Dutch platform-leasing giant SBM Offshore on Sunday came out strongly in defence of two of its top officials named by Brazilian prosecutors in relation to a Petrobras bribery case.
Amsterdam-based SBM issued a forthright statement in which it endorsed the company’s CEO Bruno Chabas and a commissioner of its supervisory board Sietze Hepkema, saying that it has no qualms about allowing the two to continue in their positions
“We have no doubts regarding the integrity of both Bruno Chabas and Sietze Hepkema, who continue to have our full support,” said Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Frans Cremers in the statement, released in good time for Monday’s opening of trading.
Chabas’ and Hepkema’s names were on a list revealed on Friday. The list, from the Brazilian Public Prosecutors Office features people associated with Petrobras and SBM Offshore who may be charged in the corruption and embezzlement case.
The case is separate from the much bigger Petrobras bribes-for-inflated-contracts scandal – subject of the “Operation Car Wash” probe – which cost the state oil company billions and threatens to undermine the national government.
In November 2014 SBM paid a $240m fine to Dutch authorities to settle allegations that it bribed government officials in Angola and Equatorial Guinea as well as Brazil.
In September this year SBM’s main subsidiary in Brazil was invited by Petrobras to join in tenders for FPSO leasing in the Libra and Sepia oil fields. That was seen as a sign that SBM had paid its dues for any transgressions in the “Operation Car Wash” investigation.