CARACAS Feb 14 Venezuelan authorities raided
the Caracas offices of Odebrecht on Tuesday, as prosecutors
deepened a probe into the Brazilian construction firm that has
admitted paying some $98 million in bribes to obtain government
contracts in Venezuela.
"The investigation is aimed at clarifying the situation and
determining if the projects for which this company was
contracted were completed," the prosecutor's office said in a
Odebrecht and affiliated petrochemical company Braskem in
December pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to violating American
foreign bribery laws by paying off officials to help secure
lucrative construction contracts in 12 countries.
According to the plea bargain agreement, Odebrecht and
representatives paid some $98 million in bribes to government
officials and intermediaries in Venezuela between 2006 and 2015
- the highest amount outside Brazil.
President Nicolas Maduro has said that those responsible
should be punished, but his critics say his government has been
slow to respond to the scandal.
The country's top prosecutor said in January that
authorities were seeking the arrest of a person involved in the
case, without disclosing the person's identity.
(Reporting by Eyanir Chinea; Writing by Brian Ellsworth;
Editing by Tom Brown)