Brazil corruption probe nets fourth Petrobras executive

GMT 16:54 2015 Thursday ,02 July

Arab Today, arab today Brazil corruption probe nets fourth Petrobras executive

Brasília - AFP

Police in Brazil on Thursday arrested a fourth former high-ranking executive of state oil company Petrobras in the latest chapter of an anti-corruption probe shaking the Latin American giant's political and business elite.

Jorge Zelada, former head of the international division at Brazil's biggest company, was among five people being sought for "corruption, fraudulent tenders, embezzlement of public funds, capital flight, and money laundering," federal police said in a statement.

Searches and arrest warrants were executed in Rio de Janeiro and nearby Niteroi, police said.

Zelada, suspected of taking bribes on drilling contracts, is the latest big figure netted in the probe, dubbed Operation Carwash. Prosecutors say Petrobras, long a pillar of the world's seventh largest economy, was at the center of a sprawling embezzlement, bribes and kickbacks scheme in collusion with construction companies and political parties, including the ruling Worker's Party.

The chief executives of construction giants Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez are among other high-ranking business figures already snared. The scandal has also seen the arrest of a former treasurer of President Dilma Rousseff's Worker's Party.

Badly hurt by the upheaval and low oil prices, Petrobras announced last month that it is cutting its five-year investment plan by 37 percent and plans major divestment and restructuring.


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