Brazil Comptroller Opens Case Against Petrobas Contractors

Petrobas building

By MarEx 2015-03-11 13:02:00

Brazil's office of the comptroller general said on Wednesday it had opened a case against 10 additional construction firms that may be involved in a massive corruption scheme at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The case runs against Alumini Engenharia, GDK, Promon Engenharia, Andrade Gutierrez, Fidens Engenharia, Sanko Sider, Odebrecht, Odebrecht Óleo e Gás, Odebrecht Ambiental and SOG Óleo e Gás, according to a statement from the comptroller general, known as the CGU.

The process may prevent the companies, which include some of Brazil's biggest builders, from signing new contracts and lead to fines and other penalties, the comptroller said.

In December, the CGU opened a case against eight construction companies that had ties with Petrobras, leaving many of them in financial trouble as they lost revenue and access to capital markets.

Brazil's biggest-ever corruption scandal is rippling through various sectors of Brazil's economy, which is expected to enter recession this year. Large infrastructure projects will likely be stalled with so many engineering firms under investigation.

Contacted by Reuters, a spokeswoman for Andrade Gutierrez said the company "reiterates it has never been involved in any of the facts currently being investigated."

Representatives for Promon Engenharia and GDK said the companies could only comment after being officially notified by the CGU.

Alumini Engenharia representatives said the company vehemently disputes the accusations and had always guided its business with ethical and transparent standards. Representatives for Fidens Engenharia, Odebrecht, Odebrecht Óleo e Gás, and Odebrecht Ambiental were not immediately available for comments.

Reuters was not able to reach representatives for Sanko Sider and SOG Óleo e Gás.

In the first phase of a year-old corruption and money laundering probe, executives from six engineering firms were charged with forming a cartel that funneled funds from Petrobras contracts to politicians and political parties.

Fourteen people are in jail and awaiting trial in the southern city of Curitiba.

Copyright Reuters 2015.