(Adds details, name of former Petrobras executive arrested)
By Sergio Spagnolo
CURITIBA, Brazil, March 28 Brazil's federal
police on Tuesday raided a brokerage in Rio de Janeiro which
they allege helped launder money for corrupt former executives
of state-run oil firm Petrobras, as part of their
sprawling "Car Wash" anti-graft probe.
Police said they searched the offices of the Advalor
Distribuidora de Titulos e Valores brokerage firm in Rio, which
they allege facilitated the movement of bribes from big
construction firms to the then-Petrobras executives, often to
their overseas bank accounts.
A person who answered the phone at Advalor's Rio de Janeiro
office did not respond to requests for comment.
Former Petrobras executive Roberto Goncalves was arrested in
Tuesday's operation on the order of federal judge Sergio Moro,
who oversees Operation Car Wash.
Police allege Goncalves received at least $5 million in
bribes paid into overseas bank accounts.
The arrest warrant issued by Moro states that Goncalves had
at least five Swiss bank accounts. In just one of those, he
received $3 million in bribes from construction giant
Odebrecht, according to police.
Goncalves allegedly took bribes in connection with several
projects, one of the largest being a contract awarded to a
consortium composed of Odebrecht and UTC Engenharia for work on
the Comperj refinery outside Rio de Janeiro.
He does not yet face any formal charges. Under Brazilian
law, only prosecutors can level charges. The prosecutor's office
did not respond to request for comment about Goncalves' case.
A lawyer for Goncalves could not immediately be reached.
(Reporting by Sergio Spagnolo; Writing by Brad Brooks; Editing
by Daniel Flynn and Phil Berlowitz)