Rigbuilders Keppel Corporation and Sembcorp Marine on Monday (Feb 9) denied Brazilian media reports that linked them to the widening corruption scandal surrounding Brazilian national oil firm Petrobras.

“We refute allegations made in media reports on Keppel FELS’ involvement in the scandal surrounding Petrobras,” Keppel said in a statement on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The Singapore firm added that its contributions in Brazil, which include social welfare programmes, community activities and political donations are made according to and within local laws and regulations – and these are documented in the respective companies’ records and audits.

Keppel said it has a Code of Conduct which prohibits, among others, bribery and corruption. Its agreement with Brazilian agent Eagle do Brasil categorically states that the agent “shall not make, either directly or indirectly, any improper payment of money or anything of value to an Official in connection with the Contract”.

Sembcorp Marine also addressed various media reports relating to statements made by Petrobras’ former engineering manager Pedro Jose Barusco. “Sembcorp Marine did not make any illegal payment and the group’s policies and contracts prohibit bribery and unethical behaviour,” it said in a separate filing on SGX.

Brazil’s national oil firm has been embroiled in a bribery scandal since last year. Former Petrobras director Paulo Roberto Costa said the company allegedly paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to politicians and members of the ruling Workers Party between 2004 and 2012 to buy influence in what critics say was a collusion between Petrobras and politicians.

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