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Keppel O&M imposes US$8.9m financial sanctions on 12 former and current employees

Plea deal also details slew of other measures Keppel unit will undertake

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Keppel Offshore & Marine has imposed US$8.9 million in financial sanctions on 12 former or current employees as part of its disciplinary actions arising from the company's Brazil bribery case.

Singapore

KEPPEL Offshore & Marine has imposed (see amendment note) US$8.9 million in financial sanctions on 12 former or current employees as part of its disciplinary actions arising from the company's Brazil bribery case.

According to the plea agreement signed by Keppel Offshore & Marine USA Inc (KOM), its parent company Keppel O&M Ltd has acted against 17 former or current employees pertaining to the misconduct.

Demotions and/or written warnings were issued as agreed to seven employees who failed to detect the misconduct and/or failed to take appropriate steps to mitigate corruption and compliance risks. Seven employees involved in the misconduct have left the company.

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The parent company has also agreed to conduct anti-graft and compliance training for six employees. It has enhanced and will continue to beef up its compliance efforts and internal controls.

These and other measures, and its full co-operation with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Attorney's Office in the investigations earned KOM a 25 per cent discount off the bottom of the applicable fine range. Under the plea agreement, Keppel O&M was fined US$422 million as a global resolution to corrupt payments made by a former Keppel agent in Brazil.

The court document said KOM "received full credit for their substantial cooperation", which included a thorough internal probe, proactively identifying issues and collecting, analysing and providing voluminous evidence and information to the investigators.

Not eligible for voluntary disclosure credit

However, KOM's deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with DOJ stated that it was not eligible for voluntary disclosure credit.

It explained that "although the defendant and its parent notified the (DOJ) Fraud Section about publicly-reported allegations in Brazil prior" to them being contacted, the Fraud Section and Attorney's Office were already aware of the allegations.

A Keppel spokesperson did not comment on the specific details of the staff disciplinary action, but said in a statement to The Business Times: "For legal reasons, Keppel is unable to comment further on the facts, other than agree to and confirm those set out in the Statements of Facts released by the investigating authorities."

Keppel O&M's US$422 million fines have set a new record as a settlement sum for a cross-border corruption probe involving a Singapore-headquartered O&M entity.

Meanwhile, the case has caught the attention of the opposition Workers' Party. Its assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh has directed four parliamentary questions relating to the incident to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Parliament convenes on Jan 8, 2018.

Amendment note: The story above has been amended to reflect that KOM has already imposed its financial sanctions.