Petrobras apologizes to 2,000 innocent employees of the Lava Jato investigations

Dec 09, 2019

Petrobras will send letters of apology to about 2,000 employees who have been investigated for possible involvement in corruption schemes following the Lava Jato operation, state oil company president Roberto Castello Branco said on Monday.

During his speech at a compliance event at the company’s headquarters, the executive stressed that internal investigations into these employees were inconclusive. According to him, innocents were persecuted and deprived of the right to adequate defense.

“We are delivering about 2,000 letters apologizing to the people involved and their families for the damage done. These people were investigated and were not even entitled to be informed of their innocence or that the process, the charges, were inconclusive, ”said the executive.

“I know this is not enough and we will not erase people’s minds and memories, but I find it very important to apologize to those who have fallen victim to what I call ‘Jacobinism’ of excesses.”

Largest anti-corruption operation in Brazil’s history, beginning in 2014, Lava Jato unveiled a billion-dollar scheme of embezzlement of public resources, involving major contractors, politicians and political parties. Many irregularities were pointed out in contracts with Petrobras.

Castello Branco also argued that the write-off of 6.2 billion reais related to deviated values ​​in the pricing, bribery and bribery scheme, recognized in the company’s balance sheet of the third quarter of 2014, “does not correspond to reality”.

“Comperj is a true graveyard of corruption … We made the most expensive refinery in the world, Abreu e Lima, which cost $ 20 billion, a figure that will never be recovered,” said the president of the oil company.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the company also reduced the value of its assets by 44.3 billion reais, after reevaluating a number of projects, mainly the Abreu e Lima Refinery, in Pernambuco, and Comperj, in Rio de Janeiro. .

Other write-offs related to assets involved in Lava Jato were also made later.

Also attending the event, Governance and Compliance Director Marcelo Zenkner said the company does not want to forget what happened in the past, but wants to take lessons and keep going.

“We made 53,000 technical visits and trained 45,000 people,” said Zenkner, explaining that there are currently 194 integrity agents, “taking the word of ethics, morality and integrity to spread this culture throughout the company.”

“The challenge for 2020 is to make internal controls work like oil in Petrobras’s gears,” he said.

Source: Reuters

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