31 Mar '16, 11pm

Brazil prosecutors charge prominent banker Safra in bribe scheme

[BRASILIA] Brazilian prosecutors charged Joseph Safra, ranked as the world's richest banker, in connection with an alleged scheme to pay bribes to government officials in return for waiving up to US$500 million in corporate tax debts, the prosecutors' office said in a statement on Thursday. Prosecutors accused Mr Safra of corruption for the suspected plan to pay 15.3 million reais (S$5.74 million) in bribes to tax officials in 2014, based on tapped phone calls between a Safra executive, João Inácio Puga, and tax agency officials. A spokesman for Mr Safra said the charges were unfounded, and there was no just cause for the legal proceedings. Mr Safra, the majority owner of the Brazilian bank Banco Safra SA, was not directly involved in the negotiations on the bribery plan, prosecutors said. However, they added the phone conversations show that Mr Puga reported to Safra on t...

Full article: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/brazil-pr...

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