Brazil extends ‘Car Wash’ anti-graft probe

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Brasilia, Aug 2 (IANS) Brazil’s anti-corruption investigation — Operation Car Wash — has been extended “for at least one more year”, Brazilian authorities have said.

The Superior Council of the Federal Prosecution Service (CSMPF) on Tuesday approved a deadline extension to continue the activities of the 14-member federal task force in charge of the probe, Xinhua news agency reported.

The operation has uncovered a slew of scandals involving top government officials and leading to numerous convictions.

“So far, 157 of the investigated suspects have been convicted, with jail sentences totalling a combined 1,563 years,” said the CSMPF.

Prosecutors have also recovered over $3 billion in embezzled public funds.

In addition to prolonging the operation, the council has more than tripled the task force’s operating budget for next year to $527,000.

The operation was instrumental in uncovering a long-running corruption scheme at state-run oil giant Petrobras, which involved kickbacks and bribes from construction firms contracted to build oil wells and other infrastructure.

Some of the money was used to fund political campaigns.

Nearly 200 politicians, including lawmakers, are currently under investigation for illicit enrichment and other wrongdoing.

–IANS

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