Energy

Brazil's police target Petrobras trades of diesel and jet fuel

Credit: REUTERS/RICARDO MORAES

Brazilian police on Tuesday expanded a long-running corruption investigation known as Car Wash to international contracts mostly for diesel and jet fuel at state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, prosecutors said in a statement.

By Sabrina Valle

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Brazilian police on Tuesday expanded a long-running corruption investigation known as Car Wash to international contracts mostly for diesel and jet fuel at state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.SA, prosecutors said in a statement.

Search warrants were issued against six individuals and two businesses related to one of them as part of a new phase of a probe into alleged kickbacks for deals with Petrobras, prosecutors said.

Petrobras said it learned of the warrants after the police operation was made public on Tuesday. Petrobras said in an email that it is a victim of corrupt employees and that it has collaborated with authorities providing information that led to Tuesday's operation.

Car Wash's task force of police and prosecutors found evidence of bribe payments valued at 12 million reais to Petrobras employees in 61 international trade operations closed between 2005 and 2015 through Petrobras offices in Houston, London and Singapore, prosecutors said.

The alleged illegal operations, in which Petrobras employees would be bribed to favor a specific buyer, involved 3.3 billion liters of fuel, according to the statement.

(1 real = $0.18)

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle; additional reporting by Rodrigo Viga and Julia Payne; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Howard Goller)

((Sabrina.Valle@thomsonreuters.com;))

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