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Reply #17: Kroll Inc in Brazil a.k.a. Brazil's biggest corporate scandal [View All]

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DrDebug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 10:02 AM
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17. Kroll Inc in Brazil a.k.a. Brazil's biggest corporate scandal

The Brazilian connection
June 25, 2005
A businessman caught up in an industrial espionage scandal in Brazil has turned up in Sydney. Ben Hills investigates.

By Brazilian standards, Operation Jackal was carried out with clockwork precision. On a steamy spring day, 90 agents of the elite Policia Federal burst into a dozen homes and offices in four cities, seizing documents and computer hard drives, and arresting some of the country's most prominent businessmen.

The raids last October were the climax of a seven-month investigation into the activities of Kroll Inc, the largest and most flamboyant of the world's "risk management" companies, whose activities range from rescuing hostages to tracking down stolen treasure - and, so the police allege, illegal industrial espionage.

As the story unfolded, some of the biggest names in Brazilian business and politics were dragged into the affair - the head of the country's central bank, the minister for communications, the boss of the country's third-largest telecommunications company, an investment banker with links to America's giant Citigroup.

As the investigation widened, more than a dozen people were arrested, including executives and employees of Kroll who were initially accused by the police of crimes including conspiracy, illegal phone-bugging, and bribery. They included its joint chief executives, Eduardo Gomide and Vander Aloisio Giordano.

The boss of Kroll's Brazilian operations, its president, a 35-year-old US-educated businessman named Eduardo Sampaio, escaped the dragnet. Not long after news of the police investigation had broken four months earlier, Sampaio left the country and - to the surprise of Australia's risk management community - arrived in Sydney to take up a position as head of what is now called the Marsh Risk Consulting Group, Kroll having been taken over in the meantime (see story page 46).

However, two weeks ago, charges were formally laid against Sampaio, six other Kroll executives and contractors, and 19 other people in what has blown up into the Brazil's biggest corporate scandal.

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