Swiss File First Charges in 'Car Wash' Probe
Switzerland has pressed charges against a person in a corruption probe of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht, the attorney general's office said, adding it was seeking to conclude the case quickly.Prosecutors in Bern on Tuesday said they suspect the person, acting as a financial middleman, of helping bribe public officials and of money laundering in the sprawling "Operation Car Wash" case.It has become one of the biggest corruption…
Swiss, Brazil Try to Unravel Petrobras Affair
Crimefighters in Switzerland and Brazil pledged to intensify cooperation to resolve the sprawling corruption case linked to state oil firm Petrobras in which around 700 million Swiss francs ($701 million) remain frozen in Switzerland.Switzerland has so far returned roughly 365 million Swiss francs ($365.6 million) to Brazil related to Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Tuesday, including 9 million francs in March.Around 70 related criminal proceedings are under way in Switzerland…
Big Oil Readies Brazil Offshore Bets
Exxon Mobil Corp , Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other companies will gather on Friday in possibly their last crack at Brazil's coveted offshore oil for another four years, as a wide-open election spurs fears about barriers to foreign investment.The auction in Rio de Janeiro for four blocks in the Santos and Campos basins comes just a week before the most unpredictable presidential election in a generation, which features candidates that may seek to slow the pace of oil auctions…
Brazil Prosecutors Investigate Two Petrobras Pipe Suppliers
Brazilian police and prosecutors said they are investigating pipe suppliers Apolo Tubulars and Confab in the latest phase of a sweeping investigation of contracts with state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras. Prosecutor Roberson Pozzobon said Jose Dirceu, the convicted former chief of staff of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, benefited from fraudulent contracts with Petrobras. Rio de Janeiro-based Confab is a shareholder of Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais and part of Italian industrial conglomerate Techint Group.
Petrobras Probes HR Practices, Paper Says
Brazil's state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA is investigating practices in its human resources department that could have left the company vulnerable to billions of reais in liabilities, newspaper Valor Economico said on Monday. Petrobras' head of governance, João Elek, is leading the internal probe after an anonymous report of 11 potentially controversial measures taken by its HR department in recent years, which could have included special treatment to union members at top management levels, Valor said.
Brazil's Rousseff Resumes Talks with Lula
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff resumed talks on Wednesday morning with her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on him taking up a Cabinet post following inconclusive discussions late on Tuesday. Presidential aides said on Tuesday that Lula had decided to accept a ministerial position, a move that would also offer him protection in the short term from prosecutors who have charged him with money laundering and fraud. Reporters at the Alvorada presidential residence said Finance Minister Nelson Barbosa had also joined the meeting, along with other members of her inner circle.
Judge sends Lula Charges to Petrobras magistrate
Any decision to arrest Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be made by Federal Judge Sergio Moro, who oversees a sweeping investigation into kickbacks at state-run oil firm Petrobras and approved the detention of dozens of senior executives, a judge in Sao Paulo ruled on Monday. State prosecutors in Sao Paulo asked for an arrest warrant for Lula last week after charging him with money laundering and identity fraud for concealing ownership of a beachfront condo…
Rousseff Denies Plea Bargain Reports
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Friday denied details of a reported plea bargain by former ally Senator Delcidio Amaral, who purportedly tied her to a corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Rousseff also used a news conference to repeat her disagreement with the questioning in police custody of her political mentor and predecessor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as part of the investigation. (Reporting by Brad Haynes; editing by Grant McCool)
Brazil's Petrobras Corruption Investigation Targets Lula
Federal prosecutors who uncovered a huge corruption scheme at oil company Petrobras are looking into whether Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received undue favors from engineering firms they are investigating. In a letter to the Supreme Court made public on Monday, the head of the investigation, Deltan Dallagnol, argued for a federal probe because some of the alleged gifts were made while Lula was still in office. The prosecutors suspect favors…
Brazil Prosecutors Charge Lula's Former Chief of Staff
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's ex-chief of staff was charged with corruption, money laundering and racketeering on Friday, making him one of the most senior members of the ruling Workers' Party targeted by prosecutors in a massive corruption scandal. Jose Dirceu, Lula's chief of staff between 2003 and 2005, was arrested on Aug. 3 and prosecutors say he was a key architect of a price-fixing and political kickback scheme at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
Brazil Arrests Former Government Minister
Brazil's federal police on Monday arrested former government minister Jose Dirceu, ensnaring the most senior member of the country's ruling party yet in a massive investigation into alleged corruption at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Dirceu, chief-of-staff of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's administration between 2003 and 2005, was already under house detention for conducting a vote-buying scheme during Lula's Worker's Party government. Federal police received…
Brazil Govt. Expects Petrobras to Lose Key Oil Rights
Brazil's government expects a bill ending state-run Petrobras' dominant role in key offshore oil areas to pass Congress, reversing one of President Dilma Rousseff's signature policies, a source told Reuters on Thursday. The bill, which is before Brazil's Senate, is likely to pass and also win approval in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazil's lower house, said the source, who works at the Presidential Palace and has direct knowledge of government thinking. "There's nothing the government can do…
IMF sees Brazil Economy Shrinking, Growth Hinging on Austerity
The Brazilian economy will likely shrink this year, but the South American country could return to growth in 2016 if it succeeds in boosting investor confidence with its austerity drive, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday. The IMF lowered its 2015 forecast for Brazil's economic performance to a 1 percent contraction from the 0.3 percent growth it forecast in January due to tighter fiscal and monetary policies and a drop in investment by state-run oil company Petrobras.
Petrobras Promises Fail to Convince Investors
Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long history of failed spending and output plans may be the biggest obstacle to its efforts to convince investors it will reduce its massive debt. The company's $90 billion cut on Monday from planned investment over five years and 30 percent reduction to its 2020 oil and natural gas output forecast mark the first major retrenchment by Petrobras, as it is known, since the discovery of giant offshore oil reserves south of Rio de Janeiro was announced in late 2007.
Brazil Suspends Auction to Dam Tapajos River
Brazil has canceled an auction to sell rights to build a hydroelectric dam on the Sao Luiz do Tapajos River in the lower Amazon Basin, a 30 billion real ($13 billion) project that has outraged environmentalists and Indian rights groups. "The dam on Sao Luiz do Tapajos that was planned for auction this year will be pushed back until next year," Altino Ventura, the Energy Ministry's secretary for development, told reporters on Wednesday in Sao Paulo. Ventura added that no new date has been set for the auction, which was scheduled for Dec. 15.
Brazil Widens Petrobras Probe
Brazil's securities-market regulator CVM said on Tuesday it is investigating whether Petrobras executives failed in their legal duties to protect the state-run oil company and its investors from losses related to a giant corruption scandal. The regulator said in a statement it was seeking to "ascertain any irregularities related to the possible breach of fiduciary duties of company administrators." The CVM did not name the executives of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, that were being investigated.
Failure to Stop Petrobras Scandal Could Haunt Rousseff
When federal investigators first identified signs of corruption at Petrobras in 2009, Dilma Rousseff insisted Brazil's state-run oil company had nothing to hide. "Petrobras has one of the most accurate accounting standards in the world," said Rousseff, who was then chairwoman of its board and is now Brazil's president. Today, it's clear her confidence was misplaced. Petrobras now acknowledges it overpaid on contracts for years. Prosecutors say engineering firms paid bribes to win Petrobras contracts…
Brazil's Rousseff Says Petrobras Critics Distorting Facts
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday lashed out at critics of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, saying accusations of corruption, cost-overruns and stagnation at the state-run oil company were politically-motivated. "I won't tolerate any type of wrongdoing, criminal action, influence peddling or corruption of any type no matter who commits it," Rousseff said in a campaign-style speech at the launching of an oil tanker at a shipyard near Recife, Brazil. "At the same time I won't stand by quietly when people carry out a politically-motivated…
Petrobras Shares Surge on Report Rousseff to Replace CEO
Shares of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras rose more than 15 percent on Tuesday, their biggest one-day jump in 16 years, after a local newspaper reported the country's President Dilma Rousseff has decided to replace the embattled company's chief executive officer. Rousseff's press office denied the report in Folha de S.Paulo, but confirmed that the president and the company's CEO, Maria das Graças Foster, met at the presidential palace in Brasilia late on Tuesday. They declined to say what was on the agenda.