Power

Brazilian money exchanging kingpin turns state’s evidence

Dario Messer, leader of a vast network of illegal money exchanges, has promised to return BRL 1 billion and could incriminate politicians

dario messer money
Dario Messer.

Brazil’s sweeping Operation Car Wash anti-corruption investigation had its heyday between 2015 and 2017, before losing credibility and prominence in recent years. That is, until now. A new plea bargain agreement has the potential to shake the country’s economic and political structures to their very core. Notorious money exchanger Dario Messer has agreed to surrender BRL 1 billion (USD 187 million) to the public coffers in order to lower his potential 18-year prison sentence to 13 years. This is the highest value ever handed over by a single defendant.

His relatives had already returned another BRL 370 million in...

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