Brazilian police arrest another executive in Petrobras probe

viernes 27 de marzo de 2015 13:05 GYT

By Caroline Stauffer

SAO PAULO, March 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian police on Friday arrested the CEO of Grupo Galvão, the latest executive arrested in a corruption probe focused on state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Dario Galvão, chief executive of the construction group, and Guilherme Esteves, who is being investigated for funneling bribe money, were taken to federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba, according to a court spokeswoman.

Trials are underway there in what has become Brazil's biggest-ever corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash.

In December, prosecutors accused the CEO of participating in a cartel of construction executives that fixed prices on contracts at Petrobras, as the oil company is known.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro called Galvão the mastermind of the company's criminal activity and said he posed a risk of committing more crimes. Prosecutors have proof of his crimes from 2008 until 2014, Moro wrote in a court decision.

Moro also cited evidence that Esteves used secret accounts abroad to funnel large bribes to employees at Petrobras and rig producer SeteBrasil.

Two dozen of Brazil's biggest engineering firms are being investigated for overcharging on Petrobras contracts and using the excess to bribe executives, politicians and political parties.

A spokeswoman for Grupo Galvão declined to comment on the arrest. Esteves was not available for comment.   Continuación...