Pernambuco: Federal Police uncovers corruption scheme involving ventilators

corruption pernambuco

With the support of public prosecutors and the Federal Comptroller’s Office, the Federal Police uncovered a scheme related to the purchase of 500 ventilators from a shell company in the Northeast state of Pernambuco.

According to the police, companies that owe the government more than BRL 9 million (USD 1.7 million) created a shell company to compete for emergency contracts with the municipal government of Recife — which is prohibited by law. The total value of the contracts exceeded BRL 11 million. Of the 500 acquired ventilators, only 35 have been delivered — and of those, 10 were sold at an overpriced rate to other cities in Pernambuco. 

This morning, the second phase of the operation carried out search and seizure warrants in the city of Recife, as well as in São Paulo.

Yesterday, The Brazilian Report’s Lucas Berti explained how the Covid-19 pandemic is creating a wave of corruption across Latin America. In Brazil, irregularities have been recorded in different states, with Tuesday’s search and seizure warrants involving Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel and his wife being the latest example.

In the southern state of Santa Catarina, the local health secretary was fired after 200 overpriced ventilators acquired for BRL 33 million were never delivered, while irregularities related to the construction of field hospitals have come to light in the capital city Brasilia.

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