August 18, 2017 / 9:34 PM / 2 years ago

Brazil police seek charges for alleged World Cup stadium graft

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s Federal Police have called for the indictment of 21 people, including two ex-governors of the capital Brasilia, for allegedly overcharging 559 million reais ($178 million) in the renovation of the stadium used in the 2014 World Cup.

The Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia was originally scheduled to cost around 600 million reais but ended up costing closer to 1.575 billion, officials said.

It was built by a consortium led by construction firm Andrade Gutierrez. The investigation into the overbilling began after the firm’s executives entered into a plea-bargain deal to offer details about their role in long-running and massive political kickback schemes that have been uncovered by investigators in the past three years.

It is now up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to press charges, ask for more information or drop the case.

The 69,000-capacity stadium hosted seven games in the 2014 World Cup and several others in the 2016 Olympic soccer tournament.

Former governors Agnelo Queiroz and Jose Roberto Arruda, were among those accused of “criminal overbilling” in Friday’s almost 350-page police report, as was a former special advisor to Brazilian President Michel Temer.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Sandra Maler

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