Brazil's Minister of Justice, Jose Eduardo Cardozo
Sao Paulo - AFP
Brazil said it has ordered an investigation after a German company said it had unearthed evidence that a subsidiary paid bribes to officials in connection with World Cup contracts last year.
The justice ministry told AFP on Monday that Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo would examine some $6.5 million worth of contracts with German engineering firm Bilfinger involving alleged compliance violations.
In a statement, Bilfinger said it had received internal information last year prompting it to investigate possible violations of the Group's compliance regulations regarding orders for the supply of monitor walls and software for security control centres at several Brazilian sites.
"The company immediately launched a comprehensive investigation," the firm said in its statement.
The allegation relates to suspected bribery payments from employees of a Bilfinger company in Brazil, Helmut Mauell, to Brazilian public officials and employees of state companies.
The firm added it had commissioned auditors Ernst & Young "to conduct a comprehensive securing of data in Germany and Brazil," furthermore bringing in auditors Deloitte and a specialized law office in Brazil to clarify the case.
"Suspicions have now been substantiated; the investigation, however, is not yet complete," Bilfinger added regarding the bid for software and traffic flow monitors at several venues.
"Should the accuracy of the allegations be confirmed, Bilfinger will take action with regard to personnel and will initiate legal steps," the company said in indicating its compliance system met international standards.
Cardozo urged Bilfinger to facilitate "all elements pointing to possible irregularities" surrounding contracts under review.
Sesge, Brazil's secretariat for overseeing major events and an offshoot of the justice ministry, indicated Helmut Mauell won the contract following a tender process typically involving around ten firms.
Sesge secretary Andrei Rodrigues called for a police investigation.
Germany's Bild mass daily published the allegations Sunday.