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Switzerland hands over $365 million linked to Brazilian 'Car Wash' scandal

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Switzerland hands over $365 million linked to Brazilian 'Car Wash' scandal
Photo: ruskpp/Depositphotos
11:17 CEST+02:00
Switzerland said on Tuesday April 9th that it had restituted around $365 million (approximately 365 million CHF) from funds it seized during a corruption probe of Brazil's state oil firm Petrobras and construction giant Odebrecht.

Brazil's sweeping "Lava Jato" (Car Wash) scandal has ensnared politicians from nearly every party in corruption allegations mainly linked to Brazil's state-owned oil firm Petrobras, and has implicated some of the country's biggest companies, including Odebrecht.

Switzerland's top prosecution authority said that it had since 2014 been conducting its own investigation linked to the scandal, "primarily on suspicion of aggravated money laundering ... and in numerous cases on suspicion of bribery of foreign public officials."

"At present around 70 criminal proceedings are pending," the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) said in a statement, adding that the series of cases was "one of the most complex (it) has ever dealt with."

Switzerland has blocked large amounts of money in the country's banks, as prosecutors looked into reports of around 1,000 suspicious transactions connected with the cases.

"To date, Switzerland has, with the consent of the beneficial owners concerned, refunded around 365 million Swiss francs ($365 million, 324 million euros) in favour of injured parties in Brazil," the OAG said Tuesday.

It said that the most recent installment amounted to around 9.0 million francs was restituted at the end of March.

Around 700 million francs worth of assets remain seized in Switzerland in connection with this series of cases, the OAG said.

READ ALSO: Former Spanish king accused by alleged former lover of holding secret Swiss bank accounts to launder funds

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