November 13, 2017 / 2:14 PM / a year ago

Peru's Grana y Montero probed for alleged Odebrecht bribes -prosecutor

LIMA, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The Peruvian attorney general’s office is investigating construction group Grana y Montero for alleged involvement in bribes paid by its Brazilian partner Odebrecht, the lead prosecutor on the Odebrecht case said.

Speaking in a televised interview with America Television, prosecutor Hamilton Castro said that his office has been quietly probing Grana and other local partners of scandal-plagued Odebrecht despite not speaking publicly about it previously.

“There is an investigation against the partner companies ... against Grana y Montero and others,” Castro said in the interview late on Sunday.

Grana did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has said an internal probe it commissioned turned up no evidence that its employees knew about or took part in Odebrecht’s bribes.

Castro said an Odebrecht executive who turned state’s witness, Jorge Barata, told prosecutors the companies that Odebrecht partnered with on two highway projects had paid their share of bribes paid to former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo to secure the contracts.

“That statement must be corroborated,” said Castro, who did not provide additional details on Grana.

Toledo has denied wrongdoing.

Shares in Grana, Odebrecht’s most important local partner, have plummeted since the Odebrecht scandal broke late last year. Last week Peru’s Congress passed legislation to expand a raft of new financial restrictions on Grana and other local partners of Odebrecht. (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Paul Simao)

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