Brazil cracks down on corruption as Olympics nears

Global Business

Brazilian prosecutors and judges have been fighting a fierce battle against corruption in the country for years. Now, the investigations are targeting some of Brazil’s biggest contractors, most of which are also working on projects related to the Olympics.

CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral reported.

Brazil cracks down on corruption days before Olympics

Brazil cracks down on corruption days before Olympics

Brazilian prosecutors and judges have been fighting a fierce battle against corruption in the country for years. Now, the investigations are targeting some of Brazil’s biggest contractors, most of which are also working on projects related to the Olympics. CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral reported.

Porto Maravilha, the “Marvelous Port” project, changed the face of Rio de Janeiro’s degraded downtown dock area. The region was totally revamped. But there’s a dark side to this project: allegations of corruption.

The disgraced former president of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, was accused by Brazil’s Attorney General of pocketing about $15 million in bribes from private contractors with stakes in the port project. Cunha denies any wrongdoing.

“These allegations had no impact whatsoever in the execution of our project. We have a contract with the city of Rio and everything is being fulfilled within all the rules and regulations of this contract and of Brazilian law,” Rafael Daltro, institutional relations director from Porto Novo SA said.

The Deodoro Olympic Park is one of the key venues for the Rio 2016 games. But according to Federal Prosecutors, corruption was also a problem.

Prosecutors said construction firm Queiroz Galvao charged the state $12 million to dispose earth removed from excavations at the site, but it never reached its proper licensed location.

At the prosecutor’s request, a court order has already blocked about $50 million of the company’s funds pending investigation. Queiroz Galvao declined to comment on the case.

“We expect this kind of thing to happen, as it also happened before the World Cup. These frauds are part of our routine…The difference is that since there’s more construction going on there are more opportunities to mismanage public money…and more work for us,” Fernando Aguiar, a federal prosecutor said.


Monica de Bolle on State of Brasil

For more information on State of Brasil, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Monica de Bolle from Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Follow Monica de Bolle on Twitter @bollemdb