Swiss double money frozen in Petrobras probe

Switzerland said on Thursday it had frozen $800 million (706 million euros) during its investigation into corruption at Brazil's state oil firm Petrobras, but a portion of the funds had been returned.

Swiss double money frozen in Petrobras probe
Photo: Vandelei Almeida/AFP

The Swiss attorney general's office (OAG) previously put the amount of money blocked during the probe — which opened in April 2014 — at $400 million.
The OAG statement said a total of $190 million had so far been returned from Swiss banks to various individuals or entities.
The multi-billion-dollar Petrobras corruption scam has touched some of Brazil's most powerful figures, including President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rousseff's tottering government has been plunged deep into crisis, with the president fighting off new impeachment proceedings, mass protests, a deep recession and the splintering of her coalition.
Switzerland is probing evidence that huge portions of the funds scammed from Petrobras were funnelled to the federation's banks.
To date, Swiss prosecutors have opened 60 separate investigations into possible “aggravated money laundering”, linked to Petrobras, involving 340 suspicious bank transactions.
Documents related to more than 1,000 accounts have been requested from over 40 banks, the OAG further said.
The owners of these accounts are “senior executives of Petrobras and… its suppliers, financial intermediaries, Brazilian politicians,” and various companies tied to Brazil, the statement said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td