Lava Jato. Operation Car Wash, in English. The massive investigation into billions of embezzled dollars involving Brazil’s national oil and gas company, Petrobras. The scandal that was uncovered at a car wash in the capital Brasilia also implicated construction and engineering giant Odebrecht, which worked on 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics venues. Dozens of politicians and businessmen were caught in bribery schemes. Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Roussef were sent to jail.
The integrated law and order unit has been praised for its attempts to clean up Brazil, but criticized by those who say the anti-corruption campaign is politically motivated. Recognized by the Allard Prize for International Integrity in 2017 at the University of British Columbia, governments around the world are looking at the Operation Car Wash model. Including B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby.
Federal prosecutor Carlos Bruno Ferreira da Silva, the deputy head of Brazil’s international cooperation unit, was a guest speaker at the Trace International Bribery and Economic Crime Summit in Vancouver on June 26. theBreaker.news Podcast host Bob Mackin interviewed da Silva, to learn how Operation Car Wash is structured.
“We saw that in Brazil, normally the investigations of bribery reach dead points, so we tried to change things a little,” da Silva said. Operation Car Wash’s strategy, he said, is built on a team of designated prosecutors, coordination with all relevant domestic agencies, collaboration with informants and remediation agreements with companies, and cooperation with international law enforcement partners.
Car Wash began with Petrobras, but has expanded. For instance, Brazil is busy making corrupt officials of the Rio 2016 Olympics accountable. Last week, Rio de Janeiro’s jailed ex-governor, Sergio Cabral, testified that he helped pay a $2 million bribe to help win the bid for the 2016 Games. The head organizer of the 2016 Games, Carlos Nuzman, is accused in the vote-buying scheme.
Hear the interview with da Silva. Plus Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines and commentaries.
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