MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 20th 2017 - 01:49 UTC

Brazilian government prunes the corruption investigation “Operation Car Wash”

Saturday, July 8th 2017 - 09:41 UTC
Full article 7 comments
“Operation Car Wash,” is Brazil's largest-ever corruption probe. It has jailed top politicians and business executives and led to allegations against President Temer. “Operation Car Wash,” is Brazil's largest-ever corruption probe. It has jailed top politicians and business executives and led to allegations against President Temer.

Brazil's federal police announced late Thursday that they are shutting down the primary task force assigned to a jumbo corruption investigation, drawing criticism from prosecutors who said it would undermine the probe. The investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash,” is Brazil's largest-ever corruption probe. It has jailed top politicians and business executives and led to allegations against President Michel Temer.

 Officers from the task force based in the southeastern city of Curitiba will be folded into an already existing division that investigates corruption, federal police announced.

The move has important symbolic significance since the investigation has been led by the task force, along with prosecutors and judges in Curitiba. Coming just months after a reduction in the size of the task force, the elimination of the dedicated group of investigators has again raised concerns that authorities are trying to stifle the probe.

The decision means the officers will no longer focus exclusively on Car Wash cases. Prosecutors assigned to the probe called it “an obvious step backward,” saying investigators were already struggling to keep up with the workload.

“The number of inquiries and investigations is restricted by the number of available investigators,” the prosecutors said in a statement. “There is a long list of pending material to analyze and the police officers on the case aren't able to develop new lines of investigation.”

The federal police force tried to head off criticism by saying that it “reaffirmed the public commitment to combat corruption” and that officers would not see their workload increase. It also said there were enough officers to respond to the demands in the Curitiba office.

In May, prosecutors and police complained when the task force's size was cut, saying it would make their jobs harder. The prosecutors' Thursday statement noted pointedly that Temer's government was responsible for the cuts in May and the end to the task force.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • MarkWhelan

    The view of this action can be viewed 2 ways, one is as portrayed in this article the other is that the officers will have a more open hand with following up the “Lava Jato” investigation. Some of the defence arguments have been based on the argument that the officers have gone beyond their limits as set down for the investigation and they have tried to have their client removed from the jurisdiction of “Moro”on this basis. This change to the task force would remove this legal argument.
    The other point is that all Police Federal funding has been reduced which has an adverse result on their actions. No passports issued, No convoy protection and now expansion of responsibility for the officers working on major corruption.
    The widening of their powers of investigation may be a good thing in the long run.

    Jul 08th, 2017 - 02:09 pm +1
  • St.John

    Getting too close to members of the Braz government, no doubt. Especially too close to the Braz president.

    Jul 08th, 2017 - 02:44 pm 0
  • MarkWhelan

    St.John Not too close. It has always been right on top of the Pollies. As to being too close to the president. This would only make it President # 3 so that is nothing new.

    Jul 08th, 2017 - 04:24 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!