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DoJ closes Vantage investigation

Written by  OE Staff Wednesday, 16 August 2017 11:40

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has closed its investigation into Vantage Drilling International over Vantage’s possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

DoJ in a letter acknowledged Vantage’s full cooperation into the investigation, closing it without any action, Vantage said in a 16 August press statement.

However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) investigation into the allegations remains open. Vantage said it is cooperating with the SEC on this investigation, which has been taking place in parallel with DoJ’s probe.

The investigations were launched in 2015 over allegations that Vantage made improper payments to former officials of Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (Petrobras) in connection with the contracting of Vantage drillship Titanium Explorer to Petrobras.

Petrobras in 2015 cancelled its $1.6 billion contract for the drillship, citing a breach in Vantage’s obligations under the contract. At that time, Petrobras caught up in investigations over the Lava Jato scandal, which involved the large-scale bribery of government officials and money laundering by illegal money brokers.

Vantage filed arbitration to challenge the allegations, saying it believed it was innocent of wrongdoing. The agent involved in negotiating the contract terms for Vantage entered a plea agreement with Brazilian authorities; Vantage said if the agent had committed any illegal acts, he had not done so on Vantage’s behalf.

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