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SBM Offshore pays $240 million to resolve Dutch bribe allegations, receives DOJ declination

SBM Offshore CEO Bruno Chabas (Image courtesy of SBM)SBM Offshore agreed to pay $240 million to Dutch authorities Wednesday to settle allegations that it bribed government officials in Angola, Brazil, and Equatorial Guinea.

Prosecutors claimed that Netherlands-based SBM paid sales agents $200 million in commissions between 2007 and 2011, with tens of million of dollars allegedly used to pay for services for government officials. including school fees and transportation.

SBM will not face criminal prosecution in the Netherlands. Individuals involved in the case could face charges in other countries.

The settlement includes a $40,000 fine and was reached with SBM’s cooperation.

The company provides floating production systems for the oil and gas industry.

SBM’s internal investigation determined that the company paid $18.8 million in commissions to Equatorial Guinea and $22.7 million in commissions to Angola between 2007 and 2011. The investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing in Brazil.

The DOJ dropped its investigation into the company, SBM said in a statement Wednesday.

“We can now focus on the future, secure in the knowledge that we have put in place an enhanced compliance culture which embeds our core values,” CEO Bruno Chabas said.

SBM said it self reported the results of its investigation to Holland’s Openbaar Ministerie, the United States Justice Department, and publicly in April 2012.

“SBM Offshore made it clear that it wants to conduct its business transparently,” the company said.

A new management board apppointed in 2012 “has repeatedly stressed the importance of compliance inside and outside the organization,” it said.

SBM said that “with the assistance of its advisors, [it] enhanced its anti-corruption compliance program and related internal controls.”

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Nicolas Torres is a staff writer for Petro Global News.

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