Petrobras Ignored Whistleblower's Warnings of Dodgy Singapore Bunker Deals: Report

Friday June 14, 2019

Petrobras ignored warnings about dodgy bunker deals at its Singapore unit years before the marine fuel industry's alleged involvement in the "car wash" scandal came to light, according to a new report by Reuters.

Documents seen by the news agency, corroborated with sources said to be close to the matter, indicate in 2012 comments by a whistleblower prompted an internal probe that found at least 28 cases where the Singapore office overpaid for fuel.

While the total overpaid across all the deals was not clear, at least ten of the deals were said to have involved overpayment by at least $20/mt.

Among the firms involved in the suspect trades was Seaview Shipbroking Ltd who last year was implicated as part fo the car wash scandal for allegedly acting as a middle man to facilitate dubious transactions between Petrobras and some of the world's largest commodity traders.

In 2013 it was recommended by some Petrobras employees that the firm ceased its dealings with Seaview, but the report says transactions with the firm continued until at least February 2014 due to objections by at least three senior Petrobras managers.

Two of those are understood to have since been accused of various indiscretions in connection with car wash, including money laundering and taking bribes.

The players involved have not added any new comments in response to the latest report, but have previously said they are cooperating with Brazilian authorities as part of the investigation and have denied any wrongdoing.