Petrobras pay $2.95bn to settle US class action on corruption

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras denied any wrongdoing in the $2.95 billion deal. (Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Petrobras pay $2.95bn to settle US class action on corruption

LONDON: Petroleo Brasileiro has agreed to pay $2.95 billion to settle a US class action brought by investors who claim they lost money in a corruption scandal.
Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Petrobras (as it is known) has claimed it was itself a victim, while expressly denying any wrongdoing under the terms of the deal. United States District Judge Jed Rakoff must approve the settlement.
But, the company’s market value has plunged as the so-called Lava Jato or “car wash” corruption scandal has deepened. The company said the settlement will be paid in three roughly equal installments and will affect fourth quarter results.
Investors sued Petrobras after prosecutors in Brazil accused former executives at the company of accepting more than $2 billion in bribes over the course of ten years, mainly from construction and engineering companies.
Petrobras said that it hoped the settlement would resolve all investor claims in the United States over the scandal.
The deal does not include investors who bought non-US-based Petrobras securities outside the United States, according to the company. The deal comes just days after Brazil’s securities regulator CVM formally accused eight former Petrobras executives of corruption.
According to a legal filing by the regulator on Friday, the accusations relate to possible irregularities in the contracting process for three drill ships.
Former Petrobras chief executives Maria das Gracas Foster and Jose Sergio Gabrielle are among the accused in CVM’s filing.
The largest securities fraud settlements in US history include $7.2 billion stemming from the collapse of Enron, $6.2 billion over an accounting scandal at WorldCom and $3.2 billion over an accounting scandal at Tyco International, according to Stanford Law School’s Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.