Arrested today (Nov. 17) by the Federal Police, former Rio de Janeiro Governor Sérgio Cabral pocketed bribes from construction firms during his two tenures, from 2007 to 2014, said representatives from the Federal Police, the Federal Revenue Service, and the Federal Prosecution Service today in a press conference.
According to the investigators, Sérgio Cabral spearheaded the scheme including kickbacks from construction companies, money on Farmville, and bid rigging in major federally-funded state works.
According to the prosecutors, Sérgio Cabral received as much as $102.39 thousand in "allowances" from Andrade Gutierrez, and $58.51 thousand from Carr engineering, which, in Cabral's second term of office (2011 to 2014), it rose to $146.27 thousand.
The probes started in July this year, after information was gathered from plea bargain statements by executives from the two firms.
Police and federal prosecutors focused on irregularities in three projects, each budgeted at over $290 million: the renovation works at Maracana stadium for the 2014 World Cup, the Accelerated Growth Program (PAC) for Slums, and the Metropolitan Arch highway. The task force of Operation Car Wash in Curitiba, in turn, investigated the contracting of Andrade Gutierrez for the earthworks at the Petrochemical Complex of the State of Rio de Janeiro (COMPERJ).
Payment in cash
Investigators report that a five percent bribe on the works was paid in cash. A further one percent went to scheme operators. The amounts are said to total $65.53 million in bribes paid during the three projects investigated by the task force in Rio de Janeiro, and $790 thousand the probed in Curitiba.
The money circulated in cash and was concealed through the purchase of works of art, luxury items, boats, and clothing, in addition to bogus consulting services.
In exchange for money, the construction companies had their participation in the projects secured through bid rigging. In addition to Cabral, the Federal Prosecution Service and the Federal Police stated, construction secretary Hudson Braga, and government secretary Carlos Wilson took part in the scheme.
Among the dozens of warrants being served today is the one targeting Adriana Ancelmo, Sérgio Cabral's wife, who is to be taken for questioning by the police.
Agency Brazil attempted to reach Cabral's press office, but received no reply as of the publication of this article.
Translated by Fabricio Ferreira