Brazil Police Seize $16 Million In Cash Linked To Shady Minister


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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Brazilian police found more than $16 million in cash inside an apartment allegedly used by former Minister Geddel Vieira Lima, who was arrested on corruption charges in July.

Law enforcement found duffel bags, suitcases, and cardboard boxes stuffed with more than $16.4 million inside Vieira Lima’s apartment in the city of Salvador Tuesday. Viera Lima served as a top aid and congressional liaison for President Michel Temer before resigning last year after another former minister accused him of using his position for personal enrichment, BBC reported Wednesday. He is now under house arrest after police arrested him in July.

Brazil’s congress voted against putting President Temer on trial for corruption last month, deciding instead to focus on the country’s ongoing economic crisis. The country’s economy shrank 3.6 percent in 2016, and has contracted for the last eight consecutive quarters, making the current recession the worst in Brazilian history.

Corruption scandals have hounded Brazilian politicians throughout the recession, with the congress impeaching the former-president Dilma Rousseff on corruption charges in 2016.

Temer nearly faced criminal charges after a business tycoon on trial for bribery produced a voice recording in May that allegedly revealed Temer endorsing the man’s bribes. But congress was unable to gather the two-thirds majority necessary to send the case the Supreme Court.

Federal police are also investigating corruption charges against Brazil’s Olympic Committee, which is accused of bribing its way to hosting the 2016 Olympics. Police questioned the head of the committee Tuesday and also searched his home, according to Bloomberg.

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