Former Petrobras international director Nestor Cervero. Image courtesy of Senado Federal/Flickr.

A former Petrobras executive suspected of corruption was arrested by Brazilian police Wednesday as the troubled state owned company announced a date for the release of its long awaited third quarter results.

Nestor Cervero, former international director at Brazil’s Petrobras, was arrested by police yesterday at a Rio de Janeiro airport.

Prosecutors said they have “strong evidence” that Cervero attempted to transfer three apartments and about $188,000 to his daughter while significantly undervaluing the transactions.

“There is no criminal activity in these two acts,” Cervero’s lawyer said.

Last month, Cervero was accused of taking part in a kickback scheme that paid out $40 million to executives, political parties and contractors and taking $13 million in bribes from Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries.

No charges have been filed for those accusations.

Samsung Heavy Industries has not commented on the matter.

Cervero was fired last March and is the third Petrobras executive to be arrested for alleged corruption along with Renato Duque and Paulo Roberto Costa.

State owned Petrobras set a firm release date for its long delayed third quarter results on Wednesday.

The company plans to release its unaudited results on January 27 after a scheduled board of directors meeting.

The results have been delayed since November after PricewaterhouseCooper declined to sign off on any accounts linked to Petrobras transportation chief and politician Sergio Macahdo.

Petrobras is expected to take a multi-billion loss tied to corruption and kickbacks.

Brazil’s national accounting agency said Petrobras may have overpaid by as much as $1.2 billion in transactions being investigated for possible kickbacks.

Last week, the company reached an accord with its bilateral lenders that allows the company to release its unaudited results and avoid default.


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