Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil corruption: $125m of dirty money 'repatriated' in 2015

Headquarters of state-owned energy giant Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro Image copyright EPA
Image caption Much of the money recovered had been diverted from Brazil's state oil company Petrobras

Brazil has said it repatriated $125m (£86m) last year siphoned off to foreign bank accounts by corrupt officials, politicians and businessmen.

The record figure is eight times more than what was recovered over the previous decade, the Justice Ministry has reportedly said.

Officials say their policy of negotiating plea bargains with suspects has helped them recover assets.

Much of the money had been diverted from the state oil company Petrobras.

Dozens of executives and politicians have been arrested or are under investigation on suspicion of overcharging contracts with the company as part of an inquiry known as Operation Car Wash.

Part of the diverted money, authorities say, had been used to pay for bribes and electoral campaigns.

It is believed the scheme had cost Petrobras $2bn (£1.2bn).

By contrast, between 2005 and 2014, Brazilian officials managed to recover $15m (£10m), newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported (in Portuguese).

From the amount repatriated in 2015, $95m (£66m) was linked to the Car Wash investigation.

The money had been diverted to Switzerland and returned to Brazil, the report said, adding that most of it was expected to be returned to Petrobras.

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