The Dutch authorities are investigating possible involvement of the shipbuilder Royal IHC in the payment of bribes in Brazil. This can be deduced from Brazilian court documents.
The documents were reviewed by Dutch newspaper FD. The case causes embarrassment not only to IHC but also to the Dutch State. It saved the company from bankruptcy 6 months ago and is currently the sole shareholder via a foundation.
The reason for the investigation is an order for the construction of 6 ships in 2013. The shipbuilder from Kinderdijk received this order worth more than 1 billion euros after mediation by a Brazilian agent. This agent is said to have used part of his reward to pay bribes to directors of the company that commissioned the 6 ships.
The 6 ships involved were pipe layers built for Sapura, a Malaysian company: the Sapura Diamante and Sapura Topazio (both delivered in 2014), the Sapura Esmeralda, Sapura Jade and Sapura Onix (all delivered in 2015), and the Sapura Rubi (delivered in 2016).
The Brazilian judicial authorities carried out house searches and seizures in the case last week. ‘IHC has not been informed at this time by the Brazilian or Dutch authorities that it is under investigation,’ says a spokesman. ‘The starting point for IHC’s actions is its Code of Conduct, in which integrity is the guiding principle.’
Picture by M.M. Minderhoud.