The Asset Tracing and Recovery Review: Brazil


Since the Brazilian economy is among the 10 largest economies in the world, the country naturally attracts large foreign investments, even during crisis periods.2 In recent years, the growth of the Brazilian economy has been accompanied by implementation of modern mechanisms to combat economic crimes in general, with special focus on money laundering3 and recovery of assets,4 to try to prevent the transnational flow of ill-gotten gains and obtain redress of the damage caused by criminal activity.

A standout in this more aggressive posture is the work of the Department for Recovery of Assets and International Legal Cooperation (DRCI), created in 2004, as part of the National Justice Secretariat (itself under the Ministry of Justice), which, as its name implies, acts mainly to block and recover money and other assets located overseas obtained from illicit activities.5 In addition to this, the National Justice Secretariat has spearheaded efforts to increase the number of international agreements for cooperation in fighting cross-border criminal activity.6

Therefore, the Brazilian authorities have the means to collaborate in the recovery of assets related to transnational crimes, including money laundering, supported by a rising level of domestic transparency due to the creation of new mechanisms for prevention and control.7

In this context, this chapter presents a general overview of the measures that can be taken by victims of such crimes and the characteristics of the Brazilian legal system in this respect.

Legal rights and remedies

i Civil and criminal remedies

Brazil has mechanisms both in the civil and criminal spheres to seek the reparation of damage and to recover assets lost due to fraud and other crimes, as well as to enforce foreign judgments for civil damages.

In the criminal sphere, although an investigation is as a rule conducted by the police authority with jurisdiction, the victim can participate by producing evidence in the form of documents and depositions of witnesses, either before or after filing a formal complaint for the commencement of a police inquiry,8 according to Article 5, II of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The police investigation will be aimed at gathering further evidence of the crime and its authors and will be conducted under the auspices of the Federal Prosecution Service or state counterparts, which have the exclusive power to file criminal charges in cases of fraud and other misdeeds.

Although the accusation is filed by a public authority, the victim can seek redress of losses and damages resulting from fraud via seizure or confiscation and the return of assets, as well as compensatory measures.

In relation to the return of property (real or personal), the confiscated or attached assets cannot be restituted before a final judgment has been issued (all appeals exhausted) unless: (1) the asset is not necessary as evidence in the proceeding; and (2) no doubt exists as to the victim's ownership, pursuant to Article 118 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In such cases, the return can occur at any moment upon order from the competent police authority or court.

In addition to this, a final conviction produces the effect of restoring to the victims or injured third parties the money and other assets to which they are entitled. Finally, as of the reform of the Penal Code in 2012, a court can order the forfeiture of money or other valuables of licit origin, if the proceeds of the crimes cannot be found or are located abroad. The Anti-Crime Law,9 enacted in 2019, has established that in crimes in which an individual is sentenced to over six years of imprisonment, a judge can order the forfeiture of the amount equal to the difference between the net worth of the individual and what would be compatible with his or her legal activities.

Regarding the compensatory measures available to a victim, these can be pursued in both the civil and criminal spheres, since these are independent.

In the civil sphere, the protection of rights violated and losses caused by fraud or corruption is the responsibility of the Prosecution Service, and is triggered by the filing of a public civil action any time a public, diffuse, collective or homogeneous interest is involved.

In cases of exclusively or eminently private interests, redress must be sought through private legal actions filed by victims or other interested parties. There are various types of civil remedies available, depending on the circumstances, such as, inter alia, actions for precautionary relief (injunctions, production of evidence, freezing of assets, etc.), suits for indemnification or cessation of conduct, and mandamus actions.

In relation to compensation in the criminal sphere, only a final guilty verdict has the power to make the obligation to repair the damage caused certain and enforceable, according to Article 91, I of the Penal Code. In such case, the criminal verdict is classified as an enforceable judicial instrument (prima facie) that must be executed in the civil sphere by the victim to obtain compensation. This verdict can only be enforced against those found guilty of the crime, and not against any third parties who contributed to the loss suffered by the victim.

If the defendant in the criminal suit is acquitted, the obligation to indemnify damages will only be declared non-existent if this acquittal was based on a factor excluding liability, such as legitimate self defence, or a recognition that no crime was committed, under the terms of Articles 65 and 66 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Verdicts grounded on insufficient evidence do not prevent the victim from pursuing damages in the civil sphere.

Since a criminal conviction results in a directly enforceable instrument, the chances of successful recovery by the victim are substantially greater than by filing a civil suit.

On the other hand, since only a definitive conviction produces this effect, the time until receiving compensation by this route can be overly long, especially in the case of economic crimes, since aspects such as the number of defendants and witnesses and the complexity of the facts can prolong the criminal prosecution up to several years.

ii Defences to fraud claims

The main defence argument against allegations of fraud is the absence or insufficiency of expert accounting evidence, since it is necessary to demonstrate that actual economic harm resulted from the action. In the absence or deficiency of an expert finding, often there will be no way to prove one of the essential elements for configuration of a crime.

Another defence argument is that the claim is time-barred, since investigations are often lengthy. According to Article 109 of the Penal Code, the statutory limitation period starts to run as of the date of the events, and is only interrupted (set back to zero) with the filing of a formal accusation, and again upon a definitive conviction. In a case of corporate misappropriation, for example, the limitation period is eight years.

Seizure and evidence

i Securing assets and proceeds

During proceedings, various motions can be filed to obtain orders to preserve the effectiveness of a verdict and secure the obligation to redress damage by prohibiting the defendant from disposing of real property or movable assets. There are essentially three precautionary or provisional measures (medidas cautelares) of this type that can be sought in the criminal ambit: specific confiscation (sequestro), judicial mortgage (hipoteca legal) and general attachment (arresto).

Specific confiscation, set out in Article 125 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is normally determined in relation to specific real property. It can only be determined in relation to chattels that cannot be apprehended. The assets confiscated must have illicit origin, having been acquired with the proceeds of a crime or be a direct product of the crime.

Confiscation can be requested by the public prosecutor or the victim and can be ordered when there are indications of a high probability of illicit origin of the asset in question. The defendant can submit an objection motion against the court order and try to prove the lawful origin of the asset, or in the case of a third party, that the asset was acquired in good faith. Since the reform of the Penal Code in 2012, the possibility has existed of confiscation of assets that have lawful origin, provided the ones resulting from criminal activity (directly or through the purchase of movable or immovable property using the proceeds) are located abroad or cannot be found, pursuant to Article 91, Sections 1 and 2 of the Code.

The second type of precautionary remedy is a judicial mortgage, established in Article 134 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which can be ordered at the request of the victim only after a formal complaint is filed, so that the property acts to guarantee compensation of the losses suffered by the victim. The requirements of the measure are: sufficient evidence of the occurrence of the crime; and sufficient evidence that the crime was committed by the defendant.

The third type of remedy is general attachment, set forth in Article 136 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It falls on assets of illicit origin in general that are owned by the defendant, both real property and chattels, in the former case before a judicial mortgage. The aim of this remedy is to prevent the disposal of real property before seeking a judicial mortgage or subsidiary confiscation of chattels, only against assets defined as attachable according to the Brazilian legislation, when the defendant does not own real estate, or when the value is not sufficient to redress the damage.

In any of the types of precautionary relief mentioned above, real or personal property can be sold at judicial auction in advance to preserve the value if the property is subject to deterioration or depreciation, pursuant to Article 144-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, all such measures will be revoked if the defendant is acquitted or if the lawsuit is dismissed. The judicial auction procedure is also applied after conviction to any forfeited property.

Besides these precautionary measures, a search warrant can be sought from the court to find and seize money or other assets derived from criminal activity, according to Article 240, Sections 1, b of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Such search can be a bodily search when there is probable cause that someone is in personal possession of evidence or an object of value, or it can cover premises (residences, offices, etc.).

According to Article 133-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, introduced by the Anti-Crime Law in 2019, any seized property – such as cars and other vehicles – may be used by the police or other law enforcement agencies as long as there is a judicial authorisation.

In the civil sphere, the precautionary measures used to preserve the effectiveness of a victim's redress are broader and more flexible. A judge can grant urgent relief in the form of an attachment, confiscation, the disclosure or impoundment of assets, a judicial mortgage or the registration of a protest to prevent the sale of real estate, among other measures, to assure redress of the victim, as set forth in Articles 301 and 495, Sections 1 to 5 of the Civil Procedure Code.

These measures to preserve the right of redress of victims are not comprehensive: they are, rather, merely illustrative. A judge, depending on the situation, can adopt any other measure that is deemed more efficient or suitable.

In the civil sphere, the law is more aimed at assuring the viability and efficacy of measures to protect a victim's right to reparation than to the literality of the technical nomenclature applied. This is in conformity with the general powers of the courts to safeguard rights.

ii Obtaining evidence

There are various ways to obtain evidence that can be used before or during the course of a criminal suit such as, inter alia, search and seizure, interception of telephone calls, and the requesting of banking or tax information. All of these require a court order.

The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, and it is necessary to clearly demonstrate the existence and usefulness of the evidence. In addition to this, a defendant is assured a due legal process, allowing him or her to challenge the validity or trustworthiness of the evidence produced by the prosecution or to submit contrary evidence, or both.

Although the participation of victims is limited in criminal suits, since the Public Prosecution Service acts as the plaintiff and is thus in charge of gathering and producing evidence, a victim can assist by providing evidence to the prosecution or by being vouched into the case as an intervener on the prosecution side.

In the civil sphere, the obligation to produce evidence rests with the party that makes the allegation (Article 373, I and II of the Civil Procedure Code) or, depending on the situation, the party that can best produce the evidence (Article 373, Section 1 of the Civil Procedure Code). Evidence can be submitted in the form of documents, expert findings, judicial inspection, and the testimony of witnesses or of the parties themselves (who are not classified as witnesses).

Finally, it is possible to file a specific preliminary action for urgent or advance production or preservation of evidence if:

  1. there is a substantiated risk that it could become impossible or very hard to verify certain facts before filing a suit;
  2. such evidence might enable the parties to settle the case or reach some other solution to the dispute; and
  3. the prior knowledge of such facts will have a bearing on whether or not a suit will be filed.

Fraud in specific contexts

i Banking and money laundering

According to the Money Laundering Law,10 as amended, it is illegal to conceal or disguise the true nature, origin, location, disposition, movement or ownership of assets or rights, subject to a penalty of three to 10 years in prison.11 The Law also provides preventive mechanisms and administrative sanctions for combating money laundering, and defines the individuals and institutions that have special obligations for monitoring and reporting suspected money laundering.12

The parties subject to this control include institutions and individuals engaged in financial or banking functions, and also capital market agents, insurance companies, and individuals and companies engaged in transactions involving luxury items, among others. These people and entities have special duties to identify their customers and to safeguard their records of transactions, as well as to report suspicious transactions to the Council for Control of Financial Activities. Companies and financial institutions must adopt internal policies, procedures and controls as necessary to comply with these guidelines.

Individuals and companies that fail to obey these obligations are subject to administrative penalties, which can range from a formal warning or fine to the cancellation or suspension of an authorisation to engage in their current activities or transactions.

ii Insolvency

Law 11,101/2005 establishes the procedures for bankruptcy and court-supervised reorganisations in cases of insolvency or financial distress, and defines crimes in this context. These crimes include acts aimed at defrauding or harming creditors, which are punishable with imprisonment for periods of three to six years.13 A penalty can be increased by up to one-third for fraudulent acts including false or inaccurate accounting books, the destruction of accounting or business data, simulation of the capital composition or destruction of mandatory accounting documents. The penalty can also be enhanced by up to one-half if a debtor kept books or moved funds or other valuables in parallel to the accounting requirements established by law (e.g., maintaining slush funds or two sets of books).

Other crimes defined by the Law include breaches of business secrecy, disclosure of false information, favouring some creditors to the detriment of others, and the diversion, concealment or appropriation of assets belonging to a debtor undergoing a court-supervised reorganisation or to a bankruptcy estate.14 Besides these various crimes, creditors can seek compensation through civil actions, as previously mentioned, which can run simultaneously with or after a criminal proceeding. A particular characteristic of criminal proceedings in these cases is that the limitation period only starts to run as of the judicial determination of a court-supervised reorganisation or bankruptcy.

iii Arbitration

Under Brazilian law, an arbitral tribunal can, within the limits of its competence and jurisdiction, order any protective measures to preserve the effectiveness of the relief sought, provided due legal process is followed, as per Article 22-B of Arbitration Law.15

However, such measures can only be enforced by the state courts, which have sole competence to issue orders for execution or coercion, as per Article 516, III of the Civil Procedure Code and Article 22-C of the Arbitration Law.

iv Fraud's effect on evidentiary rules and legal privilege

As a rule, all documents related to the defence of a client are protected by attorney–client privilege, under the terms of Law 8,906/94.

The only situation in which this confidentiality can be breached is when there are indications that a lawyer materially participated in committing a crime along with his or her client, in which case a court can issue a search and seizure warrant. In such situations, a member of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) must be present when the warrant is carried out, pursuant to Article 7, Sections 6 of the same Law.

Further according to that legal provision, the authorities cannot use documents or information about the lawyer's other clients, whether found in paper or electronic files.

A relevant question in this context that has yet to be resolved definitively is the scope of professional privilege, mainly regarding the activities of lawyers not exclusive to the profession, going beyond representation in litigation or the provision of legal advice per se.16

These cases can give rise to specific problems, such as whether it is possible to seize documents involving clients related to these activities, or if lawyers are subject to the obligations of the Money Laundering Law involving keeping records of clients' financial transactions carried out with a lawyer's assistance, as well as the duty to report suspicious transactions if such activities fit under those activities described by the Money Laundering Law as being subject to control and prevention mechanisms.

The current stance of the OAB on this matter is that the provisions contained under the Money Laundering Law do not apply at all to lawyers exercising their professional activity, as per a decision of the Association's Federal Council.17

International aspects

i Conflict of law and choice

In the criminal sphere, the rule is the application of Brazilian law to acts or facts that occurred within the country, pursuant to Article 5 of the Penal Code. In exceptional situations, Brazilian law can be applied to crimes committed abroad, as is the case with crimes committed against the public coffers or public faith of the federal, state and municipal governments. This extends to government-owned or controlled companies, independent agencies and foundations receiving public funding, as well as to crimes committed by civil servants, irrespective of conviction or exoneration by a foreign court, according to Article 7, I and lettered items, and Section 1.

Brazilian law can also be applied to acts committed outside the country when involving a crime that Brazil is obliged to suppress by an international treaty or convention, or that is committed by a Brazilian citizen, according to Article 7, II and letters of the Penal Code. In these cases, certain requirements must be satisfied, as per Sections 2 of this Article, namely:

  1. the agent has entered the national territory;
  2. the act is also punishable in the country where it was committed;
  3. the crime is among those for which Brazilian law authorises extradition; and
  4. the agent was not absolved or was punished abroad (served a jail sentence or paid a fine, or both), or was not pardoned or benefited by extinction of punishability, according to the most favourable law.

Brazilian law can also be applied to crimes committed abroad by foreigners against Brazilians, provided the same requirements mentioned above are satisfied and if a request for extradition is pending or has been denied, or a request for prosecution has been made by the Minister of Justice, according to Article 7, Section 3 of the Penal Code.

As can be seen, the rule is that Brazilian law applies only to acts that have occurred in the country and the legally defined extensions thereof, in whole or in part, with the preservation of the authority of foreign jurisdictions. The only exceptions to this rule are specific situations, in the presence of well-defined criteria.

In civil matters, Brazilian courts are competent when the defendant is domiciled in the country, the obligation has to be satisfied in Brazil, or the lawsuit foundation is a fact occurred in Brazil or an act executed in Brazil, according to Article 21, I, II and III of the Civil Procedure Code and Article 12 of the Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules. In relation to assets of any nature, as a rule the law of the country where they are located applies regarding their classification and the relations concerning them (Article 8 of the Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules).

Finally, with respect to the collection of evidence, that obtained in a foreign country is subject to the laws of that country regarding the burden and means of producing it, according to Article 13 of the Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules.

ii Collection of evidence in support of proceedings abroad

Under Brazilian law, there are two specific procedures for international legal cooperation: letters rogatory and direct assistance.18

The letters rogatory mechanism only involves complying with a determination of an authority of a foreign jurisdiction, without any decision or analysis of the merits by the Brazilian authorities. A letter rogatory can be based on an international convention or bilateral treaty, in which case it will be sent directly to the Minister of Justice, or on a reciprocity commitment, in which case it will be sent through diplomatic channels before reaching the Minister of Justice. The next step is to send the letter to the Superior Tribunal of Justice,19 which has competence to grant exequatur to foreign decisions according to Article 105, I, i of the Federal Constitution. In this case, the only local analysis will be whether a foreign decision violates public policy or national sovereignty. Upon the granting of exequatur, the letter will be sent to a first instance federal court for enforcement.

On the other hand, the collection of evidence in Brazil to support proceedings abroad can follow the direct assistance procedure, as established in Article 30, II of the Civil Procedure Code. In this procedure, Brazilian law is applied, since there is no decision act by a foreign court that only needs to be executed in Brazil, so a national judicial decision or act of the Brazilian public administration will be necessary. In this procedure, the Minister of Justice sends the request for assistance directly to a first-instance federal court for analysis and a decision according to Brazilian law, or to a competent administrative authority. This direct assistance mechanism can be specified in a treaty of convention, or it can be based on a reciprocal cooperation commitment.

iii Seizure of assets or proceeds of fraud in support of the victim of fraud

For seizure of the proceeds or earnings from a criminal activity, one of the procedures mentioned above must be followed (i.e., direct assistance or letters rogatory). The choice will depend on the existence or not of a decision by a foreign authority determining the measure to seize money or other assets. If such a decision exists, the letter rogatory will be received for enforcement by the Brazilian judiciary. If not, a request for assistance from a foreign authority will be forwarded to a Brazilian court for an analysis of the merits.

According to Article 30, III of the Civil Procedure Code, there is no obstacle to direct assistance if there is no prohibition by Brazilian law on the judicial or extrajudicial measure requested. However, in many cases treaties and conventions limit international cooperation in criminal matters involving seizure of assets or precautionary measures to preserve assets to cases where an act is punishable both in Brazil and the requesting state (double criminality).20

In this respect, the Money Laundering Law, as amended, expressly establishes the possibility of direct assistance in precautionary measures in relation to crimes committed abroad based on a treaty or convention or also a promise of reciprocity, according to Article 8 and its Section 1.

iv Enforcement of judgments granted abroad in relation to fraud claims

The efficacy of foreign judgments depends solely on recognition in Brazil, provided the verdict in Brazilian law produces the same type of consequences. As previously stated, the recognition of foreign judgments is entrusted to the Superior Tribunal of Justice, under the terms of Article 105, I, i of the Brazilian Constitution, and is also subject to satisfaction of the requirements contained in the Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules.21

According to that Law's Article 15, the requirements for recognition of foreign judgments are as follows:

  1. the judgment must have been rendered by a competent court;
  2. the parties must have been served with a valid notice or declared legally in absentia;
  3. the judgment must be final (res judicata) and the formalities for enforcement in the country of origin must be present; and
  4. the judgment must be translated into Portuguese in Brazil by a sworn public translator.

Besides these formal requirements, pursuant to Article 17 of the same Law the judgment must not offend national sovereignty, public policy or good customs.

In criminal matters, Article 9, I of the Penal Code establishes that a foreign criminal conviction produces all civil effects according to Brazilian law, such as restitution and compensation for damage. For this purpose, a judgment is classified as a directly enforceable judicial instrument in the civil sphere.

Besides the civil effects, in criminal cases there is the possibility of enforcement of precautionary measures regarding compliance with foreign judgments in Brazil according to Article 9, II of the Penal Code. There is no provision for serving jail sentences in Brazil imposed by foreign courts. In these cases, extradition must be sought, subject to the requirements of Brazilian law.

Therefore, for effects of reparation and restitution of assets, a foreign judgment can produce effects in relation to the Brazilian jurisdiction in the same way as a local verdict, with the only limitation being the enforcement of jail sentences.

v Fraud as a defence to enforcement of judgments granted abroad

As previously mentioned, only in cases where the requirements contained in the Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules are not satisfied will recognition of foreign judgments be refused. Therefore, any defence strategy against the effects of a foreign judgment in Brazil can only be based on an allegation of the absence of these requirements.

However, since one of the requirements for recognition is no violation of the rules of public policy, if a foreign judgment is based on some fraudulent conduct, it could be argued that enforcement of such a decision would fall foul of Brazilian public policy, and thus cannot be recognised if this fraud is duly proved. However, it is not possible to challenge the merit of a judgment, since it is based on the law of the country of origin, which falls outside the competence of the Brazilian judiciary. In short, the challenge must be based on failure to satisfy the mentioned formal requirements.

Current developments

The most recent developments on asset tracing and recovery matters are the changes provided by the Anti-Crime Law, especially the aforementioned possibility of forfeiture of the difference between the net worth and the estimated licit assets of an individual convicted of a crime.

The original draft for this Law, by the then Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro, provided further changes, such as the possibility to have an auction of the forfeited assets before the definitive conviction, which have now been removed from the Law by Congress.

Besides those legislative innovations, Brazil is dealing with the aftermath of the Operation Car Wash, the largest investigation of corruption in Brazilian history.22 The Operation is investigating a cartel scheme among construction companies and other service providers involving the payment of kickbacks to public employees23 and political agents on contracts with Petrobras awarded through public tenders. Efforts are underway to recover the losses caused by overbilling of these contracts and the other damage suffered, and up to December 2019, over 4 billion reais have been recovered in the form of assets seized and forfeited, or otherwise in the form of fines.24

One of the most controversial developments regarding the recovered assets in Operation Car Wash is the agreement held between the Federal Prosecution Service and Petrobras, according to which a large sum of the recovered money (about 2.5 billion reais) that stemmed from an agreement with American authorities regarding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations would be destined to an anti-corruption private foundation to be administered by federal prosecutors. The Federal Supreme Court ruled the agreement to be unconstitutional, and the assets were then destined to help protect the Amazon Rainforest and being put towards basic education, until in 2020 most of it went towards dealing with the covid-19 pandemic.25

Since Sérgio Moro, who was the judge on Operation Car Wash, quit the Justice Ministry, the federal government has not held on tightly to its anti-corruption agenda as it had previously done. Furthermore, the current Head of the Federal Prosecution Services is curbing powers in this regard, and has publicly criticised the perceived excesses of the prosecutors in charge of the Operation. Brazil's Federal Supreme Court has also imposed restrictions on the perceived excesses of Operation Car Wash, having ruled the guilty verdict of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as invalid due to the lack of impartiality by Mr Moro, and also disputing that he was the competent judge for this and other proceedings. This could have a lasting effect from an asset recovery perspective since it has the potential do jeopardise at least part of the recovered assets in the operation. The Supreme Court will have to deal with the financial consequences of its ruling soon, which will have an impact on the asset tracing and recovery debate.


1 João Daniel Rassi and Emerson Soares Mendes are partners and Pedro Luís de Almeida Camargo is a full associate at Siqueira Castro Advogados.

2 According to data from the World Bank, Brazil's GDP was among the 10 highest GPDs in the world in 2019. Data available at

3 An example is the reform in 2012 of the Money Laundering Law. Available at

4 Mainly through the Law on Recovery of Resources. Available at

7 The advances made by Brazil in this context have been recognised in the reports prepared as part of the Follow-up Mechanism for Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC). Report of the fourth follow-up round available at

8 Along with its complaint, the victim can submit evidence obtained from internal investigations and compliance procedures as well as probes by private investigation firms, although no specific regulations exist in this respect.

9 Law 13,964/2019.

10 Law 9,613/1998.

11 Article 1 of Law 9,613/1998. Available at

12 Article 9 et seq. of Law 9,613/1998.

13 Article 168 of Law 11,101/2005. Available at

14 Article 169 et seq. of Law 11,101/2005.

15 Law 9,307/96.

16 Activities that are subject to governmental control, such as activities related to the capital market or real estate.

17 Proceeding No. 49.0000.2012.006678-6/CNECO, decided on 20 August 2012.

18 For a detailed explanation of the procedural aspects of international cooperation as well as the treaties signed by Brazil on this matter, see Manual de Cooperação Jurídica Internacional e Recuperação de Ativos (The Manual on International Legal Cooperation and Recovery of Assets) put out by the Ministry of Justice. Available at

19 The Superior Tribunal of Justice is the highest court for non-constitutional matters, with responsibility for harmonising the interpretation of federal law by the state and regional federal courts of appeal. It also has original jurisdiction over the recognition of foreign judgments, including arbitral awards.

20 For example, Article 5 of the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

21 Introductory Law to Brazilian Legal Rules (Decree-Law 4,657/1942).

22 Details of the investigation are available at

23 Employees of Petrobras are considered to be public employees since it is controlled by the government.

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