May 6, 2019 / 11:38 PM / 18 days ago

Mexico to launch criminal probe into Odebrecht: attorney general

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico will launch a criminal probe into Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA within 60 days, Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero said on Monday.

“Using recently gathered information and within a period of no more than 60 days, a case will be brought,” Gertz Manero said at an event in Mexico City. He added the case could be prosecuted as “organized crime.”

Mexican state-owned entities, such as oil firm Pemex, have been banned from doing business with Odebrecht or receiving proposals from the firm for three years.

Odebrecht has been at the center of the so-called Car Wash corruption investigation in Brazil, which has rippled across Latin America and which U.S. prosecutors have said is the biggest political graft scheme ever uncovered.

In 2016, Odebrecht acknowledged it had paid millions of dollars in bribes to officials in a dozen countries to secure public works contracts dating back over a decade. The company has also committed to paying billions of dollars in fines.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, editing by G Crosse

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