Brazilian authorities made five more arrests on Monday as part of the continuing Operation Car Wash probe into massive corruption surrounding the state oil firm Petrobras, according to Reuters.
The latest round is related to an alleged $8.9m in bribes to rig public auctions at Petrobras’ research centre Cenpes.
Part of the alleged embezzled funds allegedly went to the Workers Party which has ruled the country for 13 years.
The overarching scandal surrounds a wide web of bribes for inflated contracts, plus kickbacks to politicians to smooth the process.
By Petrobras’ own estimates the scandal has cost the company more than $2bn. It has also ruined its reputation and done incalculable damage to its business operations. And the ramifications have gone near the very top in national politics.
As the scandal has been running concurrent with the plunge in oil prices, Petrobras – which has vast offshore interests – has been unable to shake off its unwanted title as the world’s most indebted oil company, despite big moves to cut costs, lay off staff, divert assets and restrict investment budgets.