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The intersection of corruption and the environment

Tom Fox | May 14, 2017

Rarely is the intersection of corruption and environmental impact as clearly seen in the United States as involves a petro-chemical facility just outside of Houston, Texas. The plant in inexorably intertwined with Petrobras and Operation Car Wash. The refinery is located in Pasadena Texas and has been a part of the ongoing Operation Car Wash investigation. The reason is straight-forward. The allegations involve the sale of the petrochemical refinery previously owned by a Belgium company called Astra Oil, who purchased the refinery in 2005 for $42.5 million in 2005. Rather amazingly, Astra Oil then sold the refinery to Petrobras, in a series of transactions beginning in 2006 for $1.2 billion. That is certainly one hefty return on investment. Unfortunately, it appears that Petrobras far overpaid for the purchase and part of this overpayment price was used as funds to pay bribes to corrupt Petrobras officials to facilitate the plant purchase.

Now Petrobras is trying to unload...

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