September 10, 2019 / 12:09 PM / 11 days ago

Brazil arrests former minister's son for bribes linked to giant dam

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian authorities arrested a former energy minister’s son on Tuesday for allegedly receiving 50 million reais in bribes ($12 million) together with his father, involving the construction of a giant dam.

Marcio Lobao, the son of former senator and energy minister Edison Lobao, had already been publicly targeted by police in 2017 for the case related to the Belo Monte dam, as part of a sweeping anticorruption probe known as “Car Wash.”

Prosecutors also allege that Edison Lobao received bribes but did not arrest him on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said they were investigating corruption amounting to 1 billion reais in more than 40 contracts linked to the construction of the Belo Monte dam, one of the world’s largest and located in the northern state of Para.

The former minister and his son allegedly received bribes from construction giant Odebrecht and Grupo Estre between 2008 and 2014, authorities said in a statement, adding that Marcio Lobao would have led a money laundering operation and that the scheme included buying and selling artwork at inflated prices.

Marcio Lobao could not immediately be reached for comment.

A lawyer for Edison Lobao, Carlos de Almeida Castro, declined to comment.

Brazil’s “Car Wash” operation has aggressively targeted huge corruption schemes in recent years, but has also been tarnished by allegations of political meddling.

Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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