UPDATE 3-Brazil police probe U.S. Steel venture, Tenaris pipe unit

martes 24 de mayo de 2016 19:06 GYT

* Petrobras boss paid $11.2 mln to grant pipe deals -prosecutors

* Prosecutors say bribes won pipe contracts worth $1.4 bln (Adds additional company comment)

By Jeb Blount and Caroline Stauffer

RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian police said on Tuesday they investigated local units of three international steelmakers in a second-straight day of raids probing graft at the country's state-controlled oil producer, Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Police and prosecutors allege that Apolo Tubulars, which is 50 percent owned by United States Steel, and Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA's Brazilian unit Confab were involved in a bribery scheme to win work from Petrobras, as the oil company is known. Tenaris is part of Italian-Argentine steel group Techint.

Brazil's largest-ever corruption investigation has unveiled a scheme in which local construction and engineering firms colluded to overcharge Petrobras for work and used the excess funds to bribe high-level officials.

The probe, which forced a key minister in interim President Michel Temer's government to resign on Monday, has ensnared around a dozen international companies over the past two years and caught the attention of U.S. regulators.

Between 2009 and 2012 two tube companies involved in the scheme paid about 40 million reais ($11.2 million) in bribes to Petrobras executives to win about 5 billion reais ($1.4 billion) of pipe contracts, prosecutors said.

Police said they had no proof of corruption at French pipe-maker Vallourec SA but were continuing their investigation of the company's Brazilian unit, Vallourec Brasil, formerly known as V&M.   Continuación...