Arrested nuclear utility CEO on leave received $1.341m in kickbacks

When the scandal emerged, Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, who

Published in 28/07/2015 - 14:00 By Ivan Richard reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Othon Luiz - Eletronuclear

Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, CEO on leave of EletronuclearrMarcello Casal/Arquivo/Agência Brasil

The CEO on leave of state-controlled nuclear subsidiary Eletronuclear and Navy Vice-Admiral Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, arrested by the Federal Police (PF) earlier today (July 28), was paid $1.341 million in kickbacks by the successful bidder at the Angra 3 nuclear power plant project, according to the Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) and the Federal Police. The arrest was part of stage 16 of Operation Car Wash anti-corruption crackdown.

According to the Operation Car Wash task force, a consortium formed by companies Camargo Corrêa, UTC, Andrade Gutierrez, Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão and EBE made illegal payments to middle companies which channeled them to Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva.

According to a prosecutor in the task force, Athayde Ribeiro Costa, the payments continued until last December, nine months after the beginning of Operation Car Wash, when several contractor executives had been arrested.

The prosecutor said investigators found evidence of kickback payments to a company owned by Pinheiro related to contracts with Andrade Gutierrez since 2009. “Corruption is endemic in Brazil and has metastatically spread out to a number of government agencies,” the prosecutor said.

Dubbed “Radioactivity”, stage 16 of Operation Car Wash emerged as a spin-off case from a plea bargain statement by Camargo Corrêa executive Dalton Avancini. In his testimony, he mentioned a cartel involved in contracts for the Angra 3 project and implicated Othon Luiz Silva as a bribe recipient. On that occasion, Silva denied any involvement or awareness of wrongdoing, and issued a statement saying he never received kickbacks and maintaining he lives off his pension as a retired vice-admiral in the Navy and his pay as Eletronuclear CEO.

The prisoners will be taken today to Curitiba, Paraná, where the case is being heard.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Arrested nuclear utility CEO on leave received $1.341m in kickbacks

Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Nira Foster

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