Police seize USD 13 mn from former Brazilian Minister’s house

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Rio de Janeiro, Sep 6 (IANS) The Brazilian Federal Police have found over 40 million reals ($13 million) in cash from an apartment in Salvador believed to belong to former Minister Geddel Vieira Lima.

Seven money counting machines worked non-stop for the entire day to count the sum found on Tuesday in the apartment in Lima’s hometown.

The money — the largest seizure of cash the Federal Police have ever made — was found in 100- and 50-real bills, filling several large suitcases and boxes, Xinhua reports.

Police believed the money was related to several corruption schemes in which Lima, under house arrest for several months, has been involved.

Lima, a member of the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), served as Government Secretary of President Michel Temer for six months. He left the administration in November 2016 after a scandal of influence peddling.

According to reports, Lima tried to coerce former Minister of Culture Marcelo Calero into authorising a real estate project owned by his family, which was barred by the Historical Patrimony Institute (Iphan) for affecting historical heritage sites.

During the previous administration of Dilma Rousseff, Lima served as a high-ranking official of state-owned bank Caixa from 2011 to 2013. PMDB was still the main allied party in Rousseff’s coalition at the time, but later turned against her and became one of the main forces behind her impeachment.

–IANS

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