San Francisco: Swiss authorities on Wednesday extended their probe into the corruption scandal surrounding Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras when they said they were now looking into Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht and some of its subsidiaries.
The announcement from the Swiss Attorney General came just two days after it was revealed that Brazilian federal police formally accused Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of Odebrecht, of having a role in the scandal, which has rocked Brazil and the oil industry.
Odebrecht is being held under “preventative arrest” at a jail in Curitiba, southern Brazil, while police investigate charges of money laundering and corruption against him.
Subsidiaries of Odebrecht are suspected of using Swiss accounts to make bribery payments to former Petrobras executives, who also maintained Swiss bank accounts
The Swiss derive their jurisdiction in this affair from the use of the country’s famously secretive banking system by some of the major alleged players, seemingly for money laundering purposes.
This week, three former executives from another one of Brazil’s largest construction conglomerates, Camargo Corrê a SA, were sentenced for money laundering and other charges for their roles in the scandal.