Swiss multinational admits bribery to Petrobras and discloses million-dollar agreement

Swiss multinational admits bribery to Petrobras and discloses million-dollar agreement


Through an official statement, the Swiss multinational Trafigura disclosed a million-dollar agreement made with the United States Department of Justice to close the investigation into a corruption and money laundering scheme involving Petrobras.

According to the statement, “the conduct of former employees or agents in Brazil, which occurred approximately 10 years ago or more” does not comply with the company’s principles.

“As part of the resolution, and under the terms of the plea agreement, Trafigura Beheer B.V., controlling company of the Trafigura Group during the relevant period, will pay a total amount of approximately US$127 million”, says an excerpt from the statement published on the company’s website on March 28, 2024.

Considered one of the largest commodity trading companies in the world, Trafigura became the target of Lava Jato in 2018, when the Federal Public Ministry in Paraná denounced two former executives of the company, an operator and a former manager of Petrobras for corruption and laundering. of money in the state-owned company’s purchasing and selling sector.

According to the MPF, at the time, 31 fuel oil purchase and sale operations were identified between Trafigura and Petrobras involving the payment of US$1.5 million in bribes. According to American justice, the scheme would have made Trafigura a profit of around US$61 million.

The bribe would have been paid to the former manager of Foreign Trade of Fuel Oils at Petrobras by Trafigura executives to obtain facilities and advantages in purchasing the fuel.

The payments would have been intermediated by financial operators, using secret accounts abroad. According to the complaint, the transfer to Petrobras employees, in Brazil, was made in cash.

The MPF’s complaint is based on material found in breaches of telematic confidentiality and analysis of media and documents seized during the 44th phase of the Lava Jato operation.

According to investigations, the scheme maintained by Petrobras and Trafigura was in force for at least six years and lasted until the time of the complaint, in 2018.

Despite the evidence of the corruption scheme, the investigation into the case is currently at a standstill due to the dismantling suffered by Operation Lava Jato in recent years.

While the MPF has been trying to resume the process, the accused are asking for the evidence to be declared null and void based on previous court decisions that use the episode known as “Vaza Jato” to disqualify the investigations.

A People’s Gazette contacted Petrobras and is awaiting a response.


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