Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro paid $11 million “off the books” to the couple of Brazilian advertisers Joao Santana and Monica Moura, now arrested, for the 2012 Hugo Chávez re-election campaign.
Monica Moura, in prison with her husband and partner in the “Lava Jato” anti-corruption operation, told the prosecution that she received money in kind at the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry’s headquarters from Maduro, who at the time was a Foreign Affairs Minister, according to media reports in Brazil on Thursday, citing documents released by the Supreme Court.
Maduro received Moura in his own office and handed her briefcases with money and offered her an escort to keep her safe on the way from the Foreign Ministry to where she had to go,”
says the official statement.
Joao Santana, the presidential campaigner for Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, was one of the most well-known publicists in Latin America, with a portfolio that included several leftist presidents.
According to Moura, the now president of Venezuela asked that “almost all securities” be referred to his company through the so-called cash box 2 (undeclared).
Santana’s wife also said Brazilian construction companies Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez paid $ 7 million and $ 2 million, respectively, for that campaign that lead to Chávez’ victory over Capriles.
The then ambassador of Venezuela in Brazil and later Chargé d’Affaires in the United States, Maximilien Arvelaiz, was one of the organizers of that network, according to the report.
Santana and Moura were sentenced last February to eight years in prison for money laundering in the case of corruption at Petrobras.
Both now collaborate with justice to achieve a reduction of their sentences.