Finance Colombia has learned that the former chairman and controlling shareholder of Avianca Airlines, Germán Efromovich has been arrested along with his brother José in Brazil as part of the multi-year, international “Lava Jato” (“Car Wash” in Portuguese) anti-corruption investigation.
According to Brazilian government sources, the Efromovich brothers were arrested today in São Paulo on charges related to fraud in the contracts between the Transpetro subsidiary of state owned petroleum company Petrobras and the Efromovich brother’s Estaleiro Ilha S.A. (EISA) shipyard in Brazil. The Efromovich brothers are accused of paying bribes and committing “irregularities” in the biding process to win contracts, costing the government approximately $110 million USD. Ilha S.A. went bankrupt in 2015.
A court in Curtiba, Brasil ordered prison for the brothers, but that order was modified to house arrest with electronic surveillance due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. 70 year old Germán Efromovich was born in Bolivia to a family of Polish immigrants and holds Brazilian, Colombian & Polish citizenship.
The charges so far do not indicate any criminal wrongdoing related to Avianca Airlines Colombia, or Avianca Airlines Brasil, both formerly controlled by Efromovich & both now bankrupt.