RIO DE JANEIRO, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The former President of the Bank of Brazil and Petrobras, Aldemir Bendine, was arrested on Thursday in a new phase of Operation Car Wash, which investigates the corruption ring found within the state oil company.
Official sources stated that Bendine was arrested in Sorocaba, in the interior of Sao Paulo state, on charges of corruption and money laundering. As part of the operation, federal police also carried out 11 searches and three arrested in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Pernambuco.
The police accused Bendine and people close to him of soliciting bribes to ensure that the Odebrecht construction company would win Petrobras tenders.
In exchange for these, Odebrecht is thought to have paid Bendine and his associates bribes worth at least 3 million reais (about 1 million U.S. dollars). According to the police report, these payments only stopped when Odebrecht's former president, Marcelo Odebrecht, was arrested in June 2015.
Bendine ran the state-owned Bank of Brazil from 2009 until February 2015, under the administration of Dilma Rousseff, before taking over Petrobras until May 2016.
The prosecutor-general stated that there was evidence that Bendine asked for a bribe worth 17 million reais (5.3 million U.S. dollars) to facilitate a loan from the Bank of Brazil to Odebrecht.
In his confession to prosecutors, Marcelo Odebrecht stated that he refused to pay the bribe because Bendine was not thought to be able to arrange the loan.