Maersk denies tanker deal bribery

By Finance

AP Moller-Maersk has rejected any bribery accusations that it corrupted a Petrobas official to accept shipping contracts. Tanker charters by the company emerged as a subject of investigation of jailed Paulo Roberto Costa, official of the Brazilian corporation.

According to Epoca, Brazillian news magazine, the federal police is investigating Costa for kickbacks receiving as brokerage commission of 1,25 % on Maersk Tankers charters to the oil giant of Brazil.

The report of Epoca, published in the weekend, claims that BRL 6.2 million ( $2.79 million) were given as a payment to Wanderley Gandra, a shipbroker, but eventually the money turned out to be in Costa's hands. He used to be the head of downstream operations in Petrobas until two years ago.

Maersk denied any accusations saying there was no contract with Paulo Costa and explaining that the commission of 1,25% given to Gandra’s Corretagem Gandra was industry standard. The payment was made with invoice trough legal banking channels.

The company issued a statement in the press:

“Maersk Group reiterates is policy of fighting corruption.”

AP Moller-Maersk also added that kickbacks and bribes are strictly forbidden for any person or company working with them.

The Petrobas official was arrested in March as part of investigation Operation Carwash. He has been accused of money laundering.

AP Moller-Maersk and Petrobas have worked together for decades. The Danish company is involved in many sectors in Brazil (such as LPG carrier, offshore supply vessel, tanker and drilling).

Maersk Tankers is the sole branch that used Corretagem Gandra for chartering in Brazil.

“In the global market for tankers and gasships, it is common and habitual to use brokers that provide external marketing assistance to promote operators’ services to many clients in different countries. Maersk Tankers does that in Brazil as well, including with Petrobras,” added Maersk.