Thursday, December 22, 2016

Odebrecht Case Shakes Latin America

Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht and petrochemical company Braskem pled guilty to bribery in U.S. court and now must pay $3.5 billion in penalties.

From 2001 to 2016, Odebrecht paid approximately $788 million in bribes in association with 100 projects in 12 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, according to the U.S. charging papers. 
The companies hid the bribes through carefully disguised payments routed through a network of shell companies as well as suitcases of cash left at preset locations, Suh said.

In the digital age, we still have the oldie but goodie suitcase full of cash.

If you're interested, here are the charging papers. Take a wild guess about which Latin American country received by far the most bribe money. Surprise, surprise, it's Venezuela.

There is no doubt, of course, that these funds made their way directly to Hugo Chávez and his associates, which helps account for why so many of the latter are fabulously wealthy. There is no way that this case is the only one in existence either. I assume Nicolás Maduro will label it a conspiracy.

This is going to shake out over the coming months, in conjunction with other corruption revelations, like the Panama Papers. Kudos to the Justice Department. Let's hope the professionals are allowed to continue their work despite the change of administration.


shah8 12:35 AM  

It probably should be that the availability and size of the oil stake in Venezuela is much larger than in most other places that had established players.

This is a good look into the nature of bribe-for-access oil corruption around the world:

Alfredo 8:01 AM  

I was interested and looked at the charging papers...... last time I checked Brazil is in LA.....the Latin American country who received by far the most bribe money was Brazil....about $349 million.....Its on page 12 section V #33 of the charging paper....please stop your obsession with Venezuela....

WeekArgument,  7:45 PM  

In support of the comment left by Alfredo above: to say that Venezuela 'received by far the most bribe money' is simply wrong on multiple levels. As noted above, Brazil is the country that actually receives by far the most bribe money. But even assuming that you leave Brazil out of it, Venezuela is not that far ahead of other countries. I've pulled the top few from the original:
Venezuela: $98million
Dominican Republic: $92million
Panama: $59million
Angola: $50million
Few, I think, would argue that this lead is sufficient to declare, in italics no less, that Venezuela 'received by far the most bribe money'.

That shown, one must ask oneself why you have chosen to be one of those few. Alfredo seems to think you have an obsession with Venzeula. Perhaps. Or you didn't read the charging papers properly.

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