Brasilia — Prosecutors from 10 Latin American countries will form a task force to share evidence in the investigation of bribes paid by Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht on construction projects across the region, a Brazilian prosecutor said on Friday. Vladimir Aras, head of global co-operation at the prosecutor-general’s office, said the aim was to speed up the direct exchange of information by avoiding bureaucratic hurdles. Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest engineering group, settled in December with Brazilian, US and Swiss authorities, agreeing with affiliated petrochemical firm Braskem to a record fine of $3.5bn. The company admitted to paying bribes to officials in 12 countries, mostly in Latin America, to help secure contracts. Aras said prosecutors would be free to question witnesses and defendants in other countries and evidence would be valid across borders. "Evidence will be exchanged rapidly because there will be no intermediaries," Aras said. The agreement was signed on ...

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