Singapore corruption investigators issue stern warnings to former shipyard executives over bribery charges

Keppel O&M shipyard in Singapore (Photo: Keppel)

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) of Singapore has completed its investigations and issued stern warnings to six individuals who were formerly senior management staff of local shipyard Keppel Offshore and Marine (Keppel O&M).

The stern warnings were issued to the six individuals in lieu of prosecution for offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

The offences relate to bribe payments to officials of Brazilian state-owned corporation Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) pertaining to rig-building contracts, which Petrobras and its related companies had awarded to Keppel O&M.

Under the global resolution led by the US Department of Justice and involving Brazil and Singapore, a conditional warning in lieu of prosecution was issued to Keppel O&M for offences punishable under the PCA. Keppel O&M has paid a total fine of US$422 million and fulfilled all obligations under the conditional warning.

The CPIB conducted investigations into the six individuals who had allegedly conspired with each other to give bribe payments totalling about US$55 million to foreign consultants involved in Keppel O&M’s business interests in Brazil. These consultants then used these monies to pay bribes to Petrobras officials.

The CPIB said the case is complex and transnational, involving multiple authorities and witnesses from several countries. There are evidentiary difficulties in cases of such nature, as many of the documents are located in different jurisdictions.

In addition, key witnesses are located outside of Singapore and cannot be compelled to give evidence locally.

The CPIB said the decision whether to prosecute the six individuals for criminal offences has to take into consideration all relevant factors, such as the culpability of each individual, the available evidence, and what is appropriate in the circumstances. Having taken these into consideration, the CPIB issued stern warnings to the six individuals.

The issuance of the warnings was done in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

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