Petrobras scandal deepens with arrest of top Brazilian businessmen

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By Armando Cruz
28 July 2015

The political crisis surrounding the investigation into the massive bribes-for-contracts scandal at the Brazilian state-owned oil giant Petrobras has intensified during the recent weeks with the arrest of the CEOs of two of the country’s biggest corporations.

At the same time, the Brazilian federal prosecutor has announced an official investigation of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for supposed “influence peddling” on behalf of one of these corporations, the Odebrecht conglomerate, which includes both the largest construction and petrochemical firms in Latin America.

Marcelo Odebrecht, the CEO of the conglomerate, and Otávio Márques de Azevedo, who heads Andrade Gutiérrez, Brazil’s second-largest construction corporation, were detained and sent to Curitiba, the capital of the southern state of Paraná, to face trial before Sergio Moro, the federal judge and head of the Petrobras investigation, which is known as Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato) because of…

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