Sao Paulo: A federal task force has begun looking into the suspected involvement of Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with construction companies being investigated in the corruption-kickback probe that has engulfed state-owned oil company Petrobras.
Deltan Dallagnol, the prosecutor coordinating the task force, said in a letter sent to the Supreme Court on Monday that Silva was in office he received "benefits" from the construction companies involving a country home and a luxury seaside apartment in Sao Paulo state.
Dallagnol said the task force is investigating if the construction companies paid for the renovation of the two properties and if the money was part of a laundering scheme. The Sao Paulo-based Lula Institute said on its website that Silva has nothing to hide, nor does he fear being investigated.
Prosecutors investigating Petrobras allege that over $2 billion was paid in bribes by businessmen to obtain contracts from the oil company projects that then subsequently ballooned in costs. Investigators also have said that some of the money made its way to the governing Workers' Party.
The investigation has led to the arrests of several business executives and politicians, including members of Silva's Workers' Party.