Brazil’s top politician faces bribery, tax evasion probe

Brazil’s top politician faces bribery, tax evasion probe

Thursday, October 29, 2015 2:28 pm

Eduardo Cunha:  Swiss  bank accounts  exposed

Eduardo Cunha: Swiss bank accounts exposed

Brazil’s Secretariat of Federal Revenue is carrying out an official investigation of Eduardo Cunha, head of House of Representatives, for tax evasion and other fiscal crimes, local daily O Globo said.

Started in August, the investigation was based on information which later led to a denouncement against the president for corruption and money laundering in the Supreme Federal Court (STF), according to O Globo.

Cunha, who heads Brazil’s Chambers of Deputies, is accused of participating in the corruption scheme uncovered at state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras and taking million-dollar bribes to favour private companies in public contracts.

Lobbyist Julio Camargo, who testified in exchange for leniency, accused Cunha of taking a bribe worth $5million to facilitate a contract for two ships from Samsung Heavy Industries to Petrobras.

Later on, Swiss authorities discovered four accounts attributed to Cunha in Swiss banks while Cunha has always denied having accounts abroad and never declared any in his tax statements.

The Swiss authorities shared the information with Brazil, and copies of Cunha’s documents used to open the accounts, with his signature, were obtained by the local press.

Cunha’s wife and daughter are also accused of operating the accounts along with him. The accounts have all been blocked.

The Secretariat of Federal Revenue believes that the Swiss authorities’ discoveries strengthen the accusations against Cunha and are evidence that he is involved in corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. They hope to include the Swiss prosecution offices’ findings in the process.

Switzerland is transferring the investigation to Brazil, including all documents which can compromise Cunha, as well as all the amounts in the four accounts. Despite denying that the accounts belong to him, Cunha does not want the move to take place, and his lawyers are trying to stop the transference in court.

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