BRASÍLIA (Reuters) - Brazilian police raided the offices and homes of two members of Congress on Wednesday in the country’s latest corruption probe as the government makes a last-ditch effort to vote on an overhaul of the national pension system.
Dubbed “Operation Ápia,” the probe centers on alleged bribery of civil servants and politicians in return for rigged bids on road work totaling 850 million reais ($258 million) in the state of Tocantins in central Brazil.
Federal police said in a statement they were serving 16 search warrants and delivering subpoenas to eight people in connection with the probe.
Dulce Miranda and Carlos Gaguim, lawmakers from Tocantins, are implicated in the investigation, police said.
Gaguim denied any wrongdoing, noting the accusations against him are baseless. Miranda’s representatives said she would cooperate with the investigation.
President Michel Temer has said the lower house of Congress would vote by Tuesday on his proposed pension reform, which many consider crucial to reining in Brazil’s surging public debt, or the debate will have to wait until next year.
Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; additional reporting by Eduardo Simões in São Paulo; writing by Ana Mano; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and G Crosse