State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco has confirmed that a former employee received a bribe in return for the purchase of aeroplanes from Brazil’s Embraer.
In a media statement posted on October 28 the company said its internal auditing activities that took place a few years ago revealed “irregularities of the transaction” between the two companies.
The statement came three days after Embraer said it would pay a $205.5m fine to settle an investigation by US and Brazilian authorities into bribery allegations in the Dominican Republic, India, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia.
“With significant and extensive assistance from the Saudi Ministry of Interior authorities, Saudi Aramco’s internal investigations established that a former Saudi Aramco employee was involved in receiving a bribe in return for facilitating the purchase of three aircrafts from Embraer,” the company said.
It added that it carried out “maximum disciplinary actions” against its former employee and the matter was referred to the relevant national authorities.
Aramco also confirmed it had suspended all business dealings with Embraer since the incident and excluded it from any future business.
An internal audit of the deal was carried out in 2012, exposing the violations and leading the company to initiate its own internal investigation in cooperation with authorities in the country, according to the statement.
“The investigation confirmed the involvement of the former employee in these violations. Consequently, Saudi Aramco took appropriate measures against the involved former employee and referred the case to competent government authorities and cooperated in revealing all entities involved in this case,” Aramco said.
The company cooperated with international agencies conducting similar investigations into Embraer’s transactions and said its cooperation contributed to revealing the “circumstances of the case and its international network”.
Aramco said it would take appropriate legal measures against Embraer over the violations upon the completion of the ongoing investigations by all other agencies.
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