Petrobras set to sue engineering and construction firms to recover graft scheme losses

Petrobras set to sue engineering and construction firms to recover graft scheme losses

SanFrancisco: Petrobras plans to sue some engineering and construction firms that were allegedly involved in the bribery and corruption scandal that has blackened the name of Brazil’s state oil company.

The scandal, with ramifications in the worlds of politics and international business, is still under investigation in Brazil and has seen numerous leading executives and politicians implicated.

At its essence the graft scheme was a multibillion dollar web in which bribes, inflated contracts and political kickbacks were widespread.

Now Petrobras is the one on the offensive, as it plans to sue five construction and engineering firms and their senior executives to recover about 1.3 billion reais ($440 million) it lost in the scandal. In late April Petrobras estimated it had lost $2.1bn total in the graft scheme.

The company has already sued two companies in conjunction with the federal prosecutors’ office. It said in a securities filing it will launch three other civil suits but did not say where they will be filed.

Several construction and engineering firms have said Petrobras officials forced them to make illegal payments to executives and politicians.

Suits seeking 452 million reais ($150m) against engineering firms Engevix and Mendes Junior and several of their senior executives were filed on 30 April and 8 May, Petrobras said.

Other suits seeking 826 million reais ($274m) from Galvao Engenharia, OAS Engenharia and Camargo Correa and several of their senior executives will be filed in the coming weeks, the company added.

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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