Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores (Grupo Aval), a Columbian holding company, disclosed in a securities filing that it recently received an inquiry from the Department of Justice in a bribery case concerning the Ruta del Sol 2 project, a highway project involving Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and one of Grupo Aval’s subsidiaries, Corficolombiana.
Although scant on details, Grupo Aval said it has informed the Department of Justice, through Grupo Aval’s U.S. counsel, that it intends to cooperate with the Department’s investigation, “as it has done with all prior government inquiries into this matter. Grupo Aval takes this and any other government investigation that may arise very seriously,” the securities filing states.
“To the extent there are material developments relating to Ruta del Sol 2, Grupo Aval does not intend to disclose those developments other than in its regular quarterly earnings reports,” the securities filing stated.
In December 2016, Odebrecht paid a criminal fine of $4.5 billion for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The settlements resolved charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland arising out of schemes perpetrated by Odebrecht and Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem in which hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes were paid to government officials around the world.