PANAMA CITY – Prosecutors have filed money laundering charges against 17 people linked to the bribery scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, Panamanian Attorney General Kenia Porcell said on Tuesday.
Of the 17 suspects, “three are former officials, eight are Panamanian businessmen, five are foreign businessmen and one is a private banking officer,” Porcell said in a press conference.
The investigation of the alleged bribes paid by Odebrecht is being handled by judicial officials in Panama and Switzerland.
Porcell refused to identify the suspects, saying that “the law prohibits it,” but she said that, if necessary, assistance would be sought from Interpol to locate and bring these individuals to justice.
Charges were filed after Switzerland lifted confidentiality protections Monday as part of the joint investigation, Porcell said.
The bribery investigation by Swiss authorities involves Luis Enrique and Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Linares, the sons of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who was in office from 2009-2014.
Swiss authorities froze bank accounts belonging to the brothers that held $22 million, prosecutor Rolando Rodriguez said Monday.