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Brazilian Federal Police Criticized After Closing Lava Jato Exclusive Team

07/07/2017 - 09h59

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

This week the Brazilian Federal Police closed the task force of the Lava Jato operation in Curitiba -the group of police chiefs and agents was dedicated to the operation exclusively.

In an official statement, the operation's district prosecutors in the Prosecutor General's Office said the decision was "a clear setback."

They believe the measure "affects the investigations of the Lava Jato operation and makes it difficult for them to continue with the same efficiency the team had shown so far."

The Federal Police said the officers will now join the Department of Fight against Corruption and Embezzlement of Public Funds. There were four police chiefs and a group of agents totaling 40 members dedicated exclusively to the Lava Jato in Curitiba.

"There are no budget or political reasons," police chief Igor Romário de Paula, the coordinator of the Lava Jato operation in Curitiba, said on Thursday, July 6. "It is an operational decision."

The Federal Police say that the measure "enhances even more the investigations with a higher potential to harm the public treasury" and increases the staff dedicated to fight corruption and money laundering.

The Federal Police also say that today each of the police chiefs in the Lava Jato operation is responsible for some 20 investigations - a very high number in comparison to the peak of the task force, when it had 11 police chiefs.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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