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Wednesday
Mar112015

Ex Petrobras exec names Swiss banks used in $100 million bribe scheme

Image courtesy of Agência Brasil Fotografias/FlickrA former executive admitted using Swiss bank accounts in a bribery scheme at Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas giant, documents released by a court said.

Former Petrobras executive Pedro Barusco said in a statement to the Brazil court that he used several bank accounts in Switzerland to launder a portion of an estimated $100 million in bribes.

Barusco said he used accounts at several banks including Bank Safra.

He also alleged that Brazil-based energy consultant Julio Faerman and former Bank Safra official Denise Kos helped him open the accounts.

Barusco alleged that Faerman paid him bribes on behalf of Petrobras contractors that were deposited into the Swiss bank account.

Faerman has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement that was part of a deal with prosecutors last year, Barusco said he initially opened an account with the Republic Bank of Switzerland in 1997 then moved the account to BBA Creditanstalt and finally to Bank Safra in 2003.

Barusco was a senior manager in Petrobras’s engineering and services division. The court released his statement Sunday.

In other testimony the court released last month, Barusco told police Rolls Royce gave him at least $200,000 as a bribe in exchange for an equipment supply contract from Petrobras.

None of the banks Barusco mentioned in his testimony have commented on the allegations.

The Brazil attorney general's office is requesting court permission to investigate 54 people, mostly politicians, in an ongoing corruption probe into Petrobras.

Swiss officials said they have been cooperating with Brazil authorities on the probe since last April.

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Nicolas Torres is a staff writer for Petro Global News, where a version of this post first appeared.