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Ex-Aramco worker in Embraer bribe case — Saudi firm

By AFP - Oct 29,2016 - Last updated at Oct 29,2016

RIYADH — A former employee of Saudi state oil company, Aramco, received a bribe in return for the purchase of airplanes from Embraer SA of Brazil, the Saudi firm said on Friday.

The statement came after the Brazilian aerospace company on Monday settled with US authorities for $205 million over bribery allegations in the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique.

According to a joint announcement by the US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, the alleged bribery included $1.7 million to an official at a Saudi state enterprise for a $93 million sale of three aircraft.

"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 aircraft from Embraer," Aramco said in a statement.

"These finding led the company to apply maximum disciplinary actions against its former employee."

Aramco said the case dated from 2012 when an internal audit led to the identification of violations.

"This prompted Saudi Aramco to proactively initiate an internal investigation with the cooperation of concerned authorities in Saudi Arabia."

The oil company said it cooperated with foreign agencies also probing Embraer's transactions.

The Saudi firm "has ceased all future dealings with Embraer" and will take legal action against the Brazilian company when all ongoing investigations conclude, it said.

The US Justice Department said Saudi authorities have brought charges against two individuals.

Saudi Aramco is at the heart of a Saudi economic diversification plan, Vision 2030, which would see less than 5 per cent of the company floated on the stock market.

It would be the world's largest-ever initial public offering.

Vision 2030 calls for greater transparency and accountability among government agencies.

Under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it is illegal for companies and people to pay bribes to foreign officials to win business.

Embraer fell under US jurisdiction because its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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