September 25, 2020

Bahamas-based banks implicated in Brazil bribery scandal


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By Xian Smith Nassau Reporter From Caribbean News Now

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Bahamas has been named in a bribery scandal sweeping through ’s state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Brazilian prosecutors announced onTuesday the arrest of , a former executive engineering manager of Petrobras, according to the Associated Press. The prosecutors allege offshore accounts in , Switzerland and The Bahamas were used to receive bribe money that was paid by construction companies to Petrobras executives in an effort to secure lucrative contracts.

The ministry of foreign affairs told Guardian Business on Tuesday that the matter is a “private banking matter” and “in the event of any criminality, the nation of Brazil would take appropriate action”.

When asked about The Bahamas’ cooperation in the investigation, the ministry said, “The Bahamas takes seriously and fulfills all its international obligations. If asked for specific assistance in this case, the country will respond accordingly.”

Petrobras was formed in 1953 as Brazil’s national oil company; the scandal erupted in 2014. This recent development in the Petrobras probe comes on the heels of Brazil’s meat packing scandal, which led countries to ban meat imports from Brazil. Brazilian authorities accused health inspectors of taking bribes to sell rotten meat at some meatpacking facilities. China and other major meat importers have lifted their bans, but The Bahamas’ precautionary ban still stands.

Petrobras has been at the centre of corruption scandals surrounding former Brazilian politicians and allies of Brazil’s current government.

According to the Rio Times, “Brazilian prosecutors say that Petrobras executives received at least R$2.1 billion in bribes and illicit funds from companies interested in multimillion-dollar contracts with the oil giant.”

IMAGE: Roberto Goncalves, a former executive engineering manager of Petrobras, during his arrest in Brazil

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