Brazilian prosecutors charged 12 people on Thursday in connection with a new probe into alleged bribery involving SBM Offshore and Petrobras.
According to Reuters, prosecutors have charged former Petrobras executives Pedro Barusco, Renato Duque and Jorge Zelada and former SBM sales agents Julio Faerman and Luis Eduardo Campos Barbosa da Silva with corruption.
Former SBM chief executive officers Anthony Mace and Didier Keller were charged with corruption and racketeering along with former senior vice president Robert Zubiate.
The probe, known as “Operation Black Blood,” covers alleged bribery that occurred prior to the period being investigated in the Operation Lavo Jato probe.
Brazilian prosecutors allege that at least $46 million in “undue payments” were made in Switzerland between 1998 and 2012 tied to contracts for floating oil production, storage and offloading ships, Retuers said.
Prosecutors also allege that Duque, who is already in jail for charges related to the “Lava Jato” probe, requested $300 million from SBM sales agents to help fund the ruling Workers’ Party’s 2010 election effort.
Barusco, a former engineering executive at Petrobras, told a Brazilian court earlier this year that several ship building firms paid bribes to win contracts with Sete Brasil, a state-owned rig firm established to provide vessels to Petrobras.
Earlier this year, Barusco also admitted to using several Swiss bank accounts to launder a portion of an estimated $100 million in bribes.
SBM Offshore issued a statement on Thursday that said it is seeking clarification on the charges and it believes “that [the] allegations are without merit, based on what it [has] heard so far.”
The Netherlands-based firm added that it’s in discussions with Brazil’s Comptroller General’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and Petrobras on a “potential mutually acceptable settlement and for the disclosure by SBM Offshore of information relevant to the CGU’s investigations.”
Last year, SBM Offshore agreed to pay Dutch authorities $240 million to settle allegations that it bribed government officials in Angola, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea.
The U.S. Department of Justice dropped its investigation into the company when that settlement was reached.