Brazil to ask French, Swiss bank details on Alstom case
Brazil is to ask France and Switzerland to hand over secret bank files to crack open a case in which French engineering group Alstom is suspected of paying bribes to win lucrative tenders, media reported Thursday.
"There is an international request to break the (bank) secrets for some people being investigated so we can verify transfers made abroad," the prosecutor in charge of the case, Silvio Marques, told CBN radio.
A total of 19 people and seven companies are caught up in the investigation, believed by prosecutors to have received kickbacks from Alstom in the state of Sao Paulo, including the metro and electricity firms.
Sao Paulo's state prosecutor's office has sent the request via the federal justice ministry, and expected to see the French and Swiss documents from August, Marques said.
Last month, three Alstom executives in Britain were arrested as part of a probe into alleged bribe payments to win foreign contracts.
The group said the arrests were related to a Swiss investigation into bribery allegations that had been going on for more than three years.
Alstom specializes in infrastructure projects in the electricity production and rail sectors. It has offices in 70 countries with more than 80,000 employees.
© 2010 AFP