Keppel reiterates zero tolerance against bribery as Petrobras investigations heats up

Keppel reiterates zero tolerance against bribery as Petrobras investigations heats up

SINGAPORE'S Keppel Corp reiterated on Tuesday its zero-tolerance stance against any form of illegal activity, including bribery and corruption, involving its employees or associates, as investigations involving scandal-plagued Brazilian oil giant Petrobras heats up.

The offshore marine giant said it would take all necessary steps to eradicate such conduct if discovered.

Keppel said since allegations were made by Pedro Jose Barusco (a former executive at Petrobras's engineering and services division) that illegal payments were made by Zwi Skornicki in connection with contracts entered into between certain Keppel entities with Petrobras and Sete Brasil, it had put its agency relationship with Mr Skornicki on hold, pending the outcome of investigations.

Mr Skornicki was arrested in Brazil on February 22, 2016.

On Monday, Reuters reported that Brazilian police were looking into possible bribes paid in contracts signed by state-run oil company Petrobras and shipbuilder Sete Brasil with Singapore's Keppel Fels.

Federal police carried out a fresh wave of searches and arrests on Monday in the ongoing "Operations Car Wash" corruption investigation that started nearly two years ago.

Brazilian engineering giant Odebrecht, one of the main companies at the centre of the scandal, said its offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and in Bahia were searched by police.

"We are unable to comment further in view of the ongoing investigations in Brazil,'' Keppel said.

This article was first published on February 23, 2016.
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