Petty Theft: No Espionage Behind Disappearance of Brazil’s State Secrets

Petrobras installations in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Brazilian officials said petty theft and not corporate espionage was responsible for the disappearance of computers with highly sensitive information on recently discovered oilfields, which could make Brazil a hydrocarbons powerhouse.

When computers and hard disks with information about the newly discovered Tupi and Jupiter oil fields off Brazil's eastern coast vanished earlier this month, allegedly in transit from an offshore rig, it jolted the oil industry and alarmed even Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Late this week however police said it had solved the mysterious disappearance.

"They didn't have the slightest idea of what they had," federal police inspector Valdinho Jacinto Caetano said.

Four security guards who worked at the port of Macaé, a coastal city in Rio de Janeiro state, have been arrested, and police recovered laptops and hard drives taken from state oil company Petrobras.

According to primary information from Petrobras the Tupi field in the Atlantic Ocean has as much as 8 billion barrels of light crude, and the Jupiter field off the coast of Rio could be just as big.

When the news broke out President Lula said the computers contained "state secrets."

The Brazilian Federal Police said the equipment was stolen from Houston-based oil services company Halliburton as it was being transported from an offshore rig to the city of Macaé, but later officials said the theft occurred at the port and made no mention of Halliburton.

The guards were employees of a security company hired by Petrobras to protect the port, Caetano said.

They had been carrying out small thefts since September that went unnoticed until the computers disappeared, Caetano said. "This was a common crime," he said.

The guards, after realizing what had happened, panicked and destroyed some of the stolen loot, including a hard drive and monitor, Caetano said.



  • Show Comments (3)

  • forrest allen brown

    did or have you hurd a word from ECUDOR complaning about what coulmbia did

  • João da Silva

    Hi Forrest,

    Yes. I generally read [url][/url] which is giving full coverage about this crisis, including the efforts of Lula,Cristina and Michelle to defuse the tensions.

  • forrest allen brown

    JOAO did you get this in the paper there??????
    battalions, including tanks, to the border with Colombia and closed Venezuela’s embassy in Bogota Sunday, warning Colombia not to pursue rebels into Venezuela.

    ”We don’t want war, but we aren’t ging to permit the U.S. empire nor its lapdog to come weaken us,” ChÀƒ¡vez said on his radio program.

    ChÀƒ¡vez’s move came a day after the Colombian army crossed a mile into Ecuador to attack a jungle camp maintained by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and killed its second-ranking leader, known as RaÀƒºl Reyes. FARC rebels have long been known to use remote parts of Ecuador and Venezuela to rest up, treat their wounded and resupply. ChÀƒ¡vez also asked for a moment of silence to honor the slain FARC leader, killed along with 16 other guerrillas.

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    11:03:24 03/03/2008capnmike
    Hugo Chavez and his cronies have been running Venezuela into the ground for the past 10 years. He is essentially a stupid but crafty person who has used a combination of fear and money to buy his way into power, coached by Fidel Castro. The Streets are deep with garbage. The postal system is non-existant. The police have become robbers and criminals. The money is worthless, and it is increasingly hard just to buy food and essentials. Of course, Chavez twists things around to blame the US for the result of his own incompetence. He has always been buddies with FARC, who support themselves with drug-dealing, kidnapping, extortion and general crime…so now one of his crooked pals have been killed, and justly so, by the legitimate government of Colombia, and he is in a lather to start a war and blame the US…really, what happens between Colombia and Ecuador is none of his business. If the US gets involved in this, and perhaps they should instead of invading Iraq and Iran, they should support Colombia in its efforts to get rid of this gang of thugs terrorists and criminals.

    09:03:48 03/03/2008realstonesocal

    Chavez claimes that Bush is the devil and smells brimstone at the UN general assembly. Bush should have known that Chavez is dog crap piled 6 ft high and I would rather smell theat then Chavez and his dog crap nation of pigs!

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