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Panama bans Odebrecht until it returns ‘removed’ money

Panama bans Odebrecht until it returns ‘removed’ money

Panama City: Panama has announced it will prohibit Brazil’s Odebrecht construction company from acquiring any new contracts until it returns the money it “removed” via corruption and bribes.

Authorities in Panama, a country where Odebrecht has built important infrastructure, would also ban the firm from bidding on projects in which it was already participating, Cabinet chief Alvaro Aleman said.

Panama would also take all necessary actions to take back Odebrecht’s concession of a hydroelectric project, Efe news reported.

Odebrecht was asked to abort, at no cost to the state, the contract of association for this work, which has not yet begun.

Through the state-owned Electricity Generation Company (EGESA), Panama signed a contract with Odebrecht in June 2014 to build the Chan II hydroelectric plant with an investment of $1 billion.

The Brazilian construction company allegedly paid bribes on more than 100 projects in 12 countries in Latin America and Africa, amounting to approximately $788 million, according to US documents.