Petrobras receives back a portion of money lost to graft

Petrobras, Brazil’s scandal-laden state oil company, on Friday received back a small portion of the huge amount of money it lost to graft in the past few years.

The company has been embroiled in a bribes-for-inflated-contracts scheme that involved wide-ranging price fixing and political kickbacks and which has implicated some of the country’s top executives and politicians.

The world’s most indebted oil company, Petrobras revealed in its financial report in April that it estimated the graft had cost it 6.2 billion reais ($1.8 bn).

So when the company was handed 139 million reais in Friday’s ceremony it marked just a fraction of the total losses. The recovered money was delivered by the federal Attorney General’s Office at the firm’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The recovered money stems from plea deals reached with two defendants, who returned funds stashed overseas.

Petrobras has recouped almost 300 million reais from illegal offshore accounts of former executives after they became the state’s witnesses and agreed to revert the proceeds of corruption.

The company has been reducing investments and production targets and plans to sell $15 billion of assets in 2016 and 2017.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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