Local March 30, 2016 | 9:29 am

US probes Brazil scandal as Dominican Gov. denies any link

Santo Domingo.- Brazil’s Petrobras-Odebrecht corruption scandalhas rocked other Latin American countries, and now takes a new turn as USauthorities come into play.

In the Dominican Republic, the scandal is linked to Joao Santana,a political campaign adviser for president Danilo Medina, whose administrationhas denied any links to the case dubbed Lava Jato (gusher laundering) in Brazil.

Reuters reports that the US Justice Dept. investigates allegedcorruption in contracts between Petrobras, the petrochemical maker Braskem, andthe construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

The US authorities seek to determine whether the companiesviolated US anticorruption laws in contracts to supply naphtha since 2009between Petrobras and Braskem, in which Odebrecht has as majority stake.

"In the middle of last year, Braskem was sued by agroup of shareholders in the United States for the alleged issuing ofcommunications with false information to investors," Reuters reports.

Among others, former president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva hasbeen brought to justice for alleged tax offenses, whereas president DilmaRousseff also faces impeachment.

Reuters reports that the Brazilian petrochemical company onTuesday said its lawyers abroad are sharing information with the Justice Departmentand the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on an internal investigationopened last year. "Odebrecht said it has not received any notification andtherefore will not comment. The Justice Department and the SEC didn’t comment."

The Lava Jato case has already landed important executives,officials and political leaders in prison.

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