Local December 22, 2016 | 8:12 am

US Justice: Odebrecht paid US$92M in bribes in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Brazilian construction company Odebrecht paid around US$788 million in bribes in 12 countries, including US$92 million in the Dominican Republic, according to US Justice Dept. documents.

"Between around 2001 and 2014, Odebrecht did and caused more than US$92 million in payments to corrupt government officials and intermediaries working on their behalf in the Dominican Republic. Odebrecht made a profit of more than US$163 million as a result of these corrupt payments," the judicial documents say.

"For example, with the objective of securing certain public contracts in the Dominican Republic, Odebrecht paid bribes to an intermediary responsible for mediating with the Government with the understanding that the intermediary would pass the money, in part, to government officials.

Most of the payments were made with funds not registered by the Structure Operations Division with the authorization of Odebrecht employees. Through that agreement, Odebrecht was able to influence government budgets and fund approvals for certain projects in the Dominican Republic," says the document on page 19, quoted by diariolibre.com.

The Dominican equivalent to the Attorney General’s Office said it has yet to receive official information on this investigation, and only knows the documents published on the US Department of Justice website. "The Justice Ministry analyzes the brief references to Odebrecht’s alleged illegal activities in the Dominican Republic," says a statement to the media.

In reference to the Dominican Republic, page 19 of the document transcript says:

54. "Between about 2001 and 2014, ODEBRECHT caused u to have made more than US$92 million in corrupt payments to government officials and intermediaries working on their behalf in the Dominican Republic. ODEBRECHT made a profit of more than US$163 million as a result of these corrupt payments.

55. "For example, in order to secure certain public contracts in the Dominican Republic, ODEBRECHT paid bribes to an intermediary responsible for mediating with the Government with the understanding that the intermediary would pass the money, in part, to government officials.

Most of the payments were made with funds not registered by the Structure Operations Division with the authorization of Odebrecht employees. Through that agreement, ODEBRECHT was able to influence government budgets and fund approvals for certain projects in the Dominican Republic. "

According to the document, the Dominican Republic is the third country where Odebrecht paid the most bribes. First was Brazil with US$349 million and Venezuela second, with US$98 million.

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