UPDATE 4-Brazil police launch probe into Panama's FPB Bank

jueves 7 de julio de 2016 20:26 GYT

(Adds FPB Bank statement)

By Sergio Spagnuolo

CURITIBA, Brazil, July 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian police seized documents and questioned suspects on Thursday to investigate Panama's FPB Bank which allegedly worked with the "Panama Papers" law firm to spirit money out of Brazil connected to corruption at state-run companies.

Police said FPB Bank was under investigation for "financial crimes, laundering of assets and transnational criminal organization" for offering private banking services without the authorization of Brazil's central bank.

Offshore companies registered by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, the subject of a massive data leak this year, allegedly helped FPB Bank get clients' money out of Brazil illegally, police said in a news conference.

Funds came in part from a multibillion-dollar price-fixing and bribery scheme at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA known as "Operation Car Wash," prosecutors added in a statement.

Thursday's raids widened the two-year-old Petrobras investigation, Brazil's biggest graft probe, that has overturned Brazilian politics and fed the movement to impeach President Dilma Rousseff on unrelated charges of breaking budget laws.

"Staff of the Panama-based bank in Brazil not only maintained a clandestine operation but also ensured their clients' anonymity by using offshores," federal prosecutors said.

An FPB Bank executive, Edson Paulo Fanton, was taken into custody for questioning in Santos, a port city near Sao Paulo, police said.   Continuación...