Danish coating supplier Hempel has revealed that German authorities are investigating alleged bribery performed by employees of Hempel Germany to ship managers.
The company has dismissed four employees and launched internal audits in Hempel Germany, conducted by an independent law firm, to carry our its own investigation. It also said there may be further dismissals upon completion of the investigation.
Henrik Andersen, CEO of Hempel, commented: “Unfortunately, Hempel must acknowledge that contrary to expectations, practices that apparently do not comply with the German legislation have been identified. These are practices connected to the relationship between Hempel Germany, ship managers and ship owners. Hempel deeply regrets that in some instances, internal rules have been deliberately circumvented and German law might not have been followed.”
“We do not tolerate and do not accept illegal practices. We consider the offences to be an attack on our customers, Hempel’s culture and values and with that an attack on our approx. 6,000 responsible and committed employees worldwide,” Andersen added.
Commenting on the incident, the head of a leading ship manager told Splash: “Volume discounts or brokerage fees between buyers and sellers are well known, normally governed by contractual conditions between owners, managers and suppliers. Of course, if someone has been playing games contradicting these conditions then it’s not on.”
Hempel said it was cooperating fully with authorities.