Colombian Navy Commander Guillermo Barrera on Monday denied corruption allegations, claiming that a payment Colombian officials received from a German firm was a “commission” not a bribe.
According to Barrera, the commission payment was specified in the contract signed with German firm Fassmer. Barrera said the contract included an anti-corruption clause, which stipulated that Fassmer would pay a commission of 3% of the value of the contract to middle-man Ferrostaal.
Barrera said that this commission would be paid to the representative in Colombia of the business who secured the contract. The amount, close to €855,000, was clearly set out in the contract and was not a bribe, Barrera said.
The Colombian Defense Ministry was implicated in an investigation into German engineering group Ferrostaal, which is accused of brokering a deal in 2006 to pay $1 million to the country’s officials to secure the sale of a coast guard vessel worth $38 million.
Ferrostaal is currently under investigation for allegedly organizing bribes on behalf of other firms for a fee, reports German publication Der Spiegel.
With an annual turnover of $2.2 billion, Ferrostaal has customers in over 60 countries