Singapore charges two ex-employees of Sembcorp Marine in Brazil graft case

By Reuters   March 28, 2024 | 05:50 pm PT
Singapore charges two ex-employees of Sembcorp Marine in Brazil graft case
The Sembcorp Marine sign is pictured at the shipyard in Singapore, May 23, 2019. Photo by Reuters
Authorities in Singapore said they charged two former officials of Sembcorp Marine on Thursday with handing bribes to Brazilian officials to advance the company's interests in the South American nation.

Sembcorp Marine and Keppel Offshore and Marine merged in 2023 to form Seatrium, which is in talks to pay $110 million in a deferred prosecution agreement regarding the bribery case in Brazil, they said in a statement.

Seatrium shares ended Thursday flat following a drop of as much as 1.3% after they resumed trading. The stock has fallen 33% this year, underperforming the benchmark index, which is relatively flat, LSEG data showed.

Former CEO Wong Weng Sun and ex-manager Lee Fook Kang face five charges of conspiring to offer a middleman inducements to aid Sembcorp Marine's Brazilian subsidiaries, according to the city-state's statement.

The total sum involved in the offenses between 2009 and 2014 amounted to about $44 million, the attorney-general's chambers and Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau added in the statement.

In an emailed statement, Wong said, "I have always acted in the best interests of the companies, and would never compromise them by engaging in corrupt activities," during 35 years working in Sembcorp Marine and one of its units.

"The charges relate to the companies' Brazilian operations, and I intend to demonstrate my innocence," he added in the statement his lawyers, Wong Partnership, sent to Reuters.

Lawyers for Lee said they were not in a position to comment as they had just been engaged on the matter.Wong has also been charged with obstruction of justice after he allegedly told two Sembcorp employees in 2014 to delete an email sent by the middleman that contained evidence of bribes.

Singapore prosecutors were in talks with Seatrium for a deferred prosecution agreement to pay a penalty of $110 million, the statement added.Seatrium told the stock exchange on Thursday that the attorney-general's chambers was agreeable to entering into the deferred prosecution agreement.

It said it was committed to the highest standards of compliance, including zero tolerance of bribery and corruption.

go to top