Former Philips Medical Systems head for Brazil and CEO of General Electric (GE) for Latin America Daurio Speranzini Júnior were arrested yesterday (4) during a crackdown by Brazil’s Federal Police. Also arrested were Philips executive Frederik Knudsen and 20 other people suspected of taking part in a fraud scheme targeting medical supply contracts with Rio de Janeiro’s State Health Secretariat and the National Traumatology and Orthopedics Institute.
The operation engaged 180 federal agents. A total of 37 companies have been brought under investigation for their possible involvement in corruption, criminal organization, money laundering, and criminal cartel aimed at defrauding licenses since 1996. Brazilian authorities have frozen the assets of the individuals investigated, which add up to $310 million.
In a press conference, prosecutors said that “evidence of participation is robust” for corruption and criminal organization, adding that the “main executives at medical supply makers” took part in the scheme “through dealings in which public officials were bribed and sellers manipulated.”