FILE PHOTO: Rio de Janeiro's Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao is seen before the ceremony of Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles joining the MDB party, in Brasilia

Rio de Janeiro governor arrested in corruption probe

Credits: Sturm. by Wikimedia Commons

Governor of Rio de Janeiro Luiz Fernando Pezao was arrested Thursday, 29 November over allegations he received bribes as part of the “Car Wash” graft probe, according to Brazilian media.

The former city governor Sergio Cabral’s deputy is to face the Federal Supreme Court.

According to the G1, “an informant states that Pezão received a monthly allowance of R$ 150,000 ( approximately $38.955) when he was a deputy of Cabral“, who is also under arrest by the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) operation.

Pezao was arrested with eight others.

Prosecutors allege Pezao took part in a criminal organisation from 2007 to 2014 when he served as secretary of public works and deputy governor to former Governor Sergio Cabral, who was convicted and jailed over the scheme.

Cabral led the scheme, which took millions in bribes from construction firms in exchange for infrastructure contracts, including one tied to the World Cup.

Prosecutors now allege Pezao received money from public coffers in exchange for giving political backing to members of the criminal organisation. The money he received was later laundered, prosecutors said in a statement.

He received a total of some 25m reais, now worth about 39m reais ($6.49m) from 2007 to 2015, which authorities have been authorised to seize, they said.

Pezao was taken to the Federal Police (PF) headquarters in the morning of Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 from his residence, the Laranjeiras Palace, located in a prime area of the city of Rio. According to Agência Brasil, “in addition to the governor’s official residence, PF also served search and seizure warrants in the Guanabara Palace and his residence in Piraí, near Rio de Janeiro”.

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        The people celebrates Pezão prision with a cake in flont of the legislative house of Rio de Janeiro.

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