Singapore’s leading offshore and marine contractor Sembcorp Marine has confirmed that proceedings launched by Brazil’s Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) against its Brazilian shipyard subsidiary Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz (EJA) “generally relate” to past conduct investigated in connection with the Operation Car Wash scandal, involving bribes for contracts.
Sembmarine on 29 March said that it had cooperated with the CGU in relation to preliminary administrative proceedings and investigations relating generally to past conduct investigated by the Brazilian authorities.
“Further, the CGU has not brought any civil or administrative charges against the company or its subsidiaries. The company will continue to cooperate and work with the Brazilian authorities,” Sembmarine said in a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange.
“The company will continue to monitor developments in Brazil with respect to the above and will make appropriate announcements in the event of any material developments,” added Sembmarine.
The contractor last Friday informed it had been made aware the CGU has published a notice in the Official Gazette to the effect that it had started a preliminary administrative liability proceeding against EJA to investigate alleged irregularities.
Sembmarine said at the time that its Brazilian subsidiary is co-operating fully with the authorities.
A former consultant with connections to a Brazilian subsidiary of Sembmarine was sentenced as part of the Operation Car Wash corruption probe.
Guilherme Esteves de Jesus was convicted by the Federal Courts of Curitiba in 2020 for the crimes of corruption, money laundering and participating in a criminal organisation, and sentenced to 19 years and four months in prison. He was also fined by the court.
De Jesus was engaged as a consultant in 2012 by Sembmarine subsidiaries in Brazil and acted as an intermediary on contracts, including an order for the construction of drillships for Sete Brasil, a state-sponsored drilling company.
The drilling units, worth more $4 billion combined, were to have been built at Sembmarine’s wholly owned EJA yard in Brazil.
Brazil's Car Wash corruption scandal, which resulted in scores of prosecutions in Brazil between 2014 and 2019, involved bribes being paid through intermediaries to secure contracts from state-controlled oil company Petrobras.