Police have arrested Rio de Janeiro’s outgoing mayor Marcelo Crivella in an investigation into alleged corruption at metropolis corridor.
4 carloads of police and prosecutors arrived on the mayor’s home within the prosperous Barra de Tijuca neighbourhood earlier than 6am, the web site of O Globo newspaper mentioned.
The arrest comes days earlier than Crivella’s mandate ends and simply weeks after the deeply unpopular mayor – a gospel singer who had known as homosexuality a “horrible evil” and shunned carnival – was thrashed by one in every of his predecessors, Eduardo Paes, in his bid for re-election.
Crivella is an evangelical bishop and former senator, who served as minister of fishing within the authorities of Dilma Rousseff. He’s the nephew of Edir Macedo, who based the highly effective Common Church of God evangelical church.
“That is political persecution,” Crivella instructed reporters on reaching police headquarters. “It was the federal government that almost all fought corruption.” He hoped for justice, he mentioned. Police additionally arrested the businessman Rafael Alves, the mayor’s “man of confidence” who had an workplace in metropolis corridor but no official function, the G1 web site mentioned – his brother Marcelo was Rio’s tourism chief. The previous police officer and metropolis councillor Fernando Moraes was additionally arrested, G1 mentioned.
Prosecutors started investigating a “enterprise counter” that allegedly operated inside metropolis corridor in 2019, O Globo reported in December 2019, after the cash changer Sérgio Mizrahy signed a plea discount deal. He alleged that bribes have been paid to agency up metropolis corridor contracts and get excellent money owed paid.
In September an investigation by TV Globo discovered that metropolis corridor staff often known as “Crivella’s guardians” have been paid to face outdoors hospitals and cease residents complaining about healthcare. Crivella mentioned there was no foundation to the accusations.
The previous Rio state governor Sérgio Cabral is serving a jail sentence for corruption. His successor Luiz Fernando Souza – often known as “Bigfoot” – was launched from jail a yr in the past. Rio’s newest governor, Wilson Witzel, was suspended over alleged Covid-19 associated graft in August. He has denied the accusations. “Like different governors, I’m getting used politically, probably,” he mentioned on the time.
Crivella’s arrest comes as a blow to Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose household house is in Rio. Bolsonaro received election in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform, and supported Crivella’s re-election bid in a video the 2 males recorded collectively. The 2 males danced collectively on stage at an evangelical Christian occasion in Rio final February.