Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster. Image courtesy of WiththeEconomist/Youtube.

Brazil’s Petrobras has hired two private investigation firms that will be charged with examining corruption, money laundering and bribery allegations against key executives.

The state owned company said it has enlisted one firm from Brazil and one from the United States to “look into the nature, extent and impact of the alleged misdeeds.”

Former downstream chief Paulo Roberto Costa alleged that executives were skimming as much as 3 percent off the price of contracts and funneling the money into political organizations.

Petrobras said it is working to reimburse “deviated resources.”

The company also said it is looking into “legal measures” that it can take to be compensated for the “damage to its image.”

Police raided the company’s offices in April after Costa claimed corrupt practices were common during his tenure at the company.

The company was granted access to records related to the corruption operation, called Lava Jato, and is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

Costa was arrested in March for allegedly participating in a $3.96 billion money laundering scheme.

In September, Costa admitted to taking a $636,000 bribe in connection with the state-owned company’s 2006 purchase of a Texas refinery.

Petrobras has not been granted access to evidence Costa handed over to federal authorities.

Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported that 49 deputies, 12 senators and several state governors were involved in the bribery and kickbacks.

Police are also investigating $20 billion in transactions between Petrobras and construction firms involved in the company’s Abreu e Lima Refinery near Recife, Brazil.

The names of the companies being investigated and the size of the alleged bribes have not been disclosed.

In March, Brazilian prosecutors began looking into allegations that Petrobras employees took $139 million in bribes from Netherlands-based supplier SBM Offshore in exchange for equipment supply and drilling contracts.


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