The heads of two of Brazil’s largest construction companies were detained by police on Thursday as part of a broader probe into corruption at Petrobras, according to local media.
Marcelo Odebrecht and Otavio Azevedo, heads of Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez construction companies, respectively, were among the 12 people judges had issued detainment and arrest warrants for, according to Folha de Sao Paulo and O Globo newspapers.
Brazil’s Federal Police are investigating money laundering, embezzlement and racketeering as part of the probe.
Odebrecht said in an e-mailed statement that its offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had been searched and that arrest warrants had been carried out.
Andrade Gutierrez in an e-mailed statement said it was aiding in the police investigation and denied any involvement in relation to the so-called Car Wash operation, referring to investigations into a scheme of alleged kickbacks on service contracts at state-run oil company Petrobras.
It is the most senior-level detainment of corporate executives since the Petrobras scandal broke last year.
The executives will be taken to Curitiba, capital of the state of Parana, according to a Federal Police statement.