Three international oil shopping and selling companies with stable ties to the UK face being dragged into Brazil’s “Automobile Wash” investigation, after a myth raised questions about their connections to businessmen named within the immense corruption scandal.
Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura, which boast blended annual revenues of extra than half a trillion bucks, function in a myth by the campaign community Global Survey that uncovers links to males accused or convicted of involvement within the bribery scandal.
The Automobile Wash controversy has had seismic effects in Brazil, toppling one president and main to the imprisonment of 1 other, as effectively seemingly the most nation’s most eminent industry figures.
It concerned executives from the issue oil firm, Petrobras, who were chanced on to possess pocketed kickbacks on multi-billion-buck affords arranged by intermediaries – with seemingly the most cash routed to political parties.
Global Survey has known as on the UK’s Essential Fraud Place of enterprise and the US authorities to analysis alleged ties between businessmen named within the Automobile Wash scandal and the three oil shopping and selling giants.
The campaign community said its evaluation of court docket documents and testimony indicated the companies had inquiries to acknowledge over their attainable links to the scandal.
Every of the three companies said there used to be no evidence to suggest any wrongdoing on their portion.
The myth’s findings referring to the commodity shopping and selling residence anguish payments to two males.
Regarded as one of them, a Swedish businessman, Bo Ljungberg, used to be accused of being portion of a community acknowledged as Brasil Swap and charged with being a member of a criminal gang, paying bribes and cash-laundering.
A key member of Brasil Swap used to be Jorge Luz, who used to be sentenced in October 2017 to thirteen years and eight months in detention center for his portion in orchestrating bribes price $20m.
Nicknamed the “Deacon of Bribes” by the Brazilian media, Luz testified in a police deposition that Ljungberg used to be moreover portion of the community. Ljungberg is but to enter a plea but has denied involvement.
While Vitol used to be no longer pondering about that case, it has acknowledged it paid Ljungberg to act as an “agent”, tasked with figuring out oil affords, but said its relationship with him used to be “compliant with all relevant rules”.
Vitol moreover did industry with a individual known as Nelson Ribeiro, via its half-owned UK subsidiary Cockett Marine, which paid the Brazilian $eight.2m.
Ribeiro is under investigation one after the other for allegedly funnelling $5.7m of bribe cash from the Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht to the Petrobras govt Paulo Costa. Costa used to be jailed for 12 years for accepting tens of millions of bucks in bribes, some of which he stored stashed in gap furniture.
Court docket documents point to that between February 2009 and November 2012, Cockett Marine paid $eight.2m to two offshore companies owned by Ribeiro, $1.3m of it being transferred after Vitol provided its 50% stake.
Federal police wrote: “The transfer of resources of a big firm that maintains billion-buck contracts with Petrobras at the moment to offshore accounts belonging to a official cash launderer appears irregular.”
Vitol said Cockett Marine’s preparations with Ribeiro’s companies pre-dated its take of a stake within the firm, including that its chief monetary officer terminated the association in November 2012. Vitol denied any impropriety, asserting Cockett Marine had co-operated with Brazilian authorities and no payments had been brought against it.
Contacted by Global Survey, Ribeiro said the investigation would point to that his involvement used to be “non-existent”.
Vitol’s largest rival, Glencore, is headquartered in Switzerland but arranges international oil affords via its office in London’s Mayfair.
It’s moreover named within the Global Survey myth over links to Brasil Swap via one in all its alleged participants, Luiz Andrade.
Andrade has been charged with receiving thousands of bucks from Jorge Luz, after which passing cash on to a senior Petrobras official. He has but to enter a plea.
Documents gathered by police and dated December 2010 suggest that Andrade and fellow alleged participants of Brasil Swap discussed doing industry with Glencore.
The firm said an inner overview had chanced on that it had an “settlement” with Andrade, connected to the “take of a fuel oil cargo from Petrobras Worldwide Finance Co in 2011.”
Glencore moreover worked with a transport firm whose owner is under investigation by Automobile Wash prosecutors.
Between 2010 and 2014, Glencore’s UK subsidiary Ocean Join Marine (OCM) made no longer lower than 121 payments price $2.1m to Seaview Transport, moreover UK-registered.
Seaview is owned by Konstantinos Kotronakis and his son Georgios, a UK resident with an condo in in one in all London’s most glamorous developments.
Konstantinos Kotronakis has been under investigation since 2017 for allegedly working a bribery draw involving the passing of inner recordsdata got from Petrobras executives to five transport companies, helping them possess contracts price a blended $900m.
Georgios Kotronakis visited Petrobras in February 2011, in step with guestbook records, representing Ocean Join Marine.
Automobile Wash prosecutors claimed the “probability used to be high” that payments from Ocean Join Marine were old-fashioned “to depraved Paulo Roberto Costa” and other Petrobras officers.
A real representative of the Kotronakises said neither man had been charged and that Georgios used to be “no longer the point of interest of any investigation”.
Glencore said there used to be no evidence that it or OCM had paid bribes, including that Seaview used to be a “bona fide” ship broking firm.
It said there used to be no “credible evidence” to suggest that any Glencore-connected entity made depraved payments.
A third firm with stable ties to London, Trafigura is per chance absolute best acknowledged for its function in a 2006 scandal when extra than half one million litres of toxic rupture used to be dumped within the Ivory Waft.
Trafigura has moreover been linked to the Automobile Wash investigation by recent recordsdata.
Documents offered to court docket show mask that Jorge Luz discussed with Petrobas govt Paulo Costa a “proposal from Trafigura”, under which it could per chance per chance mortgage Petrobras cash in trade for discounted oil.
Petrobras executives rejected the notion in step with the same doc.
However when Global Survey submitted freedom of recordsdata requests inquiring for particulars of the alleged proposal, the firm refused, asserting it could per chance per chance no longer give up documents because Trafigura used to be the topic of an investigation by federal police.
Trafigura informed Global Survey the proposal didn’t lead to any settlement and that Jorge Luz used to be no longer retained to lobby for them.
They added that the Global Survey myth used to be a “recycling of ambiguous commentary and conjecture” and incorporated “no substantiated evidence of any corrupt doing by Trafigura”.
The firm declined to issue whether it used to be under investigation in Brazil.
The head of the Automobile Wash job power, Deltan Dallagnol, said the functionality involvement of Trafigura and Glencore were “two traces of investigation that we’re silent rising”.