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Switzerland Freezes US$ 400 Million Linked to Petrobras Scandal

03/19/2015 - 09h20

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LEANDRO COLON
FROM LONDON

GABRIEL MASCARENHAS
FROM BRASILIA

The Public Prosecutor's Office of Switzerland said on Wednesday (18) that it has so far returned to Brazil US$ 120 million that had been diverted in the Petrobras scheme.

In all, the Office says it has frozen US$ 400 million and has opened nine investigations into the case in the country. The amount is equivalent to R$ 1.3 billion.

The information was released by the Attorney General of Switzerland, Michael Lauber. He is in Brasilia attending meetings with Brazilian attorneys, some of them members of the 'Car Wash operation' task force.

Earlier, the Swiss attorney released a public note stating he had received about 60 reports of suspicious activity and money laundering linked to the corruption scandal at Petrobras.

So far, he says, 300 bank accounts linked to 30 banks in Switzerland have been searched for having "apparently" joined the scheme of embezzlement in Brazil.

According to the Swiss, most beneficiaries of these accounts are companies, top executives of Petrobras and suppliers. All are connected, directly or indirectly, to the bribery suspicions in Petrobras.

Folha has learned that at least US$ 77 million of this amount was transferred by the Dutch company SBM Offshore, a supplier to Petrobras, to two offshore companies owned by Brazilian citizen Julio Faerman, who was both companies' representative in Brazil since 2012.

According to documents provided by Switzerland's Public Attorney, between 2003 and 2013, one of the offshore companies, Jandell Investments, received US$ 36 million, and another, Bien Faire, US$ 46 million.

From two of Faerman's companies, Petrobras's former manager Pedro Barusco may have received US$ 22 million, US$ 8 million through its own offshore account, the Tropez Real State.

In all, Faerman, who is said to have been the middleman in the bribe payment scheme between SBM and Petrobras employees, received US$ 139 million for services to the Dutch company.

Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA

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