Brazil's public prosecutor on Friday demanded that firms caught up in the huge kickbacks scandal at oil giant Petrobras pay some $1.5 billion in damages as well as yet-to-be-specified fines.
The prosecutor's office in southern Parana state investigating the case made the demand as it turns up the heat on firms involved in a scam estimated at some $3.8 billion over a decade.
Federal prosecutors indicate some two dozen companies paid massively over the odds for service contracts with Petrobras.
The surplus, estimated at between one and three percent of the contracts' value, was distributed to corrupt officials but also politicians, mainly government allies.
Authorities are questioning a clutch of former executives from Petrobras, one of whom blew the whistle on the scheme last March, as well as from several top construction and engineering firms who have denied wrongdoing.
"The accusation of illicit enrichment ... implicates the companies Camargo Correa, Sanko, Mendes Junior, OAS, Galvao Engenharia, Engevix and their directors," the prosecutor's office said.