FORMER MOZAMBICAN AIRLINE CHAIRMAN NAMED IN EMBRAER BRIBERY SCANDAL

A document from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Brazil has named the former chairperson of the board of Mozambican Airlines (LAM), Jose Viegas, as being involved in taking an 800,000-US-dollar bribe from the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer.

The bribery scandal came to light in October, when United States Assistant Attorney-General Leslie R. Caldwell announced that Embraer had agreed to pay a fine of more than 107 million USD in connection with schemes involving the bribery of senior officials in Mozambique, the Dominican Republic, India and Saudi Arabia.

Under questioning, Embraer admitted that its executives had bribed foreign officials and had falsified records in connection with aircraft sales in several countries.

The Mozambican connection was a bribe of 800,000 USD paid via what the US Justice Department describes as “a false agency agreement with an intermediary designated by a high-level official” in Mozambique Airlines (LAM). The purpose of the bribe was to secure LAM’s agreement to purchase two aircraft from Embraer for approximately 65 million USD.

The full cost to Embraer of these cases is much higher as the company has also reached a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which will cost it more than 98 million USD, and it will also pay the Brazilian authorities 20 million USD.

The documentation on the case from the US Justice Department and the SEC gives details of how the bribe was paid, but gives no names. However, the Brazilian prosecutors document, dated Oct 6, 2016, names Viegas as the LAM official involved and the intermediary as Mateus Zimba.

Zimba was not an employee of LAM. For many years he was the Mozambican manager of the South African petrochemical giant SASOL, and is currently the regional director of the US multination General Electric.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK