Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Brazil tycoon Wesley Batista held for 'insider trading'

Brazil tycoon Wesley Batista held for 'insider trading'

As president, Mr Temer will only be on trial if two-thirds of Brazil's lower house votes to suspend him from office.

Brazil Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin ordered on Sunday the arrest of billionaire Joesley Batista, one of the owners of the world´s largest meatpackers, JBS SA, and one of his executives, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The statement said Temer "acted as leader of a criminal organisation" comprising senior officials from his center-right PMDB party, allegedly taking nearly US$190 million in kickbacks for contracts at public companies like oil giant Petrobras.

Wesley Batista's arrest comes just days after Joesley Batista surrendered to legal authorities after the Brazilian Supreme Court approved a warrant for his arrest on charges he reneged on the terms of the same plea deal.

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Mr Maggi is one of several Temer officials under investigation, and some have resigned in the a year ago over corruption allegations.

However, the justices voted 9-0 to maintain Janot in his role.

Brazil's federal police have created a diagram to illustrate their conception of the leadership structure of a "gang" of politicians accused of involvement in a massive graft scheme.

Another was a former minister, Geddel Vieira Lima, who was imprisoned last week after police discovered the equivalent of US$16 million in cash stuffed into boxes and suitcases in an apartment he used.

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Both the initial charges and this latest round are based on the testimony of top executives of the meat-processing giant JBS, Joesley Batista and his brother Wesley.

Wesley Batista is accused of improperly profiting from trades in JBS shares and U.S. dollars between April 24 and May 17 ahead of the announcement of a plea bargain between both brothers and prosecutors in the Temer-related case.

The brothers agreed earlier this year to pay a fine of $3.2 billionafter it was discovered that JBS had doled out about $150 million in bribes to 2,000 politicians over a decade.

The recording and testimonies by the brothers are now key parts of the investigation of a scandal that implicated Temer.

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It was Joesely Batista who met with Temer at his Brasilia residence in March and secretly recorded the president allegedly discussing payment of hush money to prevent former allies from testifying against him. Wesley Batista's arrest is related to the insider trading investigation.

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