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$238M FINE FOR DUTCH FIRM’S SIXTEEN YEARS OF BRIBERY

6 December 2017

US officials say a Dutch maker of equipment for offshore oil drilling will pay $238 million to settle charges of paying bribes to officials in five oil-producing countries.

SBM Offshore's US subsidiary has admitted paying more than $180M to intermediaries between 1996 and 2012; while knowing some of it would be used as bribes. The bribes were used to win business worth an estimated $2.8 billion from state-owned oil companies in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq.

The company admitted the wrongdoing in US federal court as part of the settlement. It reached a settlement with the Dutch authorities three years ago, when it paid $240M in fines and forfeited profits.

If bribery that dates back 20 years or more is now being uncovered and punished, many companies will need to take expert legal advice on how to act if they believe they have committed it in the past. And advice should also be sought by companies to ensure they are not involved in it in the future.

Read our article: MANAGING THE PROBLEM OF BRIBERY IN HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES


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