13 June 2014, News Wires -Former Petrobras downstream director Paulo Roberto Costa has been arrested again in Brazil in connection with $23 million kept in a Swiss bank account, prosecutors said according to reports.
Paulo Roberto Costa, the former head of the company’s refining unit, had been previously arrested in March on charges of involvement with a money-laundering scheme spanning up to $10 billion reais ($4.29 billion).
His re-arrest came a day after giving testimony in Brazil’s Congress on a 2006 US refinery purchase that critics claim was badly mismanaged and overpaid for by Petrobras, Reuters reported.
The refinery matter, as well as a corruption probe involving Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore, have emerged as scandals bogging down Brazil’s state-led oil company as it also grapples with production delays and a challenging ramp-up in its pre-salt province.
A spokesperson for Brazil’s Federal Police confirmed to Reuters that Costa was arrested on Wednesday without giving more details.
Local media said a judge ordered his arrest to prevent him from fleeing the country after details about secret Swiss bank accounts emerged.
Brazilian prosecutors received information about the accounts from Swiss authorities, who declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
Costa’s lawyer told Globo TV he was “unaware” of any bank account held by his client in Switzerland and that his arrest was a hasty decision.