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  • Peruvians protest against corruption ahead of the 2016 election.

    Peruvians protest against corruption ahead of the 2016 election. | Photo: Reuters

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has rejected calls to kick Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht out of Peru over bribery.

Brazil’s largest construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, will no longer be able to participate in tender for public works in Peru, the government has announced, after the company has been further embroiled in scandal in recent days for corruption schemes reaching beyond Brazil and into other countries in the region.

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Peru’s government announced Wednesday new contract measures that will block companies involved in fraud from submitting bids for projects.

“Odebrecht and others will not be able to participate in new tenders provided there have been sanctions for acts of corruption or in this case where they themselves have admitted to this type of conduct,” Peruvian Prime Minister Fernando Zavala said in a press conference, adding that the government has vowed to support the investigations.

After being embroiled in massive corruption scandals in Brazil, court proceedings revealed last last week that the company also paid millions of dollars in bribes in Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and the Dominican Republic, among other countries.

Odebrecht admitted to paying US$29 million in bribes just in Peru between 2005 and 2014 in order to win contracts.

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Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has also said he will terminate a US$5 billion natural gas pipeline project if investigations reveal that the contract was won through Odebrecht bribery, even if the Brazilian construction giant backs out of the deal.

Kuczynski, who has denied taking bribes from Odebrecht as prime minister and finance minister in 2005, has dismissed calls to kick Odebrecht out of Peru.

Odebrecht has been at the center of Brazil’s Petrobras corruption scandal, which has embroiled dozens of high-level politicians — including unelected President Michel Temer — in bribery schemes in the state-run oil company.

On the global level, Odebrecht’s sprawling corruption network also included international money laundering in countries including the United States and Switzerland.

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