An investigation into corruption at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company, has taken a new turn: investigators are now looking into the company’s pension fund, although details are unknown.
Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras on Monday said a growing corruption scandal may implicate its employee pension fund and has led to a freeze on payments to 23 contractors allegedly involved in the scheme.
Petros, the 66 billion real ($24 billion) employee-pension fund of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, was singled out by an internal investigation, Petrobras said in a statement.
The law firms that are conducting the internal investigation “have found possible links to the facts that have been investigated” regarding the pension fund, according to the statement.
It did not give details of any possible links.
The investigation was launched after Brazilian prosecutors alleged that Petrobras executives conspired with construction companies to inflate the cost of contracts and then kick back proceeds to executives, politicians and political parties as bribes and campaign contributions.
Last month, Petrobras was fined by Brazil’s security regulator for violating rules regarding the election of board members of Brazilian companies in which the pension fund is invested.