Local March 17, 2016 | 5:51 pm

Brazil probes bribes in warplanes deal with Dominican Republic, WSJ

Santo Domingo.- A sales consultant who admits to havingpaid bribes aircraft-maker Embraer SA told Brazilian prosecutors that hebelieves that senior company executives, including the CEO, Frederico Curado, wasaware of illicit payments in the sale of military aircraft to the DominicanRepublic.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday reports that consultantElio Moti Sonnenfeld made the statements after agreeing to cooperate withBrazilian authorities investigating a worldwide bribes scheme by Embraer.

In a statement Wednesday, Embraer said it was "fullycooperating" in the case against Curado, but declined to comment on Sonnenfeld’sallegations, claiming that the results of the investigation by company lawyers areconfidential and have been revealed only to State investigators.

The WSJ reports that Embraer will cooperate in the investigation,a key point given most of the evidence against Sonnenfeld, according to aperson with knowledge to the process, would’ve been provided by Embraer lawyers,the WSJ. “Tucanos suppliers offer "full cooperation" to Dominicanauthorities in an investigation into bribery.”

Last year Sonnenfeld told investigators he had received 3.4million dollars in commission from Embraer by professional work that he neverperformed and transferred it as a bribe to officials in the Dominican Republic.

The bribes, according to the investigation, was paid afterthe sale agreement helped secure the contract which had a value of 92 milliondollars for the eight Tucanos.

In 2014, Brazilian prosecutors initiated proceedingsagainst Sonnenfeld and eight former vice-presidents, directors and managers of Embraeraccusing them of corruption and money laundering from 2008 to 2010.

However, charges of corruption haven’t been lodged againstthe CEO of Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer after Airbusand Boeing.

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