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Petrobras Scandal: Friend of Former President Lula da Silva Indicted on Corruption Charges

12/15/2015 - 09h06

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

The landowner José Carlos Bumlai, arrested during Operation Lava Jato, was charged on Monday (14) with corruption, money laundering and fraud. He allegedly participated in the corruption scheme at Petrobras and transferred money to the governing Workers' Party (PT).

"He was a PT agent," said federal prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, who heads the Lava Jato taskforce.

A friend of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Bumlai allegedly obtained R$12 million (US$3.1 million) from the bank Schahin, in 2004, which was then transferred to figures connected to the PT.

According to prosecutors, the loan, which was obtained "without real guarantees", and with the intervention of the then PT treasurer, Delúbio Soares, and Lula's former chief-of-staff José Dirceu, was never repaid.

Instead, Bumlai allegedly made an agreement with Schahin, which is active in the engineering sector, in which the bank forgave the debt in return for a US$1.6 billion dollar-contract with Petrobras for a drilling operation in 2009.

As well as Bumlai, another ten people were charged, including Bumlai's son and daughter-in-law, three Schahin executives, former Petrobras managers and directors, former PT treasurer João Vaccari Neto and the lobbyist Fernando Soares, known as "o Baiano".

Lula, however, has not been charged with any crime. Prosecutors say there is no concrete proof that he was involved in the deal, and not even Soares has accused Lula of involvement.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Alan Marques/Folhapress
The landowner José Carlos Bumlai, arrested during Operation Lava Jato, is a friend of former president Lula
The landowner José Carlos Bumlai, arrested during Operation Lava Jato, is a friend of former president Lula

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