The United States Department of Justice reported that Odebrecht and Braskem paid more than U$D 1 billion in bribes in over one hundred projects conducted in twelve countries. The information comes from a document released on Wednesday by the US body, which signed leniency agreements with the two companies in a negotiation that also involved the Brazilian and Swiss attorneys. Under the agreements, the companies admitted to participating in corruption schemes around the world and pledged to pay 3.5 billion dollars to the three countries. As a result, they will be free of pending lawsuits or that may be opened in the future.
In addition to Brazil, Odebrecht paid illicit benefits to enterprises in Angola, Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. The payments would have been made between 2001 and 2016.
According to the document, the contractor disbursed in the amount of 439 million dollars abroad, and 349 million dollars in Brazil. While the illegal amounts transferred by Braskem, which is controlled by Odebrecht in partnership with Petrobras, amounted to 250 million dollars. In return, the company would have benefited from $ 3.3 billion in contracts as a “result of corruption schemes.”
The payments used to corrupt Brazilian and foreign authorities were made through Odebrecht’s Department of Structured Operations, an area Lava-Jato, a brazilian corruption investigation found was designed to distribute dirty money to the companies that make up the conglomerate.
The document is signed by Attorney General Robert L. Capers and the Chief Justice Fraud Section of the Justice Department Andrew Weissmann.
In terms of monetary values, the leniency agreement signed with Odebrecht and Braskem is the largest ever made in world history in a case of corruption, the US department said.
The companies version
After signing the agreements, Odebrecht and Braskem issued notes to discuss the matter.
In the text, Odebrecht says it “deeply regrets its participation in the conduct that led to this agreement and apologizes for violating its own principles of honesty and ethics.” The contractor also says it will continue to work with the authorities.
Odebrecth published the official release on their website today.
Braskem, for its part, says that it recognizes responsibility “for the acts of its former members and agents” and claims to regret past actions. “The company reaffirms its commitment to continue to cooperate with the authorities,” says the statement.