BRAZIL POLITICS: Congressmen in Rio de Janeiro Detained By Court Judge

BRAZIL POLITICS: Congressmen in Rio de Janeiro Detained By Court Judge

A judge in Brazil has ordered the detention of several top political figures in Rio de Janeiro, including the president of the state assembly, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Police were also serving 10 arrest warrants in the capital Brasilia regarding more than $100 million in contracts involving state bank Caixa Economica Federal in a separate investigation, prosecutors said, suggesting a years-long anti-corruption push may be far from over.

According to a prosecutors’s statement, Judge Abel Gomes has put out a bench warrant for Rio state assembly president Jorge Picciani, two other state assemblymen, and 10 other persons, including legislative aides.

They are accused of accepting bribes from the state’s transportation industry body in exchange for favorable legislation going back to the governorship of Sérgio Cabral, who held power from 2007 to 2014 and was arrested in 2016 on corruption charges.

The arrested deputies were members of embattled President Michel Temer’s PMDB party.

Also on Tuesday, Brazil’s federal police said in a statement that it was carrying out 10 search and detention orders in the capital Brasilia, some of them relating to employees of state bank Caixa Economica Federal.

The police said the accused illegally skimmed money from about 385 million reais ($117 million) in information technology contracts received from the bank.

None of the accused parties could immediately be reached for comment.

– Reuters

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