Corruption Investigation

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with cash hidden between the buttocks
Chico Rodrigues
Chico Rodrigues Credit: Agência Senado (Public Domain)

Chico Rodrigues, Jair Bolsonaro's deputy leader in the senate, was caught by the Brazilian Federal Police with R$30,000 (€4,572) concealed between his clenched buttocks. The police raid Wednesday was part of an operation against the misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

Rodrigues, a Senator for the state of Roraima, released a statement claiming "I have a clean background and a respectable life. I’ve never been involved in any kind of scandal."

Regional News • Americas • South America
Peru: Congress votes against Vizcarra impeachment
President Martín Vizcarra
President Martín Vizcarra Credit: Presidencia Peru

The Congress of the Republic did not reach the 87 votes necessary to vacate President Martín Vizcarra on the grounds of permanent moral incapacity. The motion to remove the president had 32 votes in favour, 78 votes against and 15 abstentions.

In the morning, the head of state attended the plenary session, where he assured that the audios that involve him have not been verified and that they will be made available to the Public Ministry.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Peru president to face impeachment vote Friday, after The Constitutional Court denied delay request
President Martín Vizcarra
President Martín Vizcarra Credit: Presidencia Peru

The Constitutional Court of Peru refused to suspend the impeachment process of President Martín Vizcarra As a consequence of this decision, the president or his lawyer should appear before Congress this Friday to defend themselves before the legislators vote on whether to impeach him.

Marianella Ledesma, the president of the Constitutional Court, told local radio that judges had voted by five to two to reject an urgent petition by Vizcarra asking that Congress suspend debate on whether to impeach him for "moral incapacity."

Regional News • Americas • South America
Peru congress starts impeachment process of President Martín Vizcarra
President Martín Vizcarra
President Martín Vizcarra Credit: Presidencia Perú (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Congress of Peru voted to admit the impeachment process against the President Martín Vizcarra. There were 65 votes in favour, 36 against and 24 abstentions.

After the admission, the plenary set for September 18 the debate of the motion. President Martín Vizcarra, or his lawyer, may appear to give his defense, and his dismissal requires 87 votes according to the parliamentary regulations.

The Congress is investigating government contracts awarded to singer Richard Cisneros worth $49,500, and the links between Cisneros and Vizcarra.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Court removes Governor of Rio de Janeiro Witzel from office for suspected irregularities
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel Credit: Philippe Lima

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) determined Friday the immediate removal of Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel from the post due to irregularities in health contracts. Witzel is also prohibited access to state government facilities and his communication with officials and use of services.

The governor and eight other people, including the First Lady Helena Witzel, were also denounced by the Attorney General's Office for corruption.

Witzel tweeted "The defence of Governor Wilson Witzel receives with great surprise the decision to step down, taken in a monocratic manner and with such seriousness. The lawyers are awaiting access to the content of the decision to take the appropriate measures."

Former Soccer star Ronaldinho was released after more than five months in detention
Former Soccer star Ronaldinho was released after more than five months in detention
Credit: FiscaliaParaguay

The former soccer player Ronaldinho Gaúcho was released, after being arrested in March on the grounds of using false documentation to enter Paraguay. Ronaldinho will now travel back to Brazil.

The Prosecutor's Office announced that Ronaldinho did not participate in the manufacturing plan for the false Paraguayan passports and identity cards that were seized from him. Of his brother, prossecutors have said that "there are no indications that he has personal traits or criminal behavior that in a field of regulated freedom endangers society."

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Credit: Alan Santos/PR (Public Domain)

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Sunday to a journalist that his "wish is to punch you in the mouth".

Bolsonaro stated after being questioned by the "O Globo" newspaper reporter about money transferred by an ally to the First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

The money transfers, by Flávio Bolsonaro's former adviser Fabrício Queiroz, to Michelle Bolsonaro were made from 2011 and 2016 and totalled R$72,000. Queiroz's wife transfered another R$17,000 to the first lady in 2011.

Lori Loughlin sentenced to 2 months in prison in college admissions scandal
Lori Loughlin sentenced to 2 months in prison in college admissions scandal
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Actress Lori Loughlin was sentenced Friday to two months in prison for her role in the college admissions scandal. She will also serve two years of supervised release during which she must perform 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $150,000.

Loughlin's husband, Mossimo Giannulli, was sentenced to five months in prison, a $250,000 fine, two years of supervised release and 250 hours of community service.

The couple must surrender to the US Bureau of Prisons before 2 p.m. on November 19.

Regional News • Europe
Former Spanish king Juan Carlos is in the United Arab Emirates
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I Credit: א (Aleph) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

The Spanish royal palaced confirmed that former king Juan Carlos I has been living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since August 3. His whereabouts have been unknown since he left Spain amid a corruption investigation.

The finances of the former king are under scrutiny. Juan Carlos denies any wrongdoing and has said he is available if prosecutors need to interview him.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Personal banker of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner under investigation by Deutsche Bank
Personal banker of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner under investigation by Deutsche Bank
Credit: Office of Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to the President (Public Domain)

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson confirmed that the bank has launched an internal investigation into Rosemary Vrablic, the longtime personal banker of Donald J. Trump and Jared Kushner.

After Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner declared in a financial disclosure report on Friday that they've received between $1 and $5 million from Bergel 715 in 2019, an investigation has been launched into Rosemary Vrablic. Deutsche Bank is looking to determine if she had acted improperly by buying an apartment from Bergel 715 Associates in 2013 together with two colleagues.

According to the original reporting by the New York Times, neither Vrablic nor her colleagues did know about Kushner having an ownership stake in the company at the time they bought the apartment.

Sports • Soccer
Switzerland launches criminal investigation against FIFA President Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino Credit: Kremlin (Public Domain)

Swiss special prosecutor Stefan Keller opened a criminal case against FIFA president Gianni Infantino over meetings with former attorney general Michael Lauber. The prosecutors have found indications of criminal conduct related to the meetings between the two men.

Lauber offered his resignation after it was found that the prosecutor had tried to hide a meeting with the FIFA head while his office was investigating FIFA-related corruption.

Infantino released a statement insisting that meeting Lauber is "perfectly legitimate and it’s perfectly legal."

FIFA also said it would cooperate fully with the investigation.

Japan requests the U.S. extradition of men accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape
Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn Credit: Ecole polytechnique (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Government of Japan has formally requested the U.S. State Department to extradite Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, accused of helping Carlos Ghosn flee the country. Ghosn, the former CEO of Nissan Motor, fled Japan in December after claims of financial misconduct.

Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, and Peter Taylor were arrested in Harvard, Massachusetts, on May 20 at the Japanese Governments request.

Regional News • Europe • France
French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon found guilty of embezzling public funds
Former French prime minister François Fillon
Former French prime minister François Fillon Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former French prime minister François Fillon and his wife, Penelope Fillon, were sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. The conservative politician was found guilty of paying his wife and two of the couple’s children €1.156 million for work they never did as parliamentary aides.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, three of them suspended, and to pay a €375,000 fine. She was given a three-year suspended term.

Italy arrests Siemens, Alstom executives over alleged bribery relating to Milan subway contracts
Siemens headquarters Munich
Siemens headquarters Munich Credit: Siemens

The Italian Finance police arrested 13 people in an investigation about bribery related to Milan subway contracts. Officials of ATM, Milan municipal transport company, and two executives working for Alstom and one for Siemens were detained.

Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said that Paolo Bellini, manager at ATM, is accused of taking €125,000 related to eight contract tenders worth €150 million.

Regional News • Africa
DR Congo: Vital Kamerhe, President Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, found guilty for corruption
Vital Kamerhe in the Polish Senate
Vital Kamerhe in the Polish Senate Credit: The Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland / CC BY-SA 3.0 PL (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Chief of staff of the Democratic Republic of Congo Vital Kamerhe was found guilty in $50 million corruption and embezzlement case. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail with forced labour. Kamerhe was also disqualified from voting and holding a public office for ten years and faces financial penalties and confiscations of various assets. Samith Jammal, one of Kamerhe's collaborators, was also jailed.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Rio Janeiro State Governor to face impeachment inquiry
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel Credit: Carlos Magno

The Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) voted today favourably to initiate impeachment proceedings against right-wing Governor Wilson Witzel. Before today's vote the Assembly had 12 distinct impeachment petitions, for the process all of them will be combined.

A few weeks ago Brazilian federal police raided the residences of the Governor, under the allegation Witzel and his wife Helena led a sprawling criminal operation in which her law firm was used to receive payment from a company that won state coronavirus contracts.

Spanish Supreme Court prosecutors to investigate Juan Carlos over kickback scheme
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I Credit: א (Aleph) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

Spanish Supreme Court prosecutor has opened an investigation into King Emeritus Juan Carlos in connection with a high-speed train contract between Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement released today, the public prosecutor said: "This investigation focuses, precisely, on establishing or discarding the criminal relevance of deeds that happened after June 2014, when the King Emeritus was no longer protected by inviolability,".

Regional News • Americas • South America
Bolivian health minister arrested for suspected corruption

The police arrested Bolivia's Health Minister Marcelo Navajas in La Paz due to the over-priced purchase of coronavirus ventilators.

Bolivia bought 179 ventilators from a manufacturer in Spain for $27,683 each, costing almost $5 million, a purchase funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, later transpired that the manufacturer was offering ventilators for around half that price - $10,312-$11,941.

Former U.S. Green Beret and his son arrested over Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan
Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn Credit: Bertel Schmitt (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On a Japanese extradition warrant, federal marshals arrested Michael and Peter Taylor in Harvard, Massachusetts this Wednesday.

Authorities claim Michael, a 59-year-old former U.S. Army Green Beret, and his son Peter were charged by Japanese authorities with planning and aiding in Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan in December.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Raid at the town hall in Haan

The contract award procedures for the homes of asylum seekers in the German town Haan in 2018, led the prosecutors to search for evidence in the office accommodation and private home of a former staff member. He is faced with the criminal charge of corruption due to the fact, that he was invited to a holiday trip by one of the security companies which was making a bit for the contract.