Brazil police investigate potential Petrobras bribes in Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-27 07:47:33|Editor: xuxin
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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian federal police on Friday launched an operation into bribes allegedly received by former Petrobras executive when buying an oil well in Benin, West Africa.

Dubbed "Pozo Seco" (Dry Well), the operation seeks to identify who received these bribes. It is thought that the illicit money received by former Speaker Eduardo Cunha, who has now been jailed for 15 years for corruption, came from these bribes.

Cunha, who began the impeachment trial against former president Dilma Rousseff in December 2015, was accused of receiving 1.5 million U.S. dollars of bribes.

According to investigators, the bribes were paid to hidden accounts in Switzerland and the United States.

The list of those being investigated include former Petrobras senior executive, Pedro Augusto Xavier Bastos, the former owner of the BVA Bank, Jose Augusto Ferreira dos Santos, and Fernanda Luz, daughter of lobbyist, Jorge Luz, who was arrested in February for corruption and money laundering.

These suspects, among others, are thought to have shared 10 million U.S. dollars in bribes from the Benin contract, Brazil's prosecutor-general stated.

The new operation is part of the sweeping inquiry into the Petrobras corruption ring as Brazil's political crisis worsens with President Michel Temer fighting off claims of bribery.