Remember last year’s Rio Olympics? Allegedly the Committee chief was the bag man:
Read my post Olympic-sized corruption: Sixteen bars of gold
You read it right: half a billion $US, out of $9 billion (emphasis added),
Brazil’s attorney general on Tuesday accused former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff and some of their political allies of embezzling around $500 million between 2002 and 2016, a period encompassing all of the leftist party’s 13 years in power.
Attorney General Rodrigo Janot said that during Mr. da Silva’s and Ms. Rousseff’s terms, the suspects, all members of the Workers’ Party, or PT, used state-run companies to pocket taxpayer money.
Mr. Janot’s office said in a press release that the alleged scheme cost at least $9 billion to public coffers. Mr. Janot sent the charges to the Supreme Court, which has an undefined amount of time to either accept or dismiss them before any trial is launched.
At the BBC,
Mr Janot said that Lula was the head of the alleged organization, and that the Workers’ Party received some $480m (£370m) in bribes in several public entities, including Petrobras and the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES).
The scheme allegedly started with Lula’s victorious election campaign in 2002 and ended when Ms Rousseff was impeached last year, Mr Janot added in a 230-page document.
Dilma says there’s no evidence.
Lula’s running for president next year, if his appeal against a corruption conviction is successful.
Over in Argentina, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who came to power when her husband Néstor Kirchner died suddenly of a heart condition, sees a storm is threat’ning.
Read my post, Gimme shelter, says Cristina in Argentina.
The BBC has Brazil corruption scandals: All you need to know. It’s clearly not all you need to know, since not only are entire books being written on the subject, the Beeb forgot to mention that the Federal Police shut down the Lava Jato task force, for instance, and Odebrecht is almost a second thought.
But the article is OK as a beginner’s guide to Brazil corruption, the way comic books used to be an introduction to classic novels like, say, War and Peace.
If you can read Portuguese and have hours to spare, browse through O Globo’s Lava Jato section. It is an object lesson on the corruption big government brings about.
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
Brazil’s Federal Police announced this week that it would shut down a crusading anticorruption task force, drawing a rebuke from prosecutors who warned the move could throttle investigations that have exposed systemic corruption among the country’s political and business elites.
The decision comes as President Michel Temer, who is among the politicians facing criminal charges stemming from the unit’s work, is scrambling to shore up support among lawmakers to avoid trial over bribery allegations.
Never mind that; the excuse is “to increase efficiency,”
The Federal Police, which announced the shift on Thursday, characterized it as a bureaucratic reshuffling of personnel and resources that would increase efficiency. In a statement, it said that members of the team known as the Lava Jato, or Car Wash, task force would be absorbed into the organization’s main anticorruption division to more effectively “fight against corruption and money laundering and facilitate the exchange of information.”
Task force members, Brazil’s national association of prosecutors and the federation of Federal Police call it “a clear setback,” which is quite the understatement when you consider that Lava Jato investigators have recovered more than US$3 billion so far, and they were not done.
This will have very negative effects on the economy. Prof. Steve Hanke tweeted,
Ending Car Wash task force= major setback in Brazil’s fight against corruption. Dragging whole economy down. https://t.co/JNqr5CFil4
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) July 12, 2017
In more bad news, Venezuelan drug lords are using the port of Santos, Brazil, to ship meth and cocaine to Europe via Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Ivory Coast in Africa.
Lula got a 10-year prison sentence. Will he do time in jail?
José Santos, Odebrecht’s top officer in Ecuador, has turned in to investigators videos of his meetings with government officials, according to Veja.
In exchange, he received the shortest sentence of all seventy-seven of the company’s informants.
Seventy-seven singing: Big enough for a symphonic chorus.
Santos’s tapes must be music to the ears of the investigators of the bribes-for-government contracts case(s) against Odebrecht.
Karina Martín reports,
So far, investigations into the Odebrecht case in Ecuador have led to the imprisonment of eight people, among them an uncle of re-elected Vice President Jorge Glas and the former Minister of Electricity Alecksey Mosquera.
General Comptroller Carlos Polit, who is currently outside the country, has been involved, but due to his position, he reportedly enjoys judicial privilege.
Ecuador’s lead prosecutor Carlos Baca alleges that “60 percent of the corruption plot arrived and went through Panamanian ports.”
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
the court’s judges voted 4-3 to clear Mr. Temer and former President Dilma Rousseff of charges they used proceeds from the country’s vast Car Wash corruption scandal to fund their 2014 election campaign.
The majority of the court’s judges said this week that their understanding of electoral law meant that they should only consider evidence available around the time when the case was first filed more than two years ago, before much of the Car Wash evidence was collected.
The trial lasted four days and was televised for a total of 25 hours.
From Miami to Rio, via air,
Police in Brazil have seized 60 assault rifles that had been smuggled from the US city of Miami in a shipment of swimming pool heaters.
The weapons, which included 45 AK-47 guns, were found at the cargo terminal at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport.
Four people have been arrested, police said.
. . .
It is believed the guns could have been sold in Brazil for up to $1.5m (£1.1m) in total. Detectives are investigating an exporter in Miami, Globo newspaper reported without identifying them.
The penalty outpaces the one levied against construction conglomerate Odebrecht last year as part of the same investigation.
The Associated Press reports J&F plans to pay the fine over a span of 25 years.
Yet this penalty is just one part of the plea deal; another component played out in a very public way earlier this month, when J&F co-owner Joesley Batista turned over a secret recording to prosecutors. That recording — which appears to show Temer condoning the payment of hush money to an imprisoned politician — leaked to media earlier this month, prompting protests in the streets and questions of whether Temer’s tenure could survive the scandal.
Temer insists he will remain in office.