September 13, 2017 / 10:57 AM / in 10 months

Brazil police detains JBS CEO Batista amid probe, sources say

SAO PAULO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police detained JBS SA Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista early on Wednesday, as an investigation into his and his younger brother’s role in potential insider trading ahead of a plea bargain deal with prosecutors escalated, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Earlier in the day, police issued a preventative arrest order against brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista, citing the alleged use of insider information in financial market dealings ahead of their May plea deal, one of the people said. Police suspect they gained an unfair advantage in trading JBS stock and currency futures and forwards in April and May, said the person, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The police said in a statement that two detention orders were issued against executives at FB Participações SA and JBS, without elaborating. Joesley Batista has been in detention since Sunday after recordings suggested he tried to take advantage from prosecutors during negotiations that led to the plea deal.

Spokespeople for JBS did not have an immediate comment. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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