in Lava Jato corruption probe
HAVANA TIMES – The majority shareholders of the Colombia-based Avianca Holdings, the brothers German and Jose Efromovich, have been arrested as part of Brazil’s massive Lava Jato corruption probe, Brazilian and Colombian media reported.
The brothers were detained in Sao Paulo on Wednesday and placed under house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They are suspected of paying bribes to obtain a contract with Transpetro, a logistics arm of Brazil’s semi-public oil company Petrobras, for their shipyard Ilha. The investigation does not implicate Avianca Holdings, reports said.
German Efromovich earlier chaired Avianca Holdings while the brothers helped to build Colombia’s Avianca into Latin America’s second-largest airline.
The company is currently undergoing bankruptcy restructuring after the pandemic caused a plunge in passenger demand.
The Lava Jato graft scandal surrounding Petrobras has engulfed dozens of entrepreneurs, politicians and officials, including Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.