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Sembcorp Marine will defend itself ‘rigorously’ in Sete Brasil fraud case

Singapore shipbuilder Sembcorp Marine on Tuesday issued a media statement in which it acknowledged news reports last week that identified it as a co-defendant in a Petrobras-related lawsuit being brought in Washington DC.

But Sembcorp says that, as of Tuesday, it had not yet been served with the proceedings.

Last week’s reports said that an already-existing suit brought by US-based investment firm EIG against Brazil’s state oil firm Petrobras was being expanded to include Sembcorp and other defendants such as Odebrecht, Jurong Shipyard and Keppel.

EIG is suing for $221m which it invested in now-bankrupt Sete Brasil, an oil rig chartering firm that Petrobras helped to create.

Petrobras has infamously been embroiled for two years in an immense corruption scandal involving bribes for inflated contract awards and kickbacks to politicians.

Sete Brasil field for bankruptcy last month and EIG’s suit claims that Sembmarine and the other defendants conspired to fraudulently induce funds managed by EIG to invest in Sete.

The suit is filed in United States District Court, District of Columbia, by EIG and the funds under its management.

In Tuesday’s release Sembmarine says: “Sembcorp Marine Ltd and Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd believe that the allegations against them are entirely without merit and baseless. They have not been served with the proceedings but if served, will rigorously defend the suit.

“Sembcorp Marine Ltd and its group of companies have a strong commitment to corporate governance and adhere to the highest standards in all their operations.

“The Company will make further announcements as appropriate with regard to this matter.”

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Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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