Geddel Vieira Lima, a former Secretary of Government of President Michel Temer's, was placed under preventive arrest on Monday over a loan that state-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal handed over to meat, finance and real estate firms between 2011 and 2013, it was announced.
The Public Prosecutor's office said in a statement Vieira Lima was accused of trying to obstruct the investigations. Vieira Lima was in charge of Temer's relations with Congress.
The arrest was based on testimonies from financial operator Lúcio Funaro, JBS executive Joesley Batista and J & F Group's legal director Francisco de Assis e Silva.
Gamil Föppel, Vieira Lima's lawyer, said the arrest was not necessary because the former official has never refused to cooperate with the investigation and handed his passport to the police. Geddel's objective is to prevent the former Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha and Lucio Funaro himself from signing a collaboration agreement, he added.
Vieira Lima is investigated in Operation Cui Bono for allowing the release of cash resources in exchange for bribes, in a plot that would also involve Cunha, in addition to Funaro himself and Caixa's former president Fabio Cleto.