BTG Pactual chairman and CEO Andre Esteves. Image courtesy of Rio Negócios/Youtube.

Andre Esteves, the thirteenth richest man in Brazil, and senator Delcidio Amaral were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the ongoing Petrobras corruption probe.

According to the Reuters, Esteves is under temporary arrest for up to five days with a possible five day extension, but the reason behind the arrest has not been disclosed yet.

Police reportedly took documents from Esteves’ Rio de Janeiro  home and from the São Paulo headquarters of BTG Pactual, the finance firm where he serves as CEO and is the controlling shareholder.

Esteves, 47, is worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

BTG Pactual was one of the initial investors in Sete Brasil, a state-owned rig company established to provide vessels to Petrobras.

BTG Pactual, the largest independent investment bank  in Latin America, confirmed Esteves’ arrest and told Reuters it will cooperate with investigators.

Last month, Brazil’s Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry voted in favor of indicting former officers of Petrobras and Sete Brasil along with other agents and lobbyists for alleged graft.

Former Petrobras director Pedro Barusco told a Brazilian court in June that a group of shipbuilding companies paid brides to win contracts with Sete Brasil.

An official close to the investigation told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Brazilian police also arrested senator Delcidio Amaral, a member of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party, on suspicion of harming the Petrobras probe.

Amaral also serves as chairman of the Senate’s economic affairs committee and is close to former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is being investigated for allegedly using his influence to help Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht win overseas business.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki said he authorized Amaral’s arrest after prosecutors provided evidence that the senator offered to help former Petrobras executive Nester Cerveró flee if he did not aide investigators, Reuters said.

In August, Cerveró was sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison for money laundering and corruption charges tied to a bribe he allegedly paid lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Neither Esteves nor Amaral have been formally charged.

Over 100 people have been arrested in connection with the probe, known as Operation Car Wash, including several high ranking executives.

Brazilian prosecutors allege that Petrobras employees collaborated with other firms to inflate the cost of contracts and skim off the excess funds, a scheme that also allegedly included bribery and money laundering.

Petrobras has defended itself against the allegations, claiming that it was also a victim of fraud


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