Brazil plane maker’s money trail leads to the Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.- The US$3.5 million bribe to buy eight SuperTucano aircraft were covered by the value of the purchase contract and sale of theplanes, according to the record that is in the 7th Federal Criminal Courtof Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The measure sought to hide the illicit payment promised bythe vice president of the plane manufacturer, Embraer, Eduardo Munhos de Campo,to Dominican Air Force Col. Carlos Piccini Nuñez, which was earmarked in the contractas 3.7% for "business representation."
"Once the amount of undue benefit to be paid was establishedand which was set to be delivered to Piccini Nuñez, Munhos, to implement thesimulacrum of the respective payment, the technical area of ??Embraer wouldhave determined, on 01,09,2008, the instruction of the commercial agencyagreement for the Dominican Republic, with a percentage of 3.7% on the sale,"says the court document sent to the country.
Munhos stressed the need to increase the payment so thatthe largest share was paid when the Dominican side would pay the firstinstallment of the price of the aircraft, and that the latter coincided uponits delivery. According to a statement provided to the Justice Ministry ofBrazil, Embraer doesn’t usually establish commissions in fractional numbers.
From January 2 to May 15 2009, several executives of thatcompany decided, after talking with the legal and financial representatives,cover the payment for the contract of simulation of service between Embraer andthe company 4D Business.
The indictment notes that Munhos had initially promised thealleged bribe payment in two installments; the first forUS$2.5 million and the secondof US$920,000. In the preliminary stage of negotiations, it would have made thepromise of an additional initial fee of US$100,000.
"This chronology ended up being fulfilled, however thehighest fees were paid in May and June 2010, due to the difficulties resultingfrom internal controls of Embraer SA, which on more than one occasionquestioned or hindered operations ofhidden payments" the case file says.
Piccini, who was Air Force director of special projects, hadinstructed the maker of the Tucanos, to make payment through 4D Business Groupcompanies, Ferroboc and MagyCorp. The executives were forced to change the strategyof payments.
According to the document, with the help of Orlando JoséFerrera Neto, Albert Close, Acir Padilha, Luis Alberto Lage da Fonseca, EduardoFernandes Fagundes and Marcelo Bester, Munhos proceeded to hire Elio MotiSonnenfeld, as a sales representative of the company to promote and propose salesof the aircraft to Jordan and also to subsequent conduct payments covertly tothe military officer, who was sent to three months of pretrial detention.
Former defense minister Pedro Rafael Peña Antonio, and DanielAquino Mendez and his son Daniel Aquino Hernandez are free on bond, whereas senatorLuis Rene Canaan is also linked to the scandal.
On April 24, 2009, the US subsidiary of Embraer transferredUS$100,000 to the company 4D, the transfer of May 22, 2010 was to the company BlobaltixSA, based in Uruguay, whose representative, Elio Moti Sonnenfeld was instructedto pay Piccini. The last transfer made by 4D was US$920,000 on June 22, 2010.