Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes has agreed to pay $41.5 million in fines over alleged bribes paid to the former president of Suriname, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday. The airline was accused of paying Farida Diepo, wife of ex-president Desi Bouterse, more than $1 million in bribes to help secure lucrative landing rights for flights in Suriname, home to one of South America’s biggest refineries.
Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes will pay $41.5 million to settle a case with U.S. and Brazilian authorities over alleged bribes paid to the former president of Suriname, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday.
The airline’s payment of $40 million will be split between the United States and Brazil, according to court filings from both countries that were unsealed Monday in New York federal court, where Gol has its U.S.-based subsidiary GOL Airlines USA Inc..
To resolve the allegations against it, Gol agreed to pay up to an additional $1 million if it doesn’t meet certain requirements outlined in its deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors, who didn’t name any individual suspects in their announcement Monday but noted that they have arrested one person so far as part of their investigation into alleged bribes paid by Gol executives while negotiating routes between Paraguay and Suriname between 2010 and 2014.*
The airline will pay $41.5 million in civil penalties to the Justice Department and Brazilian authorities for allegedly paying bribes to the former president of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, according to a statement from the department.
The bribes were paid from 2009 through 2015 as part of a scheme where Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes secured landing rights in Suriname for its passengers, according to prosecutors. The company will pay $9 million in criminal fines to Brazil and $32 million in civil penalties related to those violations. It also agreed not to contest charges that it violated U.S. antibribery laws by making payments that were intended for officials at a foreign government’s transportation agency or airline—what can be considered an “ex gratia payment.”
Gol Linhas Aereas has settled charges it paid bribes to get landing rights in Suriname. Gol Linhas Aereas has agreed to pay $41.5 million to settle the case.
The settlements with Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and Desi Bouterse resolve the department’s investigation into allegations that the company paid bribes to obtain landing rights in Suriname. The settlement agreement with Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes includes a criminal forfeiture of $37.5 million, while the agreement with Desi Bouterse includes a criminal forfeiture of $1 million.