Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Image courtesy of Ricardo Stuckert/PR.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the latest politician to be pulled into a widening corruption probe tied to state-owned Petrobras.

According to the BBC, Lula da Silva is being investigated for allegedly using his influence to help Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht win overseas business.

Prosecutors allege that Lula da Silva used his influence to help Odebrecht win billion dollar deals in Africa and Latin America between 2011 and 2014, after completing his tenure as president.

The probe was launched on July 8 and was disclosed on Thursday, the AFP said.

“There is an investigation into possible influence peddling by ex-president Lula with the leaders of other countries on behalf of the construction company Odebrecht,” a spokesman for Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office told the news agency.

In a statement to the press, the Lula Foundation said it believes the former president has done nothing wrong.

“We are calm. The Lula Institute is certain of the transparency and legality of ex-president Lula’s activities,” the institute said.

Lula da Silva is the latest high profile official to be pulled into a widening corruption scandal tied to Petrobras that has landed several former executives in jail.

Last month, Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrecht was arrested after allegations surfaced that his company participated in the bribery scheme.

Lead prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Limas told Reuters at the time of the arrest that he has “no doubt” that Odebrecht and other executives were running a “cartel” that systematically inflated the price of Petrobras contracts and skimmed off excess funds.

Current Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has denied involvement in the scheme.


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