Reuters Exposé: In Brazil, organized crime siphons billions from gas stations

Crooks have infiltrated the four largest gasoline chains in Brazil, where they are estimated to control hundreds, if not thousands, of stations.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Travel across Brazil and you’ll spot signs almost everywhere for BR Distribuidora, the owner of South America’s largest gas station chain. The familiar green-and-yellow logo of the company, formerly a unit of state oil giant Petrobras, is a fixture in big cities and hamlets alike.

Less well-known is BR’s effort to purge its retail network of alleged crooks. In 2019, the company booted hundreds of independent franchisees from its network for purported “irregularities,” a BR spokesman told Reuters, including evading fuel taxes and ripping off customers with adulterated gasoline. In . . .

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