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Ex-Petrobras boss Bendine held ‘for corruption’

Ademir Bendine. Source:

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Short-term former CEO detained for bribery allegations in so-called Car Wash investigation: reports.

Aldemir Bendine, the former chief executive of Brazilian state-owned giant Petrobras, has reportedly been arrested over corruption allegations linked to the so-called Car Wash investigation.

Bendine, also previously the president of Banco do Brasil (BB), was detained in Sao Paolo as part of the 42nd phase of the investigation into bribery and kickbacks allegations linking Petrobras and high-level politicians and business people, according to reports from Brazilian media outlet O Globo.

Police reportedly served three prison warrants and 11 search and seizure warrants.

The move comes after federal judge Sergio Moro last month ordered a corruption investigation against Bendine. The former head of Petrobras is said to be under investigations for allegedly receiving 3 million reais ($907,770) in bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

The accusation against Bendine is based on plea-bargain testimony from Odebrecht’s imprisoned former chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht, who testified that Bendine was paid in return for helping his company win contracts.

According to reports, Bendine requested a 1% bribe to restructure a 1.7 billion reais ($543.5 million) debt between state-run bank Banco do Brasil and Odebrecht Agroambiental, the group’s sugarcane and ethanol division.

However, Bendine’s lawyers, Bottini and Tamasauskas Advogados, previously said that he never received any bribe while at Petrobras or when he was head of state-run Banco do Brasil.

No official statement has been issued by his lawyers since the reported arrest.

Bendine resigned from the helm of Petrobras in May 2016 after the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.