May 20, 2016 / 12:26 PM / 3 years ago

Brazil police widen Odebrecht probe with Angola contracts

BRASILIA, May 20 (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police on Friday said they widened a probe of construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA to investigate possible money laundering and influence peddling in contracts awarded for projects in Angola.

At least one relative to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was targeted by the operation that included four search and seizure warrants and two warrants for questioning, according to a police source.

Police are investigating why Odebrecht hired a small builder in the port city of Santos between 2012 and 2015 for complex projects in Angola that received $464 million in funding from state-run development bank BNDES, a police statement said.

An Odebrecht spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lula is already under investigation for allegedly benefiting, in the form of payments and a luxury seaside penthouse, from a massive graft scheme uncovered at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Odebrecht executives were arrested during the two-year-long probe, including former chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht, sentenced to 19 years in prison for corruption and money laundering. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Silvio Cascione; Editing by W Simon)

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