By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Current Rio de Janeiro governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão and former Rio State Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame denied in separate statements over the weekend of receiving bribes from former governor Sérgio Cabral’s financial operator, Carlos Miranda.
Miranda sealed a plea-bargaining agreement with authorities where he named two of the state’s most important officials as being involved in one of Rio’s largest corruption scandal, according to daily O Globo.
“The governor vehemently repudiates these lies. He reaffirms that he never received illicit resources and has already had his life widely investigated by the Federal Police, “said the statement released by Rio’s governor.
According to the agreement Miranda admitted giving Governor Pezão a ‘monthly allowance’ of R$150,000 from 2007 to 2014, while vice-governor under the Cabral administration. The money came from contracting firms interested in obtaining large government contracts.
Under the agreement, Miranda also named former Security Secretary Beltrame of receiving, from 2007 to 2014, R$30,000 per month from the corruption scheme.
Beltrame, who was responsible for the implementation of the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in Rio de Janeiro, said that the complaint is a ‘story’ made by someone who was coerced and is using ‘my name to throw a smokescreen on their own dramas’.
Beltrame also stated that he barely knows the informant and that Miranda runs the risk of spending the next twenty years in jail.
The bribes divulged by Miranda are part of the widespread mega corruption scheme known as Lava Jato (Car Wash). Former Rio de Janeiro governor, Sergio Cabral, was sentenced in June of 2017 to fourteen years and two months in prison for his role in the Lava Jato case.
He was accused of being a key figure in the creation of a cartel to administrate and execute large construction venues, including the restoration of Maracana Stadium, using federal resources. Cabral is said to have received kickbacks from state construction works totaling R$220 million.