US manufacturer Honeywell to pay $200m to settle bribery charges

Parallel investigations were for bribes that Honeywell paid from 2010 to 2014 to get business from Brazil’s Petrobras.

A pedestrian with an umbrella walks past the Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Honeywell was accused of paying bribes to a high-ranking official at Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras to secure business [File: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg]

US-based manufacturer Honeywell International Inc said it has agreed to pay about $200m to settle criminal and civil corruption investigations in the United States and Brazil.

The US Justice Department and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) each announced on Monday the resolution of parallel investigations relating to bribes that Honeywell paid between 2010 and 2014 to a high-ranking official at Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras to secure business.

The SEC charges also relate to payments Honeywell’s Belgian subsidiary made to an Algerian government official in 2011. Those bribes involved Monaco-based oil consultancy Unaoil, which has previously been charged by global authorities over a 17-year scheme to pay bribes to officials in nine countries.

Honeywell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk said the company is “pleased” to have the matter behind it, noting that it had received full cooperation credit.

About $160m of the total amount Honeywell said it will pay will go towards US civil and criminal penalties.

Later on Monday, Brazil’s government confirmed Honeywell’s statement by saying the company would pay about 638 million reais ($120m) to settle the case, with about 70 percent destined for Petrobras.

US prosecutors agreed to defer potential prosecution against the firm for three years in exchange for a criminal penalty of about $79m and a promise of continued cooperation in any other investigations, among other things, the Justice Department said.

“This case exemplifies corporate misconduct on a global level,” said US Attorney Alamdar S Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas.

Honeywell agreed to pay another $81m civil penalty to resolve the SEC’s charges, though almost half is expected to be offset by payments made to Brazilian authorities, the SEC said.

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters