A United States company dedicated to asphalt works has pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela .
It is the Sargeant Marine Inc company that for almost a decade benefited from contracts for works carried out in these countries of the region.
According to information released by the Panam Post portal, the US firm agreed to pay $ 16.6 million in fines after pleading guilty.
According to information from federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, Sargeant Marine and its affiliates paid bribes between 2010 and 2018 for contracts with state oil companies in the three South American countries, “which were run by leftist governments at that time. ”Concluded the investigation.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based company reportedly made more than $ 38 million in profits from those cash transfers.
The Panam Post reported that Sargeant Marine acknowledged that in Ecuador he paid bribes in 2014 from foreign accounts to an official who worked in Petroecuador , to supply an asphalt work to the country.
In Brazil, on the other hand, bribes hit a congressman, a cabinet minister and senior executives of the state-owned Petrobras during the governments of former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his successor at that time, Dilma Rousseff.
In relation to Venezuela, this month, a former manager of the state oil company PDVSA , in charge of buying and selling asphalt, was arrested in a related case, bringing to seven the total number of Venezuelan executives, traders, agents and former officials linked to the bribery scheme.
“False consulting contracts and false invoices were used to pay the intermediaries who negotiated the bribes in the three countries ,” the portal noted.
According to the United States Justice, the Sargeant Marine co-conspirators used code names to hide the identities of some of the PDVSA officials who received the bribes, referring to them simply as’ Oiltrader ‘,’ Tony ‘and’ Tony 2 ‘in emails and text messages. The insider was called “Chocolates.” (I)