Four arrested in Covid-19 graft scheme; São Paulo to monitor spending

and . May 07, 2020
spending graft scheme Suspect is arrested in Rio de Janeiro. Still via G1

Police in Rio de Janeiro arrested four people, including the state’s former Deputy Health Secretary Gabriell Neves, for taking part in a scheme to embezzle money through emergency contracts for the purchase of ventilators. Mr. Neves had already been put on leave on April 20 due to suspicions of irregularities in contracts amounting to BRL 1 billion. Emergency spending bypasses many of Brazil’s controls in public bidding processes — thus leaving room for corrupt officials to operate.

In São Paulo, Governor João Doria created an Emergency Accountability Office to audit public spending during the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal, according to the government, is to promote transparency, providing external bodies such as the State Prosecution Office and Accounts Court with information regarding public finances. The new agency will be the result of a joint effort between the Executive branch and its health, education, and social development secretariats.

Gustavo Ribeiro

An award-winning journalist, Gustavo has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics and international affairs. He has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets and founded The Brazilian Report in 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Augusta Saraiva

Augusta is a Brazilian journalism student at Northwestern University

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