A probe by an independent corporate investigator has found that Norway-based Sevan Marine “more likely than not” made improper payments to win business with Brazil’s Petrobras.

The probe, led by Advokatfirmaet Selmer DA and commissioned by Sevan’s board, focused on how contracts with Petrobras were obtained from 2005 to 2008.

Through document reviews, searches in available files and interviews with key individuals the investigator found it is “more likely than not, that illegal conduct in the form of improper payments to obtain business occurred when Petrobras awarded contracts” to Sevan and its subsidiaries during the three year period covered by the probe.

“There are indications of suspicious acts and transactions, constituting both a neglect of Sevan’s affairs and/or a conflict with Sevan’s interests and such acts may potentially represent economic crime,” the report said.

According to the report, the possible wrongdoings identified are connected to individuals who no longer work at Sevan.

Based on the findings, the company’s board of directors has handed the report over to the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM).

The company will make evidences and documentation secured in the investigation available to the agency.

The board has also initiated early contact with the relevant prosecutors’ offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Brazil in coordination with counsels retained in those jurisdictions.

The probe is currently looking into reports in the Brazilian media that Petrobras executives allegedly provided privileged information to investors regarding the signing of contracts between Petrobras and Sevan.

“Such information has been shared with the Oslo Stock Exchange and ØKOKRIM,” the report said.

The conclusion from that on-going investigation will be disclosed when it’s available.

The board of directors is currently assessing further actions and implications of the findings.

“With regret the board of directors has noted the findings from the independent corporate investigation related to contracts awarded in the period 2005-2008.  Sevan as a listed company is dependent on our reputation as a trustworthy business partner. Sevan practices no-tolerance for corruption and is dedicated to comply with all relevant laws and principles for proper business conduct. Sevan will continue to cooperate with relevant authorities,” Sevan chairperson Siri Hatlen said.


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