In an announcement made Wednesday evening (Dec. 5), Brazil’s state-run oil giant Petrobras reported it dismissed “employees against whom strong evidence has been produced involving irregularities brought under scrutiny as part of the 57th stage of Operation Car Wash.” Dubbed Sem Limites (“No Limits”), the crackdown was launched yesterday and had two arrest warrants against workers who were still active in the company.
Federal police and prosecutors said Petrobras employees pocketed bribes in order to change values in purchase and sale deals of oil and byproducts with foreign firms. Suspects are also believed to have made illicit business for the lease of storage tanks, with changes being made to the cents charged for each barrel—a million-dollar scheme, as an extremely large amount of fuel was traded daily.
Eleven preventive arrest orders have been issued. One of the employees worked in Houston, US, in a Petrobras office overseas. An Interpol warning has been released against him. The other suspect worked in one of the Rio de Janeiro headquarters, but he was not arrested as he is in hospital.