Reprodução fiel da notícia que circulou na imprensa internacional PaRR, em 4/2/2014.
Brazil’s attorney general has received a fresh complaint over alleged corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras.
In a 10-page confidential document seen by PaRR, Auro Gorentzvaig, whose family previously owned petrochemical concern PetroquimicaTriunfo in partnership with Petrobras, accuses the state-owned oil giant of “expropriating” his stake in the company.
This occurred to benefit another large Brazil-based group, Odebrecht, a controlling shareholder of petrochemical company Braskem and aPetrobras supplier, according to the complaint.
The complaint is dated 2 February and was lodged after Gorentzvaig met with federal prosecutors Douglas Fischer and Bruno Calabrich in Brasilia on 28 January, according to the document seen by PaRR.
The complaint is addressed to Attorney General Rodrigo Janot. His press officer confirmed to PaRR that the agency has received the complaint, but declined to comment further.
The matter concerns disagreements involving the shareholders of Petroquimica Triunfo and Petrobras, which started in 2007 and reached a peak in 2009.
According to the complaint, Petrobras agreed, during a court hearing in Rio Grande do Sul, to sell its 85% stake in Triunfo for BRL 355m (USD131m) to Petroplastic, controlled by the Gorentzvaig family, who made a binding offer for that amount.
However, eight months after the court hearing, Petrobras transferred the shares to Braskem for only BRL 117m, the complaint said.
According to Gorentzvaig’s claim, Petrobras not only changed its mind in relation to the proposed sale, it also refused an all-cash offer, accepting a much lower amount from Braskem, in stock. In addition, Braskem is said to have underpaid for the company, an allegedly “illegal” act that brought losses to Petrobras shareholders.
The Gorentzvaig family also claims it should have the right of first refusal to acquire the Petrobras stake in Triunfo.
According to the complaint, one of the people directly involved in the Triunfo transaction was Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobrasdownstream director who is presently cooperating with a federal investigation into alleged corruption at Petrobras.
The complaint mentions inquiry 1114/2014 by federal police in Curitiba, in the state of Parana, where prosecutors leading the Petrobrascorruption probe are based.
According to the complaint, Costa has “confessed” to receiving USD 23m in bribes from Odebrecht. The fact that Costa received substantial kickbacks has been widely publicized in the national press.
However, Odebrecht has not been charged yet.
According to the complaint, the other parties responsible for the Triunfo transaction were President Dilma Rousseff, then chairwoman of the board of Petrobras and now president of the country; Jose Sergio Gabrielli, a former Petrobras CEO; and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former Brazilian president.
Braskem denied any wrongdoing in relation to Triunfo.
Odebrecht and Petrobras did not respond to requests for comment.
President Rousseff’s press office did not comment on the matter of the complaint.
by Ana Mano in Sao Paulo