Advertisement

Venezuela probing allegations of $100M bribes under Chavez, Maduro

By
Andrew V. Pestano
During her In tune with the Public Ministry radio program on Thursday, Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz said the Public Ministry has launched an investigation into allegations Venezuelan officials from 2006 until 2015 received nearly $100 million in bribes from Brazilian company Odebrecht. Photo courtesy of Luisa Ortega Díaz
During her In tune with the Public Ministry radio program on Thursday, Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz said the Public Ministry has launched an investigation into allegations Venezuelan officials from 2006 until 2015 received nearly $100 million in bribes from Brazilian company Odebrecht. Photo courtesy of Luisa Ortega Díaz

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Venezuela's Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz on Thursday said the Public Ministry launched an investigation into accusations officials under late former President Hugo Chavez and his replacement Nicolas Maduro received nearly $100 million in bribes from Brazilian company Odebrecht.

"An arrest warrant was issued against a person for his alleged involvement in the Odebrecht case," Ortega Díaz during her In tune with the Public Ministry radio program.

Advertisement

Ortega Díaz said she will coordinate with the attorney general of Brazil to send a Venezuelan prosecutor to Brazil to interview Marcelo Odebrecht, the Brazilian company's CEO and tycoon sentenced in March to 19 years in prison.

Ortega Díaz also said authorities in Switzerland requested information regarding the accounts of several Venezuelan officials over alleged links to the bribes, including a list of all Venezuelans who received deposits from Odebrecht directly or indirectly.

RELATED Ex-billionaire Eike Batista targeted in Brazil corruption probe

The company is accused of paying about $98 million in bribes to Venezuelan officials from 2006 through 2015 to obtain and hold public works contracts. Odebrecht in December agreed to pay at least $2.6 billion in criminal penalties over its role in the massive corruption scandal.

Advertisement

Dozens of Brazilian business leaders and politicians have been indicted for corruption, money laundering and racketeering over the scandal in Petrobras, a semi-public oil and gas company. Politicians are accused of accepting bribes -- either personal bribes or bribes distributed to their political party -- in exchange for lucrative government contracts for Odebrecht and Braskem.

Latest Headlines