By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At the request of the Rio de Janeiro Prosecutor’s office a court blocked the assets of former state governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão on Wednesday. According to the officials, Pezão’s assets total R$45.6 million, some of which came from illegal bribes.

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro's former governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão
Rio de Janeiro’s former governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.

“The investigations showed that, after (ex-governor) Sérgio Cabral’s departure from the government, Pezão assumed the position and leadership of the criminal organization, maintaining its operation,” stated the document given to the courts by the prosecutor’s office.

According to officials Fetranspor (Federation of Public Transportation Companies of Rio de Janeiro) executives admitted the company maintained the routine of illicit payments after Pezão assumed the state government, from 2015 to 2018.

Pezão was arrested November 29, 2018, accused by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) of committing crimes against the public administration, including corruption and money laundering.

In a press conference after the arrest, Attorney General, Raquel Dodge stated that ‘despite being a trusted man of Cabral and assuming a fundamental role in that criminal organization, including succeeding him in his leadership, Luiz Fernando Pezão operated his own corruption scheme with his own financial operators’.

According to the MPF, Pezão received approximately R$25 million between 2007 and 2015. In today’s amount, the volume would total R$39 million. 

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