February 17, 2019
Latest News

Rio de Janeiro's governor arrested on corruption charges

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 29 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro's governor was arrested on Thursday by Brazil's federal police for his alleged involvement in a corruption network created by his predecessor and political ally, who is already serving a 100-year prison sentence.

Luiz Fernando Pezao was arrested as part of so-called Operation Car Wash, an ongoing criminal investigation led by the federal police of Brazil since 2014.

Car Wash initially focused on allegations of corruption and money laundering at the state-owned Petrobas oil company.

Pezao, accused of involvement in the corruption network created by his predecessor and political ally, Sergio Cabral, allegedly received monthly bribes valued at 150,000 reais ($38,845) from companies that had been awarded irregular contracts by the Rio state government.

Brazil's attorney general's office said it had gathered documentary evidence showing that Pezao received nearly 25 million reais in bribes between 2007 and 2014, when he served as deputy governor under Cabral.

"That amount is absolutely incompatible with the assets declared by the governor," the AG's office said.

Prosecutors had asked Brazil's Superior Court of Justice to issue the order for Pezao's preventive arrest, arguing that if he were allowed to remain free "he could make the recovery of diverted funds even more difficult, as well as hide the assets he acquired with these criminal practices."

The politician was arrested at Laranjeiras Palace, the official residence of Rio de Janeiro's governors, and taken to federal police headquarters in downtown Rio de Janeiro, the state capital.

Pezao has just over a month left in his term and will be succeeded by Wilson Witzel, who was elected last month.

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