Photo: Illustration; Source: Samsung Heavy Industries

Samsung Heavy settles Brazil corruption investigation for $149 million

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has agreed to pay a settlement in a leniency deal with authorities of Brazil to settle a corruption investigation.

According to a Reuters article, federal prosecutors said late on Monday that Samsung Heavy paid $148.56 million (812 million reais).

Reuters claimed that the prosecutor’s office made a deal which was part of a global negotiation between the company and U.S. and Brazilian authorities to settle alleged crimes over contracts with state-owned oil major Petrobras.

A Samsung Heavy representative confirmed to the news outlet that the company signed a pact with Brazilian authorities but declined further comment, saying more information would be disclosed in a regulatory filing.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, Samsung Heavy said: “The company has accepted and agreed to results of Brazilian authorities’ investigation to resolve management uncertainties, which may arise from litigation processes if they last long“.

Petrobras is at the centre of the Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato) probe which is Brazil’s largest corruption scandal that implicated hundreds of government and business officials since 2014.

U.S. authorities have been involved in past settlement deals related to Petrobras graft investigations as the company has U.S.-listed depository shares.

In the deal, Petrobras will receive damages of about $129.2 million, while Samsung Heavy will pay fines of around $19.3 million to the government.

In recent months, several firms either paid settlement cash or were targeted in the Car Wash probe. Namely, officials started investigating offshore drilling contractor Seadrill and oilfield services provider Sapura Energy concerning the corruption probe in September 2020.

In mid-December 2020, Brazilian prosecutors have filed a civil lawsuit against Danish shipping giant Maersk alleging corruption schemes concerning securing shipping contracts with Petrobras.

Just two weeks later, Petrobras received $44.65 million in a settlement with Swiss energy trading firm Vitol which was also implicated in the Car Wash probe.