The Dutch multinational SBM Offshore last year signed a record 240 million dollar settlement with the Dutch prosecutor (OM) because of widespread corruption. But now their agent will be held accountable in Brazil.

Nobody knew what he looked like. And nobody knew exactly where he was. Only when theÔÇĘBrazilian Congress threatened to issue an international arrest warrant, did Julio Faerman, the mysterious agent of Dutch multinational SBM Offshore, emerge from the shadows that for decades had been his natural habitat, decades during which he helped win tens of billions of dollars in contracts from Brazil for the Dutch company.

And for every order, Faerman also received cheques into his accounts in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, money he then funnelled to senior officials at Petrobras.

The Brazilian state oil company is by far the most important customer of SBM which builds and leases platforms for the production and storage of oil and gas at sea (FPSOs). The smartly...