Panama Panama To Sue Brazilian Company Odebrecht for Unpaid Fines

TeleSur English 6 January 2021

In 2017, Odebrecht was fined US$220 million to be paid in a period of 12 years due to its bribes for public contracts.

Panama's Attorney General Eduardo Ulloa Tuesday announced that the Brazilian contractor company Odebrecht will be sued for failing to pay fees of the US$220 million fine that was agreed with the Prosecutor's Office in 2017 due to its corruption activities.

The Prosecutor's office holds that Odebrecht has not paid its due for the years 2019 and 2020, even though the deal envisaged the payment of the fine over a period of 12 years.

A fiscal hearing will be also asked to the courts in order to start the trial against some 180 people linked to the bribes allegations. Former presidents Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) are among those accused of money laundering.

The investigation into the Odebrecht case concluded in October 2020 but no sentence has been issued so far. Ulloa warned that the trial could last for years as preliminary hearings required the presence of all those involved.

In November 2017, Judge Oscar Carrasquilla validated the agreement that exempted Odebrecht ex-executives Andre Rabello, Olivio Rodreguez, and Luiz Da Rocha from any investigation, while imposing a fine to be paid by Odebrecht and its office in Panama.

The U.S. Justice Department revealed that during Martinelli's administration the Brazilian giant paid US$59 million to high-ranking officials in order to secure bids for different works.

The construction company also paid US$788 million in bribes to high authorities in 10 Latin American countries and 2 countries in Africa.


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