Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Fallout in Brazil following Operation Car Wash news report continues

The Inspector General of Brazil’s Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) has reportedly said it will launch an investigation into news organisation The Intercept’s claims that prosecutors had “serious doubts” about whether there was enough evidence to establish a case against ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. 

Following The Intercept’s articles, Brazil’s Supreme Court has reportedly decided to hear an appeal for release brought by Lula, who is serving an eight-year-and-10-month prison sentence for money laundering and corruption.

In a statement on 10 June, the MPF, which claims that the messages were obtained by The Intercept as a result of hacking, announced it has been investigating cyberattacks that have been occurring since April.

Braskem pays Petrobras $68 million

Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras said on 10 June it has received 265 million reais (US$68.2 million) related to a December 2016 leniency deal between Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem and Brazil’s public prosecutors office (MPF).

Brazil’s Federal Court authorised the return of 265 million reais to Petrobras and a further 416 million reais to the CGU. The company already had paid 1.33 billion reais of the fine to federal prosecutors and of those funds, Petrobras received 564 million reais in July 2017, and 201 million reais in August 2018.

Brazil’s Comptroller General (CGU) said in May that Braskem had agreed to pay 2.87 billion reais ($733 million) by 2025 to settle the original corruption charges

Senegal to investigate BP energy contracts

Senegal’s justice ministry asked prosecutors to investigate energy contracts after a BBC report alleged that the prime minister’s brother was involved in fraudulent contracts to develop two offshore gas blocks, according to reports.

President Macky Sall said the truth would be established, although the government’s first response was to dismiss allegations in the report as false.

The BBC report alleged that British oil company BP knew that Australian-Romanian businessman Frank Timiș hired the president′s brother, Aliou Sall, for a $25,000 monthly salary to maintain his rights to two oil and gas fields originally awarded to Timiș’ company Petro-Tim in 2012.  

BP bought Timiș’ stake in the fields for $250 million in 2017. BP and Timiș have denied the allegations.

North Macedonian official arrested on suspicion of bribery

Police in North Macedonia have arrested a state secretary for the country’s Ministry of Information over allegations that he received a €38,000 bribe to favour a company financed by the EU, according to reports.

The official, known only as JJ, allegedly granted €1.1 million from a €1.2 million EU fund for candidate countries to the company between 2014 and 2016.

Police have reportedly been investigating JJ and another unnamed civil servant for two months, cooperating alongside the European Anti-Fraud Office and authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, the UK and other European countries where the implicated company has business partners.

North Macedonia is due to begin accession talks with the EU later this year.

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