Brazil’s Attorney General’s office announced on Tuesday that it has tripled its 2018 budget for the investigation into a sprawling corruption scandal that has engulfed political and business leaders across Latin America.
Federal prosecutors decided to boost spending on the so-called Car Wash investigation from the US$165 million initially allotted in January to more than US$500 million. The probe could get an additional US$165 million later this year, though that is not certain.
High-profile targets of the investigation include former President Lula da Silva, former lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha and business mogul Marcelo Odebrecht.
The expanded budget for prosecutors in Curitiba, comes following President Michel Temer’s appointment of Raquel Dodge as Brazil’s new attorney general.
“This sends a clear message that we are not making any reduction (to the probe), quite on the contrary,” Dodge said during a meeting in the capital of Brasilia.
The budget decision has to be ratified by Temer, who is also one the targets of the investigation — though he cannot be prosecuted by the Curitiba prosecutors while in office.