Prosecutors crack down on Covid-19-corruption

. May 11, 2020
Prosecutors crack down on Covid-19-corruption Photo: noEnde/Shutterstock

When Brazil declared a state of calamity in March, mayors, governors, and the federal government became exempt from several checks-and-balances controls over public contracts as a way to fast-track procurement for the Covid-19 fight. But the move also opens the door for corrupt politicians and business owners to embezzle money. Since the beginning of the pandemic, federal prosecutors have launched 410 probes into suspected cases of corruption with Covid-19 money. 

In São Paulo, state prosecutors are investigating a USD 100-million contract signed by governor João Doria with a Chinese company for the purchase of 3,000 ventilators at ten times market value. The administration claims that intense international demand made prices skyrocket. 

In Rio de Janeiro, former Deputy Executive Secretary Gabriell Neves was arrested for allegedly defrauding a BRL 9.9-million contract for 50 ventilators.

Brenno Grillo

The Brazilian Report's correspondent in Brasília, Brenno has worked as a journalist since 2012, specializing in coverage related to law and the justice system. He has worked for O Estado de S. Paulo, Portal Brasil, ConJur, and has experience in political campaigns.

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