10 April 2019
The Swiss Public Ministry of the Confederation (MPC) returned to Brazil some 365 million francs, which had been frozen as part of a major corruption investigation involving the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras and construction giant Odebrecht. The Swiss authorities seized some 700 million euros.
The money was returned after a meeting between Brazilian Attorney General Raquel Dodge and his Swiss counterpart Michael Lauber.
Swiss investigators screened some 1000 bank accounts. Currently, about 70 criminal proceedings are in progress, of which 15 have been taken over by the Brazilian authorities. Another 120 requests for legal assistance from other States, including Brazil, have been delegated by the Federal Office of Justice to the MPC for execution.
The Swiss prosecutor recalled that “this is one of the largest investigative complexes in the MPC”. bilan.ch reported.
Former Brazilian President Michel Temer was indicted on corruption charges in a bribery scheme related to the Angra 3 nuclear power plant complex on the coast near Rio de Janeiro. The case is linked to Operation Car Wash, Brazil’s largest corruption investigation. Prosecutors said the graft at Angra was in upward of $462.5 million. The nuclear plant’s construction contract which involves the Brazilian subsidiary of Swedish consulting firm AF Poyry, and Brazilian engineering firms Engevix and Argeplan.
In another case, Federal Judge Marcelo Bretas accepted charges of corruption and money laundering against former president Temer, his former energy minister, Wellington Moreira Franco, and six other close aides.
Temer is also facing charges in another corruption investigation in which prosecutors accuse him of using a middleman to procure a suitcase full of cash from JBS SA, the controlling shareholders of the world’s largest meatpacker.
In 2017, Temer’s aide Rodrigo da Rocha Loures was caught on video by security cameras running out of a Sao Paulo restaurant carrying a bag with $128,165 in cash that prosecutors said was a bribe from the owners of JBS. Rocha Loures, who has denied the charges. Reuters reported.
Several thousand people gathered outside the prison where former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is being held to demand for his release. The protest took place on the anniversary of the former leader’s conviction and imprisonment.
Lula is currently serving a 12-year sentence for accepting a beachfront apartment from construction giant Odebrecht in exchange for a lucrative contract with state-owned oil company Petrobras. DW.com reported