Swiss role in bribery by Dutch firm SBM Offshore under investigation

SBM provides solutions for the offshore energy industry. Lim Weixiang

Three Swiss-based subsidiaries of the Dutch firm are under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General for failing to prevent corrupt payments. 

This content was published on December 1, 2020 - 10:07

SBM, which provides solutions for the offshore energy industry, was accused of bribing officials in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Angola between 2005 and 2012. The company settled with the Dutch, Brazilian and American authorities to the tune of almost $740 million (around CHF670 million) for its illegal activities and attempts to gain unfair advantages. 

On Monday, the company revealed that three of its subsidiaries were being investigated in Switzerland for failing to prevent the execution of illegal payments. 

“We did not expect this development in Switzerland as Swiss authorities have been involved in the matter from the time of the settlement in the Netherlands in 2014. We will engage with the Swiss public prosecutor and seek clarification,” said Erik Lagendijk, SBM’s Chief Governance and Compliance Officer. 

According to the Reuters news agency, no individuals were named by either SBM or the Swiss officials, but SBM’s chairman from 2005 to 2015 was a Swiss national. 

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