23 March 2019
Former Brazilian President Michel Temer was arrested Thursday on corruption charges. Former Cabinet minister and Temer ally Moreira Franco and eight others were also arrested. He was accused of taking $300,000 bribe from the construction company Engevix in exchange for a contract to build a nuclear power plant in the city of Angra dos Reis in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro state. Engevix is owned by a close Temer associate, Col. Joao Baptista Lima Filho. An arrest warrant was also issued for Lima Filho.
Temer, who was vice president, came to the presidency in 2016 after President Dilma Rousseff was impeached and ousted from office for mismanaging the federal budget. He was to serve out the remainder of Rousseff’s second term, ending 31 December 2018. He decided not to seek a re-election because of an eight-year ban from running for office after he was convicted of violating election laws.
His parents were Maronite Catholic Lebanese immigrants who came to Brazil in 1925. The Charlotte Observer reported.
The sprawling anti-corruption investigation began in 2014 as a probe into money laundering at a car wash outlet in the capital Brasilia. Hence the investigation is code-named ‘Operation car wash’ which uncovered a vast graft operation involving state oil firm Petrobras and major construction companies and bribes paid to politicians of several parties.
So far, 155 people have been convicted, including former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and some $3.4bn was recovered.