In this file:

 

·         Brazil police launch new agribusiness inspection probes

·         Something smells rotten in Brazilian food companies: probes into bribed inspections

 

·         Brazil Plunges Back Into Crisis as President Accused

 

 

Brazil police launch new agribusiness inspection probes

 

Stabroek News

May 17, 2017

 

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazilian police yesterday opened two separate investigations into whether certain food companies improperly received favourable treatment from the Agriculture Ministry, the latest probe ensnaring the powerful farming sector.

 

The probes into whether inspection procedures were relaxed for meatpacking, dairy and other food companies come two months after industry leaders JBS SA and BRF SA were rocked by allegations of bribing food inspectors.

 

The investigations have shaken confidence in Brazil’s once-solid agricultural sector, leading some countries to suspend imports of Brazilian meat for about a week and weighing on profits of several industry powerhouses.

 

One of the two newly launched probes involves an alleged scheme to delay or cancel fines in in return for some 3 million reais ($965,000) in bribes between 2010 and 2016, police said.

 

Federal police said in a statement they were arresting 10 people in the states of Tocantins, Pará, São Paulo and Pernambuco related to the allegations.

 

Meatpacker Minerva is among the companies targeted by the latest probes, Arcelino Vieira Damasceno, federal police superintendent in Tocantins, told journalists.

 

Minerva, whose shares slumped 3.3 percent, said in a statement that it was cooperating with the probe, adding that it follows “rigid corporate governance norms” and that its “operations conform to all applicable legislation.”

 

The federal police said they are also investigating improper protection of food companies as well as persecution of government food inspectors through disciplinary procedures and unfounded removals.

 

Several Agriculture Ministry supervisors in the southern state of Santa Catarina have been removed from their jobs as part of the probe, which found evidence that unnamed companies imported chemically adulterated fish without adequate oversight...

 

more

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2017/news/regional/05/17/brazil-police-launch-new-agribusiness-inspection-probes/

 

 

Something smells rotten in Brazilian food companies: probes into bribed inspections

 

MercoPress (Uruguay)

May 17th 2017

 

Brazilian police on Tuesday opened two separate investigations into whether certain food companies improperly received favorable treatment from the Agriculture Ministry, the latest probe ensnaring the powerful farming sector. The probes into whether inspection procedures were relaxed for meatpacking, dairy and other food companies come two months after industry leaders JBS SA and BRF SA were rocked by allegations of bribing food inspectors.

 

 The investigations have shaken confidence in Brazil's once-solid agricultural sector, leading some countries to suspend imports of Brazilian meat for about a week and weighing on profits of several industry powerhouses. One of the two newly launched probes involves an alleged scheme to delay or cancel fines in in return for some 3 million reais (US$965,000) in bribes between 2010 and 2016, police said.

 

Federal police said in a statement they were arresting 10 people in the states of Tocantins, Pará, São Paulo and Pernambuco related to the allegations.

 

Meatpacker Minerva is among the companies targeted by the latest probes, Arcelino Vieira Damasceno, federal police superintendent in Tocantins, told journalists.

 

Minerva, whose shares slumped 3.3%, said in a statement that it was cooperating with the probe, adding that it follows “rigid corporate governance norms” and that its “operations conform to all applicable legislation.”

 

The federal police said they are also investigating improper protection of food companies as well as persecution of government food inspectors through disciplinary procedures and unfounded removals.

 

Several Agriculture Ministry supervisors in Santa Catarina have been removed from their jobs as part of the probe, which found evidence that unnamed companies imported chemically adulterated fish without adequate oversight...

 

more

http://en.mercopress.com/2017/05/17/something-smells-rotten-in-brazilian-food-companies-probes-into-bribed-inspections

 

 

Brazil Plunges Back Into Crisis as President Accused

 

    Temer denies having authorized any obstruction of justice

    The allegations are the latest development of Carwash probe

 

by Rachel Gamarski and Bruce Douglas, Bloomberg

May 17, 2017

 

Brazil has plunged back into political crisis, reminiscent of the chaos surrounding last year’s impeachment process, following reports that President Michel Temer was involved in an alleged cover-up scheme with the jailed former speaker of the lower house of Congress.

 

One of the country’s largest newspapers, O Globo, is reporting that executives from JBS, the meat-packing company, have submitted a tape to the Supreme Court of a secret recording of Temer approving a payment to Eduardo Cunha, who was instrumental in the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff. The executives’ evidence forms part of a plea-bargain deal in which information is offered in exchange for reduced sentences.

 

The presidential press office has issued a statement vehemently denying the allegations. "President Michel Temer never requested payments to obtain the silence of ex-deputy Eduardo Cunha," it said. "The president defends a deep and wide investigation to get to the bottom of the claims put forward in the media." Both JBS and its holding company, J&F, declined to comment.

 

Amid growing protests in Brasilia on Wednesday evening, military police have moved into position around the presidential palace and one of the judges on Brazil’s Supreme Court has called for calm. "It’s a moment for calm, moderation and watching the institutions work," said Marco Aurelio Mello.

 

The allegations are the latest development in Operation Carwash, a sprawling corruption probe that has implicated many of Brazil’s business and political elite, including some in the president’s own party. Temer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

 

According to the newspaper’s report, when the president became aware that the executives were paying Cunha to keep silent he said. "You’ve got to keep this up, right?"

 

O Globo’s report caused an immediate stir in Congress...

 

more

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-18/brazil-newspaper-alleges-president-involved-in-cover-up-scheme