MOZAMBICAN PARLIAMENT TO QUESTION GOVT ON BRIBE BY EMBRAER

The case of an 800,000 US dollar bribe paid by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to Mozambican officials in 2009 to ensure that Mozambique Airlines (LAM) would buy two Embraer aircraft will be debated in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, later this month.

The parliamentary group of the ruling Frelimo Party on Tuesday tabled a request for the scandal to be placed urgently on the Assembly’s agenda, with members of the government called to explain the matter.

There was no objection to this proposal, and so the Assembly’s governing board, its Standing Commission, must contact the government, and fix a time for the question to be discussed in the Assembly plenary some time in the next fortnight.

Embraer was caught offering bribes in four countries — India, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic and Mozambique. In order to avoid further legal action, the company made a full confession to both the United States and Brazilian authorities.

The United States has jurisdiction, because Embraer is quoted on the New York stock exchange. Embraer agreed to pay fines in the US and Brazil amounting to about 225 million USD.

Documents from the US Justice Department and from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave details of the bribe, and stated that Mozambican officials were involved, but did not name them.

However, the Brazilian Federal Prosecutors’ office, in a document signed by prosecutors and by Embraer officials names the LAM official who insisted on payment of a bribe as the then chairperson of the LAM board, Jose Viegas.

It also named a key middleman (“Agent C” in the US documents) as Mateus Zimba. He 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 company General Electric.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK