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French officials probing bribes in Brazil submarine deal - reports

A Scorpene-class diesel submarine is seen at the shipyard in Cherbourg, France on October 21, 2003; Brazil on December 23, 2008 signed with France an agreement to buy Scorpene-class attack submarines.
A Scorpene-class diesel submarine is seen at the shipyard in Cherbourg, France on October 21, 2003; Brazil on December 23, 2008 signed with France an agreement to buy Scorpene-class attack submarines. AFP/File
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French justice officials are investigating if bribes might have helped the country win a huge submarines order from Brazil in 2008, a media report said on Saturday.

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In October 2016, the National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF) opened a preliminary probe into "bribery of foreign public officials" over a contract signed in 2008 during a visit by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy to his Brazilian counterpart, the report published on the website of Le Parisien newspaper said.

A source close to the matter confirmed toFrench news agency that the investigation was under way, without giving further details.
Contacted by AFP, the PNF "neither confirmed nor denied" the report.

Brazil had ordered four Scorpene conventional attack submarines, manufactured by DCNS, a French industrial group specialising in naval defence and energy, in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia.

A spokesman for DCNS told AFP it "scrupulously respected the law all over the world".

A French presidency source at the time estimated the value of the submarine contract at 6.7 billion euros, of which 4.1 billion euros would have gone to France and the rest to Brazilian companies.

 

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