Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Wednesday, 09 January 2019

Peru appoints new AG after Chávarry quits

Peru’s Board of Supreme Prosecutors announced on Twitter that it had accepted the resignation of Attorney General Pedro Chávarry on 8 January following allegations that he sought to obstruct a corruption investigation into Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

The board appointed Zoraida Avalos as his replacement.

Chávarry was suspended by the Ethics Council of the Lima Bar Association on 6 January five days after he removed two lead prosecutors from a team investigating allegations that Peruvian officials and business leaders received bribes from Odebrecht. 

Fiat Chrysler nears emissions settlement with DOJ

Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler is nearing a settlement to resolve US Department of Justice allegations that the company used illegal software to manipulate vehicle emissions, according to Reuters.  

The news agency reports that the settlement is expected to include significant civil fines and that some of the penalty will be used to offset excess diesel emissions and compensate vehicle owners. 

The company has previously denied any wrongdoing, and in October announced that it had set aside €713 million to cover potential costs related to the case. 

US arrests alleged middleman in Vitol, Glencore Brazil bribery scandal

The US has arrested Luiz Eduardo Loureiro Andrade, who is facing allegations of bribing officials at state-controlled oil company Petrobras on behalf of oil trading firms Vitol and Glencore, according to Reuters.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Andrade on 20 December. His arrest was disclosed in a Brazilian court document seen by the news agency.

Brazil charged Andrade in August 2018 for allegedly funnelling bribes to Petrobras officials while acting as a middleman between executives at Vitol, Glencore, and other big oil trading firms to win contracts. Brazil has requested his extradition.

A Vitol spokesperson declined to comment but said the company would always cooperate with investigators.

Glencore reportedly said it takes compliance and ethics seriously. 

Andrade has not yet commented on the matter. 

Costa Rica raids Telefónica offices in tax fraud investigation

Costa Rica’s Justice Department raided the offices of Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica’s subsidiaries, Movistar and Tejisa, on 8 January as part of an investigation into an alleged $2 million tax fraud, according to reports.

Raids were also conducted on the law offices of Zurcher Odio & Raven and auditing firm KPMG. 

The country’s Finance Ministry accused the Spanish telecoms group of fraudulently creating Tejisa to decrease its tax take. Six people are currently being investigated over the matter.

Costa Rica’s Public Prosecutor reportedly said in a statement that the country lost over $2 million in taxes because of the scheme.

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