(Corrects to show Lava Jato probe launched in 2014, not 2015)
PARIS May 21 French financial prosecutors have
launched an investigation into a 6.7 billion euro ($7.5 billion)
2008 contract between naval supplier DCNS and Brazil that
included the sale of five submarines, French daily Le Parisien
said on Sunday.
The investigation, started in October last year, concerns
potential "corruption of foreign officials" and is linked to a
Brazilian inquiry dubbed Lava Jato, or Car Wash, that was
initiated in 2014 to investigate alleged bribery involving
hundreds of politicians and public figures, the paper said
without citing sources.
DCNS said it could not confirm that a French inquiry had
been opened and it denied being involved in the Brazilian
"We have nothing to do with the Lava Jato case. DCNS
scrupulously respects the rules of law around the world," a
spokesman told Reuters.
The French financial prosecutors' office did not respond
immediately to a Reuters request for comment.
On its Twitter account on May 12, it said that prosecutors
had spoken to the head of Brazil's Supreme Court and visited
Brazil's central office against corruption but made no reference
to the investigation reported by Le Parisien.
Newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported in 2015 that Brazilian
federal police were investigating potential irregularities in
the military programme to build a nuclear-powered submarine in
partnership with France by 2023.
The paper did not say if DCNS, which is 62 percent owned by
the French state and 35 percent by French defence electronics
group Thales SA, was being investigated.
($1 = 0.8925 euros)
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by David Goodman)