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Brazil prosecutors charge 12 in alleged Vitol bribery case

SAO PAULO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Brazilian federal prosecutors on Thursday charged 12 people in connection with an alleged bribery scheme meant to benefit the giant oil trader Vitol SA at the expense of Brazil's state-led oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Those charged include former Petrobras employees and middlemen who prosecutors allege worked directly with top executives at Vitol. Calls to Vitol's Rio de Janeiro office rang unanswered on Thursday. Last week the company told Reuters it would work with investigators, and that it had a zero-tolerance policy on corruption. (Reporting by Brad Brooks; editing by Jonathan Oatis)