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Brazilian Olympic Corruption Probe Hits Iconic Maracana Stadium

Brasilia, July 8 (RHC)-- In Brazil, three construction companies involved in the renovation of Brazil’s legendary Maracanã soccer stadium were found guilty of improper enrichment at the expense of the state government.  As part of a report conducted by Rio de Janeiro’s state auditing court, TCE, construction firms Odebrecht, Andrade Gutierrez and Delta Construes inflated the figures by more than 17 percent in a contract to bring the stadium up to date with FIFA guidelines.

The iconic Macaranã stadium seats over 79,000 people and is scheduled to host Olympic soccer matches as well as the competition's opening and closing ceremonies.  As a result of the TCE findings, the court allowed Rio’s municipal government to halt payments of up to US$60 million owed to construction firms.

According to the audit, Odebrecht, Andrade Gutierrez and Delta billed the state government twice for particular expenditures, such as employee meals.  They also overcharged the government for services such as pressure-washing.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Odebrecht is at the center of the Petrobras scandal and is involved in over half of all Olympic projects by value.

Five construction firms are building most of the $10.8 billion worth of venues and infrastructure needed for Rio's Olympics.  The figure includes at least 1.76 billion reals in federal funds, according to documents from Brazil's federal accounting court.

All five companies are caught up in an investigation into price fixing and kickbacks at state-run oil company Petrobras, a two-year probe that has seen scores of top executives and politicians jailed, charged or placed under investigation.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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