SINGAPORE (July 3): Sembcorp Marine says the Brazilian federal police conducted a raid on the premises of its subsidiary Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz Ltda (EJA).

The shipyard of EJA is located in the municipality of Aracruz in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

SembMarine says the search warrant was executed under Operation Car Wash, the codename for the corruption probe into Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, in which other companies paid officials at the oil producer to win business.

The search was in relation to investigations against Guilherme Esteves de Jesus (GDJ), a former consultant engaged by EJA in Brazil.

GDJ has been arrested by the Brazilian police and is currently facing criminal charges that are ongoing.

SembMarine says the current investigations also involve the former president of EJA, Martin Cheah Kok Choon.

The group says it is co-operating fully with the Brazilian authorities.

Operation Car Wash -- the investigation into one of South America’s biggest corruption scandals -- has involved leading politicians, construction companies, banks, and shipyards -- including the offshore & marine division of Keppel Corp.

In 2017, Keppel Offshore & Marine USA pleaded guilty, while its parent, Keppel Offshore & Marine, entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the government and paid fines totalling US$422 million.

Zwi Skornicki, a former agent of a US unit of Keppel Offshore & Marine, recently also pleaded guilty to paying bribes to Brazilian officials.

See: Ex-Keppel agent admits guilt in US in Petrobras bribe scam

See also: Keppel O&M fined US$422 mil as part of resolution over bribes for contracts by ex-agent Skornicki

Pedro Jose Barusco, the Petrobras executive who accused Skornicki of paying millions of dollars in bribes to Brazilian officials, had also made similar allegations against GDJ back in 2015.

However, SembMarine has repeatedly denied it made any illegal payments and that the group’s policies and contracts prohibit bribery and unethical behaviour.