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Black Market Currency Dealers Testify, Leading to The Arrests of Prominent National Figures

05/08/2018 - 12h41

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ITALO NOGUEIRA
FROM RIO DE JANEIRO

Accusations made by Vinicius Claret and Claudio Barboza, two of Brazil's most active black market currency dealers, have not only potentially reached political campaign managers, but they have also targeted two private companies.

Last week, Operation Câmbio, Desligo (or "Operation Roger, Out") targeted economist Oswaldo Prado Sanches, who was the director of the Bozano group until last month, and Flávio Dib, who is suspected of carrying out transactions on behalf of Casa & Video and its former shareholder, Luigi Milone.

The two are suspected of wiring dollars abroad through Mr. Claret and Mr. Barboza between 2008 and 2016.

The two black market currency changers work for Dario Messer, a banker of sorts who helped the two of them with logistics and is currently considered a fugitive.

According to the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, Mr. Sanches is accused of moving US$ 15.9 million (approximately R$ 56.5 million) through the two money exchangers.

Judge Marcelo Bretas issued an order freezing R$ 59.7 million (US$ 16.8 million) from accounts linked to the Bozano company and three other partner companies. According to Forbes Magazine, which ranks fortunes, Julio Bozano's estimated wealth is R$ 5.7 billion (US$ 1.6 billion).

Almost all of the transactions were carried out with the intent of obtaining Brazilian Reais in cash. To that end, several payments were made to offshore bank accounts and the information of the accounts was provided by Mr. Claret and Mr. Barboza.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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