Brazil’s current science minister targeted by police

Gilberto Kassab will answer to corruption charges

Published in 19/12/2018 - 15:04 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil’s Federal Police today (Dec. 19) is serving eight search and seizure orders issued by the Supreme Court. Science and Technology Minister Gilberto Kassab, former São Paulo mayor, tapped as the chief-of-staff by future São Paulo Governor João Doria, is among the targets of the crackdown.

In the motion submitted to the top court for the exercise of the search and seizure warrants, Brazil’s    Prosecutor-General Raquel Dodge claims Kassab pocketed a total of $14.9 million from 2010 to 2016. A portion of it, $7.7 million, is said to have gone directly to him, with the remainder going to the national office of the PSD, founded by Kassab himself.

Dodge argues the warrants were based on information given by executives Wesley Batista and Ricardo Saud, of the G&F group, a holding with firms in several fields, including meatpacking. Payments were reported to come under a deal forged to enable Kassab to favor the company in a “possible demand of interest to said group in the future.”

Kassab and other two politicians in Rio Grande do Norte state were also targeted by orders, and have been brought under scrutiny over corruption and electoral identity theft.

Amounts may have been received by companies through simulation of services which were subsequently not provided, for which false invoices were produced.

Gilberto Kassab said “his acts were in compliance with the law and founded on public interest.” In a note released this morning, he stated he trusts the authorities and is willing to provide any clarifications.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nira Foster

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