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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
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Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

After Keppel Offshore acquisition, Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine investigated for ‘irregularities’

Singaporean offshore and marine engineering group Sembcorp Marine — which acquired FCPA violator Keppel Offshore & Marine earlier this year — has disclosed an investigation into “alleged irregularities” related to its operations in Brazil.

Here is the March 24 company statement in full:

Sembcorp Marine Ltd (“SCM” or the “Company”) wishes to inform that it has come to its knowledge that the Office of the Comptroller General of Brazil (“CGU”) has published a notice in the Official Gazette (the “Notice”) to the effect that CGU has initiated a preliminary administrative liability proceeding against the Company’s subsidiary, Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz Ltda (“EJA”) for the investigation of alleged irregularities practiced by EJA .

The Notice does not provide further facts and the Company is currently unable to assess the matter or impact, if any. EJA is co-operating fully with the authorities.

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.

The company statement doesn’t include any details on the nature of the offenses, if any took place.

In February, Sembcorp completed a $3.3 billion acquisition of Keppel Offshore & Marine. Sembcorp is backed by Temasek, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund. Keppel Offshore was part of Keppel Corporation, another Temasek-linked company.

In January, the Singaporean government’s probe into Keppel Offshore’s corruption resulted in six former senior executives being let off with a “stern warning.” At the time, the Singapore government said in a parliamentary session that no prosecutions were brought due to insufficient evidence.

In December 2017, Keppel Offshore and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay a total penalty of more than $422 million to resolve corruption charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil, and Singapore.

Keppel Offshore admitted paying $55 million in bribes to officials in Brazil during a decade-long scheme. It won about $1 billion in contracts.

Keppel Offshore hid the bribes by paying “outsized commissions to an intermediary, under the guise of legitimate consulting agreements,” the DOJ said in the 2017 settlement. The intermediary then passed the money to Petrobras officials and to a political party.

According to the 2017 plea agreement between Keppel Offshore’s U.S. unit and the DOJ, Keppel Offshore imposed $8.9 million in financial sanctions on 12 former or current employees.

Seven employees involved in the misconduct left the firm.

Seven others at Keppel Offshore were demoted or given written warnings for failing to detect the misconduct or take appropriate steps to mitigate corruption risks.

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