Investigation launched on corruption involving Brazil’s World Cup stadium

Brasilia, Aug 15 (IANS) Police in Brazil have launched an investigation into possible cases of corruption involving the Arena Pernambuco stadium which was one of the 12 venues for last year’s football World Cup, the media reported on Saturday.

The investigation launched on Friday will mainly focus on the tendering process and the execution of the stadium’s construction, located in the city of Recife, Xinhua news agency reported.

The police have “well-founded suspicions” that fraud was committed during the tendering process which was won by construction company Odebrecht, Federal Police Commisioner Felipe Barros said.

The final cost of the stadium was 700 million reals ($200 million), 55 percent over budget.

“Fraud in the international competition has already been confirmed,” said Barros adding that Odebrecht was awarded the stadium project one year before it was open to bidders.

When the call for tender came out, the competitors only had 45 days to elaborate their proposal, said Barros.

The investigation comes at a time when Odebrecht, one of Brazil and Latin America’s main construction companies, is accused of being involved with a network, made up of a group of companies, that diverts money with over-billed construction works from state oil company, Petrobas.

Marcelo Odebrecht, the president of the construction company, has been behind bars since mid-June as he is accused of using bribes to secure contracts with the petrol company.

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