Dutch oilfield services firm SBM Offshore said Thursday that an internal investigation into potentially improper sales practices in Africa has confirmed that substantial payments were made to government officials. The firm added that the investigation – which has been carried out by outside legal counsel and forensic accountants since it was first announced April 10 2012 – is expected to be completed during 2013.
The investigation is into alleged payments involving sales intermediaries in certain African countries during the period 2007 to 2011. The investigation is trying to determine whether these alleged payments violated anti-corruption laws.
Although SBM said that it could not make any definitive statements regarding the findings of the investigation so far, it said that initial feedback received to date indicates that substantial payments were made, mostly through intermediaries, which appear to have been intended for government officials.
The alleged payments came to the attention of SBM's management board after a review of its compliance procedures in late 2011. In the course of the investigation allegations were made of improper payments in countries outside Africa but to date no conclusive proof of such allegations has been established, the firm added.
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