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Ex-minister who kept money hidden in flat arrested in Brazil

  • 08/09/2017 11h25publicação
  • Salvadorlocalização
Sayonara Moreno, correspondent from Agência Brasil

O ex-ministro Geddel Vieira Lima é ouvido pelo juiz Vallisney Oliveira durante audiência de custódia (Reprodução/Justiça Federal)

Former Minister Geddel Vieira Lima Reprodução/Justiça Federal

Former Minister Geddel Vieira Lima was arrested Friday morning (Sep 8) in Salvador, state capital of Bahia, three days after the Federal Police found over $16 million believed to belong to him stored in an apartment.

In the arrest warrant, federal prosecutors mention the need to take action to prevent “the destruction of evidence crucial to the clarification of facts.”

On Tuesday (5), the Federal Police seized cases and boxes filled with money in an apartment in the district of Graça, Salvador. The official proprietor, Sílvio Silveira, confirmed that the flat was lent to Geddel Vieira Lima, who is said to have requested the apartment to store objects belonging to his father, who died last year. Geddel was under house arrest.

PF acha malas com dinheiro em imóvel supostamente usado por Geddel em Salvador

Federal Police found over $16 million believed to belong to him stored in an apartment. Divulgação/Polícia Federal

Operation Cui Bono

The first stage of Operation Cui Bono was launched by the Federal Police on January 13 this year to investigate a fraud scheme involving credit release at Caixa Econômica Federal from 2011 to 2013. Between March 2011 to December 2013, the vice-presidency of the institution was occupied by Geddel Vieira Lima, who also served as cabinet member under Lula and Temer.

The crackdown was launched in December 2015 as a spinoff of Operation Car Wash, when federal agents found a cellphone in the home of then lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, which revealed the intense exchange of messages between Cunha and Geddel. The probe aimed to prevent important pieces of evidence from being destroyed by the investigated.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Edited by: Denise Griesinger / Olga Bardawil