Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, in charge of the proceedings opened under Operation Car Wash, said today (Aug. 31) that “the cost of systemic corruption is something extraordinary.” The statement was made during a lecture at the Fórum Exame: Prepare-se para planejar 2016 (“Exame Forum – Prepare to Plan for 2016”, in a rough English translation). Fighting corruption will bring benefits to the country in the long run, he says.
The judge reported that the evidence gathered during the operation as well as the allegations given under plea bargain indicate that the payment of bribes through contracts at Petrobras was a common practice. “[Corruption] is a kind of crime that will always be committed, regardless of what we do, unless, in a far-away future, we turn into angels,” Moro added.
As an example of inflated contracts, Moro mentioned the case of the Abreu e Lima Refinery, linked to the oil giant. Even though its construction works had been estimated to end in December 2010, the refinery only became operational in 2014. “Among the witnesses—agents from Petrobras—it's being said that the refinery wouldn't be able to pay itself off even if it operated for the duration of its lifetime—a loss-maker,” Moro said.
In a testimony given in March this year, during a hearing with the Congressional Committee of Investigation on Petrobras at the Chamber of Deputies, former Petrobras CEO Graça Foster stated that the rise in the final cost of the refinery was brought about by the lack of a well-defined basic project.
Originally budgeted at $2.5 billion, the refinery had its final value estimated at $18.5 billion because of a number of addenda to the agreement, Foster says. “If you don't have solid basic projects, you'll have addenda. For Abreu e Lima, the main issue involved the successive changes in the project. Even the properties of the oil to be refined there changed during the process,” Foster explained at the time.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Sérgio Moro: fighting corruption will bring benefits to Brazil