The Chief Executive Officer of General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) Latin America branch, Daurio Speranzini Jr., was arrested in Brazil due to a corruption probe into an alleged health-care cartel that operated for over two decades. The arrest occurred in a sweep early Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, involving 8 other individuals. Prosecutors said Federal police were carrying out 21 arrest warrants as part of the investigation. The probe also involves a trauma institute known as Into and 37 other companies.
A police statement claimed the cartel was formed by at least 33 companies and operated from 1996 to 2017. They are accused of steering contracts with the state of Rio and a medical institute to members of the group and worked to disqualify competitors.
In a document to a federal court which was seen by Reuters, prosecutors claimed that “robust proof of participation” is evident from Speranzini and Knudsen in corruption, bid rigging, and criminal conspiracy.
The press office for GE in Brazil gave confirmation of the arrest on Wednesday but stated that GE is not one of the companies targeted in the investigations.
“The Company believes that the facts will be clarified by the Justice and is available to collaborate with the authorities,” GE said in an e-mailed statement.
High ranking political and business figures being arrested has become the norm in Rio de Janeiro, with this probe being the latest fraud and corruption probe, code-named “Operation Resonance.”