CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Brazil prosecutors charge 12 in SBM Offshore graft scheme

viernes 18 de diciembre de 2015 08:58 GYT

(Corrects figure in 8th paragraph to $300,000, not $300 million)

RIO DE JANEIRO Dec 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors on Thursday charged 12 people with a bribery scheme involving Dutch firm SBM Offshore NV, the world's top leaser of oil production ships, and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Police said they executed four arrest warrants as part of an investigation known as "Operation Black Blood." Two of the suspects are already in jail in the southern city of Curitiba, the epicenter of a broader investigation into price fixing and bribery involving Petrobras contracts with engineering firms.

Former Petrobras executives Pedro Barusco, Jorge Zelada and Renato Duque were charged with corruption, along with former SBM sales agents Julio Faerman and Luis Eduardo Campos Barbosa da Silva, according to a statement from federal prosecutors.

Anthony Mace and Didier Keller, both former SBM chief executive officers, were charged with racketeering and corruption, as was Robert Zubiate, a former senior vice president.

Earlier on Thursday, police carried out raids and arrests in "Operation Black Blood" in Rio de Janeiro, Angra dos Reis and Curitiba, police said.

The alleged bribery in the SBM probe in Brazil predates the better-known "Operation Car Wash," which is focused on graft involving engineering firms and Petrobras between 2003 and 2014.

Between 1998 and 2012, there were "undue payments" in Switzerland of at least $46 million relating to contracts for floating oil production, storage and offloading ships, prosecutors said.

They said Duque, who is in jail on corruption charges in Curitiba, asked SBM sales agents for $300,000 for the ruling Workers' Party to fund its 2010 election campaign.   Continuación...