This article first appeared in HolaNews on June 25, 2021.
The oil company Petrobras has already recovered more than 6 billion reais (about 1.224 billion dollars) of the total resources that were diverted by the corrupt practices that occurred during more than a decade inside Brazil’s largest company, the company informed this Friday.
The amount of the recovered resources was updated by the state-owned company after receiving, this Friday from the Technip Group, R$ 271.1 million (about US$ 55.3 million), in addition to other R$ 578.3 million (US$ 118 million), which were already delivered by the group.
The companies Technip Brasil and Flexibras, both from the Technip Group, investigated for corruption, reached an agreement with Justice to accept their responsibility and indemnify Petrobras for the deviations.
In July 2019, the state-owned oil company received the first installment of this same agreement, (313 million reais, about US$ 63.8 million) and in June last year the second (265.1 million reais, about US$ 54 million).
According to Petrobras, in 2021 alone, more than 1 billion reais ($204 million) that had been diverted through fraudulent contracts were recovered.
“These recoveries are due to Petrobras’ status as a victim of the crimes investigated by Lava Jato. The company will continue to adopt the necessary measures to ensure adequate recovery of the losses caused to it,” the company said in a statement.
As a major stakeholder in the clarification of the crimes and the recovery of the misappropriated funds, Petrobras acts as a co-author of the Prosecutor’s Office in 21 proceedings for administrative irregularities still in progress, and as an assistant to the prosecution in 79 criminal proceedings for illegal acts investigated by the Lava Jato.
The Brazilian Federal Police estimates that the total amount that was diverted by the corruption of one of the largest companies in Latin America during the almost ten years of operation of the criminal network that assaulted it amounts to about 42 billion reais (about 8.571 billion dollars, at the current exchange rate).
According to the investigation that began more than seven years ago and uncovered the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history, a cartel made up of major construction companies illegally divided up the state-owned company’s contracts for more than a decade.
The contractors were awarded the bids through the payment of millionaire bribes distributed among high officials of the state-owned company and politicians, from almost all parties, who protected the corrupt practices.
The investigation against these irregularities has already sent to jail the executives of several of Brazil’s largest construction companies, numerous former executives of the state-owned company and prominent politicians who allegedly benefited from the corrupt practices, among them former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.