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Wednesday, 02 January 2019

Peru public prosecutor’s office “in state of emergency”

Peruvian president Martín Vizcarra will ask Congress to declare the public prosecutor’s office in a state of emergency after the attorney general dismissed a team investigating bribery by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, according to reports.

Attorney general Pedro Chávarry dismissed the team on 31 December, prompting street protests across the country.

Vizcarra denounced the dismissal in a tweet, saying the fight against corruption and impunity remained a government priority. He is expected to present a bill to Congress seeking the state of emergency on 2 January. 

The state of emergency would reportedly enable Vizcarra to easily make changes to personnel involved in the investigation, including overturning Chávarry's decision.

Odebrecht settled corruption charges with Peruvian authorities in early December, as part of wide reaching bribery investigations into the Brazilian construction company.

Mozambique’s former finance minister arrested in South Africa

Mozambique’s ex-finance minister was arrested in South Africa on 29 December for his alleged involvement in financial crimes totalling $2 billion, according to Reuters.

Local police told the press that US authorities requested Manuel Chang's arrest and that he faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering. 

Chang will remain in custody until 8 January when he next appears in court and faces possible extradition to the US.

Odebrecht signs leniency deal to compensate Eletrobras

Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht signed a leniency deal with the Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General's Office (CGU) on 31 December, in which the company agreed to compensate state-run power company Electrobras for losses incurred on the construction of hydroelectric dams in the north of the country, according to local reporting.

The losses stemmed from bribes paid by Odebrecht to Eletrobras officials in return for securing contracts that were inflated in value.

Odebrecht has agreed to pay 161.9 million reais (£32.8 million) to the power company in a series of instalments.

In 2016, Odebrecht acknowledged in a leniency deal that it had bribed officials in a dozen countries to secure public works contracts. 

In a statement, Eletrobras said an internal investigation, led by US law firm Hogan Lovells, found losses related to the construction of the Santo Antônio and Belo Monte hydroelectric dams. 

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