The Public Prosecution Office announced Thursday (Apr. 28) that they are dealing with two new complaints arising from the 23th and 26th stages of Operation Car Wash probing into a bribery scheme at Petrobras. Complaints against adman João Santana and his wife, Monica Moura, , among others, were filed, including the former treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party (PT), João Vaccari Neto, and Marcelo Odebrecht, former president of the construction company Odebrecht.
At a press conference in Curitiba, Paraná, prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, heading the investigation, said investigators are concerned about news articles reporting that a possible change in the government would be "half a way to eliminate corruption." He was emphatic: "We do not eliminate corruption by changing a government." For him, "corruption is not a privilege or the responsibility of a single party, whether A or B. It is endemic in the country. If we want a better country, we need to improve our institutions," declared the prosecutor.
The adman accounts
According to prosecutors, in the first complaint, Santana and his wife were accused of corruption and money laundering for receiving money from Petrobras related to a scheme involving the construction of oil platforms.
Prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol reported that the scheme enabled the payment of bribes reaching $30.4 million, of which 50% would be for the Workers' Party (PT) and 50% for Petrobras' employees. The investigation considered the engineer Zwi Skornicki responsible for the embezzlement of $4.5 million to Santana in 2013 and 2014. Skornicki is an agent for Keppel Fels shipyard in Brazil and, according to prosecutors, he was paying kickbacks through several offshore companies abroad.
According to the Public Prosecution Office, Skornicki made transfers of $500,000 to João Vaccari Neto to overseas accounts through the Deep Sea Oil offshore firm, run by him. "Investigations reveal kickback payment to João Santana and Monica Moura in Swiss accounts, mounting to $4.5 million. The payments were received from kickbacks earmarked for the PT and paid under the conduction of João Vaccari," said Dallagnol.
In addition to this amount, João Santana, who led the Workers' Party's election campaigns, would also have received $3 million from offshore companies linked to Odebrecht in 2012 and in 2013. In addition to Santana, his wife and Skornicki, former Petrobras CEOs Renato Duque, Eduardo Musa, and Pedro Barusco are on the list of the accused, in addition to João Vaccari Neto and João Carlos de Medeiros Ferraz, former CEO of Sete Brasil, oil investment company.
The second part of the allegation is related to Odebrecht. In it, Santana and Monica Moura are accused of receiving payments from the contractor abroad. Vaccari was also mentioned in the complaint. Former Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrecht, his secretary, and contractor executives received complaints of corruption and money laundering. Marcelo Odebrecht remains in prison.
The Public Prosecution Office reported that the Odebrecht ran a structured department to conduct parallel financial transactions and make the payment of bribes to public officials for contracts signed by the company with the government. As investigations revealed, the ingenious and clandestine scheme, created by Marcelo Odebrecht, was dubbed MyWebDay and was used by the firm's executives and financial operators. Recipients of money embezzled were identified by code names, not revealing their real names. "Methods for laundering money became more effective, which shows that corruption has been adopted as a business model for those contracts identified as interesting for the payment of bribes," Dallagnol stated. "Many professional precautions were adopted, so that illegal payments were made without being revealed," he added.
Spreadsheets seized by the Federal Police show that between October 2014 and May 2015, when Operation Car Wash had already been launched, the contractor paid $6.3 million to someone code-named “Feira” (Fair). For investigators, João Santana was code-named “Feira”, because he was born in the region of Feira de Santana, in Bahia. For prosecutors, the figures would be for payments of services provided by Santana to the Workers' Party during the 2014 election campaign.
According to prosecutors, after Marcelo Odebrecht was put in jail, the CEO would have ordered to wind the scheme up and demanded the executives involved to travel abroad.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.