The construction company will not be able to participate in projects financed by the multilateral bank until 2024, after recognizing illegal payments in Brazil and Venezuela.
Brazilian construction company Norberto Odebrecht (CNO) was disabled to participate in projects financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) until August 2024.
Odebrecht admits bribes; must pay $ 50 million
The punishment results from investigations by the IDB Office of Institutional Integrity, which discovered the payment of bribes to officials in projects financed by the multilateral entity in Brazil and Venezuela.
Specifically, the construction company paid between 2006 and 2008 around $ 380,000 to officials for a highway rehabilitation program in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and up to $ 118 million between 2007 and 2015 in the case of the Tocoma hydroelectric plant in Venezuela.
“Odebrecht does not question the evidence obtained by the Office of Institutional Integrity, which demonstrates that in both CNO projects it committed corrupt practices when it made payments to public officials to facilitate the award, contract execution payments or contract amendments,” he said. IDB in a statement.
The penalty falls on CNO and all its subsidiaries in any country, excluding operations in Africa.
Therefore, among the disabled firms is Constructora Norberto Odebrecht Panama. Although the illicit facts were discovered in projects executed in Brazil and Venezuela, “the extension of the sanction to the subsidiaries of a company that committed prohibited practices is a common mechanism of the multilateral banks to prevent the evasion of a sanction imposed on the main company ”, The IDB Office of Institutional Integrity, which operates independently of the bank administration and has its own budget, told this newspaper.
In practice, the sanction means that the Brazilian company will not be able to participate in Panama in projects financed by the IDB until 2024.
The IDB is the multilateral entity with the largest loan portfolio with Panama. Among some of the projects financed by the bank is a part of the expansion of the Panama Canal, the Sanitation of the Bay, rehabilitation of roads, educational infrastructure, and the digitalization of procedures.