LIMA Jan 6 Peru's President Pedro Pablo
Kuczysnki said that Odebrecht should pay at least 90 million
soles ($26.7 million) to settle a graft case in the Andean
country after the Brazilian builder admitted to bribing
officials with about that much to win public work contracts.
In a broadcast interview with local TV channel RPP on
Friday, Kuczynski added that any company involved in Odebrecht's
kickback schemes in Peru would be barred, as Odebrecht has,
from future public contracts.
This week Odebrecht agreed to deposit an initial 30 million
soles ($8.9 million) in cash in public coffers in a gesture of
goodwill as it prepares to give prosecutors details on $29
million in bribes that it has admitted to distributing in Peru.
Odebrecht will have to pay a larger sum in a plea settlement
with authorities, the attorney general's office has said.
"It should at least be 90 millon soles, supposedly the
amount of the bribes, plus penalties and fines that could bring
it to hundreds of millions" of soles, Kuczynski said.
Odebrecht's local unit said in a statement that helping
prosecutors and paying reparations to the Peruvian state was its
In a plea deal with U.S., Brazilian and Swiss prosecutors
last month, Odebrecht and an affiliated company agreed to pay a
record $3.5 billion for having made hundreds of millions in
corrupt payments to win contracts from Argentina to Panama.
Peru is the first Latin American country besides Brazil
known to have started plea deal talks with the company after it
admitted publicly to doling out bribes in the region without
naming officials involved.
The scandal has frozen work on a $5 billion natural gas
pipeline project in Peru that Odebrecht owns a majority stake in
and could slow the launch of bidding rounds on new
infrastructure contracts as the government prepares new
Kuczynski said it has been harder than he anticipated for
his five-month old government to jumpstart the economy after
inheriting a large fiscal deficit from his predecessor that
constrained public spending.
But better prices for Peru's key mineral exports since
Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election are helping to
shore up government revenues and could spur new mining
investments, Kuczynski added.
The economy likely grew 3.9 percent or 4 percent last year,
and will grow between 4.5 percent and 5 percent in 2017,
Kuczynski said, similar to previous forecasts from his
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)