Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court released testimony alleging politicians and companies illegally profited from the construction of 2014 World Cup soccer stadiums.
The testimony given by Odebrecht executives alleges there were irregularities in the bidding process for six stadiums, including Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã, where the World Cup final took place.
In Brazil’s investigation into the multinational Odebrecht corruption scandal, officials collaborated as part of a plea bargain with former Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrecht and 76 other Odebrecht executives to acquire the names of politicians who allegedly conspired with Odebrecht — one of the largest construction conglomerates in Latin America.
In the testimony, several executives said bribes were given to politicians or to the politicians’ political party to secure contracts seen as “an unfair advantage associated with work on the Maracanã.”
In one example, executives said renovating the Maracanã was estimated to have cost $225 million but the cost eventually rose to more than $320 million, Jornal O Globo reported.
In another example, officials decided to hold the opening match for the World Cup in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena, which caused the cost of the stadium to rise four times the original estimate.
Last week, the Supreme Federal Court released a list of dozens of politicians expected to be investigated in the multinational Odebrecht corruption scandal.
The Odebrecht company is accused of paying millions in bribes to dozens of politicians in numerous countries to acquire lucrative contracts. The company has admitted to paying about $1 billion in bribes overall. Brazil’s inquiry into Odebrecht began from the corrupt activity first seen in Petrobras, a semi-public oil and gas company.
By Andrew V. Pestano