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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil’s Odebrecht Vows to Turn Page on Corrupt Past

QUITO – Brazilian engineering giant Odebrecht said on Friday that it had taken significant steps to ensure it conducts its operations lawfully in the future.

“We’re a company that has changed ... No more bribes will be paid,” the company’s chief compliance officer, Michael Munro, said at a working breakfast in Quito.

Odebrecht and its petrochemical unit Braskem pleaded guilty late last year to paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials around the world to win business.

As part of its settlement with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland, announced on Dec. 21, 2016, the company agreed to pay a combined penalty of at least $3.5 billion to resolve the charges.

Salvador-based Odebrecht was one of the companies at the heart of a $2 billion bribes-for-inflated contracts scheme centered on Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, the biggest corporate scandal in that nation’s history.

The US attorney said Odebrecht was committed to showing all of the governments of the region – including Ecuador, where the company admitted to paying $35 million in bribes – that it had changed.

“History shows that companies can change and become leaders in the global effort against bribery,” Munro said after repeatedly apologizing to the Ecuadorian people and its government.

During the working breakfast, he described Odebrecht’s two-pronged program for stamping out extensive corruption within the company, including steps to detect the problem and reach settlements with authorities in the US, Brazil, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and other countries.

Other steps also have been taken as part of a global compliance program that aims to ensure Odebrecht’s employees conduct their work with integrity, Munro said.

 

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