Brazil recovers $125 million corrupt money from foreign banks
Apr 25, 2016 10:30 AM EDT
Brazil said that it has banished $125 million in 2015 that has been channelled to overseas banks through corrupt businessmen, politicians, and other government officials. According to the report released by the asset recapture department of the Justice Ministry, the recovered amount was eight times more than the $14.9 million repatriated between 2005 and 2014.
The data also showed that huge amount had been diverted from Petrobras, the state-run oil firm in Brazil. In connection with an inquiry, called as Operation Car Wash, several politicians and directors have been arrested on doubts of overpricing deal with Petrobras. A portion of the diverted fund had been utilized to pay election campaigns and bribes, BBC NEWS quoted authorities.
The deal is likely to have cost the oil company $2 billion. The report said that out of the fund recovered in 2015, $95 million was associated with the Car Wash inquiry. Ricardo Saadi, department director, noted that the agreement signed with Switzerland made it easy for the officials to recover the fund diverted to foreign banks through corruption networks. The authorities expect the amount to increase in 2016.
The Federal Police hope that the corporations and people associated with this inquiry were involved in foreign drug trading, corrupting government money, and other related fraud activities. In 2008, Hermes Magnus, owner of Dunel Industria Comercio, made the first charges. The investigation then led to four criminal teams and their bosses, including Alberto Youssef, a black market trader. The police then found Youssef's link with the oil company, whereby firms that won deals on Refinaria do Nordeste bribed him, as reported by newstalk.
Youssef's inquiry widened the investigation process and discovered that a group of firms assembled to give an illusion of competition inside the market, but fixed the prices themselves and distributed the contracts among themselves. Youssef named three major political teams that were involved in the corruption issue, the ruling Worker's Party, the Progressive Party and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party.
Meanwhile, the bottom most house of the National Congress on Sunday opted to prosecute Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil. The Federal Police of Brazil is inquiring the Car Wash case, the biggest money laundering case in the history of the country. The EBC noted that the amount could increase to more than R$40 billion.
According to WORLD POLITICS JOURNAL, the lower house voted by 367 to 137 for the accusation motion. The accusation process will move to the upper house and if the senate approves the lower house intention then Ms. Rousseff will be thrown out of her duties. The senate has nearly 180 days to come to a plan whether to eliminate her from office permanently.
The Petrobras corruption scandal has added to the economic crisis surrounding the Brazilian political scenario. The government is looking forward to arriving at a favourable decision with regard to the corruption crisis.