$760 million diverted returned to Petrobras in Operation Car Wash in two years

São Paulo - Polícia Federal chega à sede da Construtora Odebrecht, na 23 fase da Operação Lava Jato ( Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil)

Operation Car Wash is turning two years old Thursday (Mar. 17), with 93 convictions and $760 million returned by the charged. Rovena Rosa/Agência Brasil

Operation Car Wash is turning two years old Thursday (Mar. 17), with 93 convictions and $760 million returned by the charged. The probes started in 2009, when Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, of the 13th Court of Curitiba, began brought under scrutiny the financial transactions of black-market currency dealer Alberto Youssef.

According to recent data collected by prosecutors in the operation, the amount siphoned off total some $1.68 billion in bribes to former directors at the state-run oil giant, executives from construction companies who signed deals with the firm, as well as public agents. Thus far, $760 million were returned and $173.06 million repatriated through 97 international cooperation requests. The total returned under rulings from the Federal Prosecution office to construction companies and former Petrobras directors adds up to $5.72 billion.

In two years, Sérgio Moro issued 93 convictions—sentences which add up to 990 years and seven months of service time. Crimes range from corruption and drug trafficking to criminal organization and money laundering. Probes also included 49 plea bargain deals and five leniency agreements forged with companies.

Preliminaries probes under Operation Car Wash started in 2009 after investigations into the involvement of then Federal Deputy José Janene, who died in 2010, with black-market currency dealers Alberto Youssef and Carlos Habib Charter.

In 2013, the Federal Police unveiled four criminal organizations, all of which headed by the currency dealers. Based on the monitoring of suspects, investigators reached Paulo Roberto Costa, who was given a Land Rover as a gift from Youssef.

After that stage, through plea bargain testimonies, investigators discovered the participation of construction companies executives, who gathered in a club to divide which companies would be allowed to take part in contracts at Petrobras.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

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