January 13, 2017 / 4:03 PM / 7 months ago

Brazil and Peru to cooperate on corruption investigations

BRASILIA, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The Prosecutors General of Brazil and Peru on Friday signed an agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries in the "fight against corruption" as probes into bribery and fraud involving Brazilian companies spread to other Latin American countries where they operate.

"We will establish dialogue and the transmission of information in a more direct and spontaneous way," Peru's Prosecutor General Pablo Sanchez Velarde told reporters after meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Rodrigo Janot.

"We are very interested in getting information to improve our investigations," Velarde added.

The agreement comes two days after Peru's Comptroller Edgar Alarcon said irregularities in contracts awarded to Odebrecht SA, the Brazilian family-owned builder at the center of Brazil's largest ever corruption scandal, had cost Peru $283 million.

Odebrecht, which has signed a plea deal in Brazil, has agreed to cooperate with Peruvian authorities and pay an initial $8.9 million in a gesture of goodwill.

The company has also agreed to pay Panama $59 million and Colombia $32 million in reparations for bribes.

Velarde said the cooperation would not only be limited to the Odebrecht case, but for any cases of transnational corruption.

"We will not tolerate any type of corruption in Peru," Velarde said. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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