According to WMN and Reuters, Maersk was sued in Brazil for the alleged corruption of Petrobras. Brazilian prosecutors have filed a civil lawsuit against Danish shipping giant Maersk, alleging corruption schemes in connection with obtaining shipping contracts with state oil giant Petrobras.
Brazilian prosecutors filed the lawsuit against Maersk and the former executives representing the company, requesting that a judge freeze nearly R$1 billion (about US$197.4 million) in assets to ensure that funds are available to pay damages resulting from the alleged scheme.
According to Reuters, prosecutors said there was evidence of bribe payments to Petrobras employees in exchange for inside information that allowed Maersk to secure shipping contracts between 2006 and 2014.
The news agency added that former Petrobras employees were also included in the lawsuit.
Offshore Energy has contacted Maersk for confirmation and further details on the case.
In an e-mailed statement, a spokesman for Maersk said: “We take these allegations very seriously and remain committed to cooperating with the authorities during the investigation, as well as to conducting our business in compliance with anti-corruption laws at all locations of operation”.
The spokesman also added that, because this is active litigation, Maersk will not comment further on the case.
This lawsuit is the latest in a series of lawsuits and actions related to a corruption investigation in Brazil known as Lava Jato or Car Wash.
The investigation by Brazilian prosecutors aims to address widespread money laundering and corruption at Petrobras, where some executives received bribes in exchange for awarding contracts to contractors at inflated prices.
Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill and oilfield service provider Sapura are also being investigated by police in connection with the investigation of corruption in the Brazilian Car Wash.
In September 2020, Seadrill received a search and seizure order from the Federal Police of Rio de Janeiro as part of the latest phase of Operation Lava Jato. This is the largest investigation of corruption against members of the state oil company Petrobras, politicians from Brazil’s main parties (including the presidents of the Republic), presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, state governors and businessmen from large Brazilian companies.
Originally a money-laundering investigation, it was expanded to cover allegations of corruption at Petrobras, where executives allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for awarding contracts to construction companies at inflated prices. Similarly, at least 11 Latin American countries were also involved in corruption scandals with the company Odebrecht