Keppel Corporation said on Monday that certain payments made by a former agent in connection with Petrobras contracts may have been “suspicious.”
In a filing with the Singapore Stock Exchange, the company said that further internal investigations into payments made by Zwi Skornicki showed that “certain transactions” associated with Skornicki “may be suspicious.”
Keppel said it has notified authorities in the relevant jurisdictions of its intention to cooperate and work towards the “resolution of the underlying issues arising from or in connection with the transactions.”
Brazilian authorities arrested Skornicki in Feburary for allegeldy paying bribes to João Santana, a top political campaigner and former treasurer of the ruling Workers’ Party, in 2013 and 2014.
In Feburary, Keppel said it put its relationship with Skornicki on hold “pending determination by the relevant authorities” into allegations that Skornicki made illegal payments.
Keppel Corporation said last year that it was investigating alleged illegal payments made in connection with contracts entered into between certain Keppel entities with Petrobras and Sete Brasil.
Keppel said on Monday that the matter continues to be under review.
The company also reiterated its zero-tolerance stance against any form of illegal activity, including bribery and corruption, involving its employees or associates.
Singapore-based Keppel has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In August, Keppel said it “strongly denies…allegations” made by Skornicki that Keppel executives had approved the illegal payments.
Keppel added in August that no executives, including Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. CEO Chow Yew Yuen, have ever authorized “any payments as bribes.”
Keppel took a $160 million fourth quarter writedown due to missing payments from Sete Brasil, a state-owned rig builder established to provide vessels to Petrobras.
The company said it received about $1.3 billion from Sete Brasil for six new rigs before milestone payments stopped.
The company added that it began slowing down construction work on the Sete rigs after it stopped receiving payments over a year ago.
Keppel added that it halted construction work on all of Sete Brasil projects as of the end of 2015 as it awaits “further clarity on the situation.”
In the company’s half-year results, Keppel Corporation CEO Loh Chin Hua said the contracts with Sete Brasil remain legally valid and that Keppel will “continue to work with Sete towards achieving a win-win outcome.”