Brazil prosecutors sue Maersk, seek to freeze $200 million

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a civil lawsuit against Danish shipping company Maersk and former executives representing the firm for alleged corruption involving shipping contracts with state-run oil firm Petrobras, they said on Friday. The lawsuit requests that a judge freeze almost 1 billion reais ($198 million) in assets in order to make sure funds are available to pay for damages resulting from the alleged scheme. Prosecutors said there was evidence of bribe payments to Petrobras employees in exchange for privileged information that allowed Maersk to secure shipping contracts between 2006 and 2014

Reuters December 12, 2020 00:07:14 IST
Brazil prosecutors sue Maersk, seek to freeze $200 million

Brazil prosecutors sue Maersk seek to freeze 200 million

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a civil lawsuit against Danish shipping company Maersk and former executives representing the firm for alleged corruption involving shipping contracts with state-run oil firm Petrobras, they said on Friday.

The lawsuit requests that a judge freeze almost 1 billion reais ($198 million) in assets in order to make sure funds are available to pay for damages resulting from the alleged scheme.

Prosecutors said there was evidence of bribe payments to Petrobras employees in exchange for privileged information that allowed Maersk to secure shipping contracts between 2006 and 2014. Former employees of Petrobras, formally Petroleo Brasileiro SA, were also included in the lawsuit.

"We take these allegations very seriously and remain committed to cooperating with the authorities during the investigation as well as running our business in compliance with anti-corruption laws in all operating locations," Maersk said in an emailed statement.

The company said the investigation is ongoing and that it will not comment further on the case.

Petrobras did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The civil lawsuit follows a similar action against oil trader Trafigura last week for allegedly bribing Petrobras employees in order to secure fuel shipments.

In Brazil, prosecutors can press criminal charges only against individuals, and companies are subject only to administrative sanctions, which can include fines.

($1 = 5.05 reais)

(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Franklin Paul and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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