Reuters

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A former executive at Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL] told prosecutors that the company made illegal payments to help fund the campaign of Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, weekly magazine Veja reported.

 

Leandro Azevedo, a top Rio de Janeiro executive at Odebrecht, which built several works related to Rio's Summer Olympics held in August, said the company paid several senior politicians in Rio in exchange for favors that would benefit the conglomerate, according to Veja.

 

Paes' 2012 campaign received 11.6 million reais ($3.4 million) in cash and $5.7 million in transfers to foreign bank accounts, Veja reported, without saying how it obtained the information. Paes was re-elected as mayor in 2012.

 

A state court had frozen Paes' assets on Friday on an unrelated probe over whether he improperly waived an environmental fee for a company that built the golf course used in the recent Olympics.

 

Odebrecht also made illegal payments to Rio de Janeiro Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão and Senator Lindbergh Farias, the report said.

 

Representatives for Odebrecht, the prosecutor-general's office, Paes, Farias and Pezão were not immediately available to comment on the report.

The accusation is part of a massive plea deal between Odebrecht executives and prosecutors as part of the "Car Wash" probe into corruption at state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA.

Paes is the latest high-ranking politicians ensnared by the investigation. Nearly 70 lawmakers are currently on trial in the investigation, while former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has also been put on trial.

Local media reported on Friday that former Odebrecht institutional relations director Claudio Melo Filho told prosecutors that the company made several illegal contributions to politicians from the ruling PMDB party, including President Michel Temer.

Temer has denied the accusations, saying the transfers all represented legal donations.

(Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Mary Milliken)