Jersey tells Brazil politician's firms to repay fraud cash

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The Independent Online

A fraud case considered vital as part of Brazil's drive to clear up corruption ahead of hosting the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later has been resolved in Jersey.

Two British Virgin Island vehicles controlled by the former mayor of Sao Paulo, Paulo Maluf, were found guilty of funnelling kickbacks from the construction of what in the 1990s was the most expensive street in the world.

Millions of dollars worth of reals banknotes were said to have been stuffed into empty bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label whisky.

Some of this money ended up in Jersey accounts, which is why the judgment was made in the Channel Island. However, the decision is big news in Brazil as the country looks to clean up its reputation ahead of hosting two such major events.

The companies will have to pay back $10.5m (£6.6m) to the municipality of Sao Paulo and the federal government of Brazil, which were represented by London-based lawyer Lawrence Graham. Mr Maluf, pictured, is in Brazil because he has an Interpol red notice against his name.

James Sidwell, a partner at Lawrence Graham, said: "This has been a long and complex case and this result clearly demonstrates the commitment of the authorities in Brazil to fight political corruption."