Ex-Consultant of Singapore Firm Sentenced for Graft in Brazil

A Brazilian court has sent a former shipbuilding firm consultant to jail for 19 years after judges found him guilty of bribing officials of the state-controlled oil company Petrobras in order to obtain construction contracts. 

jurong shipyardJurong shipyard in Aracruz, Brazil. (Photo: company's Linkedin) Guilherme Esteves de Jesus, a financial operator for Singapore-based SembMarine, made several payments to Petrobras treasurer João Vaccari Neto in order to obtain drilling unit construction contracts with Petrobras rig supplier Sete Brasil in 2012, according to the verdict.

SembMarine commented the ruling on Friday and said that it was “committed to the highest standards of compliance with the anti-corruption laws” and that it won’t tolerate any improper business conduct. 

 De Jesus was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 19 years and four month in jail.

The investigation into the shipyard contracts was part of massive “Operation Car Wash,” an ongoing probe that uncovered an institutionalized bribery system that had spread all over Latin America and beyond.

At the center of the scandal is the construction giant Odebrecht which paid off politicians as high as presidents, political parties, officials of state-owned companies such as Petrobras to secure lucrative contracts. 

According to Jusbrasil, a Brazilian portal dedicated to justice, most of the bribes de Jesus paid went to Vaccari’s offshore account. Vaccari - who also cooperated this way with another shipyard - received this way a total of US$4.53 million.

Vaccari is already in jail after having been handed down decades-long sentences for corruption related to the over $5 billion Car Wash case.