primera employees remain suspended.

Deleum Primera has started legal proceedings to recover the assessed 19.9 million ringgit (US$4.91 million) losses arising from the illegal scheme.

“We have always emphasised strong corporate governance and are committed to professional and ethical business by adopting a zero tolerance approach against all forms of bribery and corruption,” added Deleum on Monday.

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“The group has introduced the Code of Business Conduct since 2009 (with relevant updates from time to time) and the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy.

“Further, the group has conducted training and briefing sessions to all the employees to educate them on the importance of compliance with the policies.”