By Ivan Richard Esposito
Image Attribute: Currency dealer Alberto Youssef (Agência Brasil)
The Department of Asset Recovery and International Legal Cooperation of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice repatriated $1.6 million in January, which has been deposited to bank accounts of offshore companies in Switzerland in the name of João Procópio Junqueira de Almeida Prado. He acted as a middleman of currency dealer Alberto Youssef and was arrested in Operation Car Wash.
According to the Ministry of Justice, Procópio signed a plea bargain agreement in May 2015 with the Federal Prosecution Service and Car Wash task force and pledged to repatriate the money deposited to bank accounts of several offshore companies held in the PKB Privatbank SA, which are controlled by him in Swiss banks.
The ministry has also reported that, in addition to recovering assets, it also obtained bank documents from companies that may aid investigations into a corruption scheme in Petrobras contracts probed under Operation Car Wash.
The request for international legal cooperation for the repatriation of money was made by the Prosecutor General's Office(PGR) in Paraná, in November 2015.
The bank accounts of offshore companies were used to pay bribes to civil servants, parties, and political agents.
According to the PGR, 126 international cooperation agreements have been signed with 33 countries due to Operation Car Wash, launched 3 years ago. In contrast, Brazil received requests from 17 countries demanding Brazil's cooperation for their investigations related to the case.
Until the end of last year, actions related to the operation filed in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) resulted in the repatriation of $25 million. Forty-one plea bargain agreements were approved by the Court. For actions taken by the lower court, $3.191 billion are being recovered, of which $239 million have to be repatriated.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta | Edited by Amanda Cieglinski / Olga Bardawil
(c) 2017 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC | Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil