RIO DE JANEIRO/BERLIN: World Cup fraud accusations are being investgated by a German company at the heart of the latest corruption allegations to beset Brazil writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

More than a million protesters took to the streets at the weekend in scenes reminiscent of anti-Cup spending demonstrations which marked the Confederations Cup in June 2013.

Their target was the embattled government of President Dilma Rousseff who was, for seven years, head of the state oil giant Petrobras which is at the heart of the main public accounts scandal.

Now a strand of corruption focus has reverted to the World Cup after Germany’s Bilfinger SE announced it is investigating claims that employees of a subsidiary in Brazil bribed local officials over orders for security centre equipment at World Cup venues.

A statement from Bilfinger said it had called in independent auditors and legal advisers over “substantied” allegations of illicit payments to public officials and employees of state companies.

Bilfinger supplied security screen ‘walls’ for security control centres in several World Cup cities. It estimated the orders’ value at €6m. Reports in the Brazilian media have suggested that invoicing was submitted to public authorities for €25m with the difference split between officials on all sides.