29 de mayo de 2015 / 23:20 / hace 2 años

Brazil freezes $43.3 mln of Petrobras contractor's assets

BRASILIA, May 29 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court ordered frozen 137.5 million reais ($43.26 million)in assets of engineering firm Mendes Junior and some of its former top executives under investigation in a massive corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras.

In a statement, the office of Brazil’s federal prosecutor said the freeze is equivalent to the kickbacks and bribes that the group allegedly paid to Petrobras officials to win contracts.

The Mendes Junior group and former executives have 15 days to present those assets, which also include fines and other penalties, to the court, the prosecutor’s office said.

Mendes Junior said in an emailed statement that it will not comment on ongoing investigation.

Earlier this month, Brazilian prosecutors obtained court orders to freeze 980 million reais in assets of some of the country’s top construction and engineering companies including OAS, Camargo Correa and Galvao Engenheria. Those companies are also under investigation for allegedly taking part in the corruption scheme at Petrobras.

Petrobras has halted payments and blacklisted the implicated construction firms, several of which have filed for bankruptcy protection. ($1 = 3.1788 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Alonso Soto, editing by G Crosse)

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