US$ 17.6 million was paid in bribes and illicit commissions in 20 contracts for the chartering of ships owned by Greek shipowners with Petrobras

by on 17 July 2022

The Federal Court in Paraná received a complaint from the Lava Jato task force of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) against former senator Ney Suassuna and former honorary consul of Greece in Rio de Janeiro Konstantinos Kotronakis, for involvement in a corruption scheme in contracts of chartering vessels entered into by Petrobras with Greek shipowners. According to the complaint, crimes related to criminal organization, corruption and money laundering were committed within the scope of Petrobras ship charter contracts in force between 2006 and 2028, which generated at least US$ 17.6 million in bribes and illicit commissions. The amounts were paid by Greek shipowners Athenian Sea Carriers, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Dorian (Hellas) and Aegean Shipping Management.

Dalmo Monteiro Silva (former Petrobras Charters Manager), Georgios Kotronakis (son of Konstantinos Kotronakis), Henry Hoyer (former advisor to Ney Suassuna), João Henrique Hoyer (son of Henry Hoyer), Jorge Luz (employee ), Bruno Luz (employee and son of Jorge Luz), Fernando Bregolato (financial operator) and Paulo Arruda (financial operator).

As a result of corruption settlements, Greek shipowners Athenian Sea Carriers, Tsakos Energy Navigation, Dorian (Hellas) and Aegean Shipping Management have committed to pay bribes and illicit commissions at the rate of 2% of the value of charter contracts to bank accounts of offshore companies linked to Konstantinos Kotronakis held in Greece, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Switzerland. Konstantinos Kotronakis’ offshore companies were set up to resemble shipbroking companies, in order to disguise criminal practices.

According to the investigations, the bribes were divided between Petrobras employees – such as Paulo Roberto Costa (former director of Supply) and Dalmo Monteiro Silva (former charter manager) – and agents linked to the Progressive Party, and the remaining illicit commissions. were shared among the intermediary agents of the scheme, notably Konstantinos Kotronakis, Georgios Kotronakis, Ney Suassuna, Henry Hoyer, João Henrique Hoyer, Jorge Luz and Bruno Luz.

The complaint deals with a fraction of the ship charters that were obtained by Greek shipowners from Petrobras thanks to the activities of the criminal organization. The contracts covered by the complaint total the value of US$ 881 million and refer to the ships Captain X Kyriakou (owned by Athenian Sea Carriers), Victory III, Hesnes, Seleção, Sócrates, Arctic, Aegeas, Ajax, Millenium, Rio 2016 and Brazil 2014 (Tsakos Energy Navigation), Oklahoma and Ohio (Dorian / Hellas) and Jenny (Aegean Shipping Management).

Of note are the contracts signed by Petrobras with the shipowner Tsakos Energy Navigation for the charter of the Rio 2016 and Brasil 2014 vessels for a period of 15 years. The negotiations for the contracting of these two ships, at the time under construction, began in 2010, after a trip by Paulo Roberto Costa and Konstantinos Kotronakis to Athens. The contracts were signed in December 2010, but the ships only came into operation in mid-2013, when their construction was completed. Such contracts cost Petrobras the daily rent of US$47,000 each, and remain in effect until 2028.

The investigations started from documents seized with Paulo Roberto Costa and were boosted by the subsequent signing of a collaboration agreement with the former director of Supply at Petrobras and his late son-in-law Humberto Mesquita. The complex criminal scheme, however, could only be fully unraveled after examining evidence obtained in international legal cooperation procedures with Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Panama and Portugal, in search and seizure measures, in of banking, tax and telematic secrecy, in hearings from witnesses and collaborators and in requested information and documents.

For the prosecutor of the Republic Athayde Ribeiro Costa, “the evidence shows that the criminal scheme of which Petrobras was a victim involved the co-option of criminals in several areas of the company, which makes it necessary to maintain efforts to solve crimes, by Lava Jato. ”. “The indictment presents a wide variety of laundering acts, through offshores in several countries and simulated operations”, states prosecutor Marcelo Ribeiro de Oliveira. money, including through the maintenance and expansion of ongoing international cooperation.”

Continuity of investigations – Investigations involving crimes in the context of the vessel charter contracts entered into by Petrobras through the work of Konstantinos Kotronakis are still ongoing with regard toto the current movement of the proceeds of crime, to other contracts not reached by the complaint and to other public agents involved in the criminal scheme. The investigation also continues to reach other criminal groups that have already been identified, which, in parallel and similarly to the criminal group of Konstantinos Kotronakis, also used the corruption of Petrobras civil servants and political agents to guarantee facilities in the execution and execution of contracts. of chartering a ship with the state-owned company.