Brazilian prosecutors rejected SBM Offshore’s leniency deal in Petrobras corruption scandal

sbm offshoreBrazilian prosecutors rejected the SBM Offshore’s proposal for out-court settlement of corruption scandal with Petrobras. The Dutch multinational oilfield services provider offered to pay 328.2 million USD fine to escape prosecution. SBM Offshore made proposal for the so-called leniency agreement in July 2016, offering to pay Petrobras 342 million USD through a combination of a cash penalty and discounts on future work. The provider was asking to be excluded from new lawsuits relating to the corruption scandal and investigations, which would allow the offshore service specialist to bid again in the for Petrobras tenders.

Following the rejection of the out-court settlement proposal, Brazilian Fifth Chamber for Coordination and Review and Anti-corruption has referred the matter to the Higher Council of the public prosecutors office for further consideration.

SBM Offshore was the first foreign company, which was implicated in the bribes-for-inflated-contracts corruption scheme with Petrobras, which brought chaos on the country’s political scene. The Dutch company was accused for payment millions dollars in bribes between 1996 and 2012 in return for Petrobras contracts. Another 11 companies were also implicated into the same scheme and currently under prosecution from the state. The negotiations on leniency deals between the Brazilian government and the companies have been put on hold until prosecutors conclude plea bargains with executives.

“I’m keen to get the construction firms back to work on government contracts once they have paid fines, but prosecutors must first conclude Brazil’s biggest corruption investigation”, said the Brazilian Transparency Minister, Torquato Jardim. “There will be no amnesty, no forgiveness, and they will all have to pay the fines established by law. But the companies must be reinserted in the market for their technical expertise and the people they employ”, added he.